My name is Dominik Biały, and I’m vehicle/prop artist focused mostly on creating game-ready assets for online marketplaces. I love the aesthetics of the Industrial Era and World War I, so most of my work in my portfolio is related to those time periods. As for my education I’ve actually finished medical studies recently, but 3D art, besides being a side thing, is still a very important part of my life, and I hope it could stay like this in the future!
How it all started
My journey started around 3 years ago, and it all began with scale modelling. I was rediscovering my childhood hobby, but I quickly realised that doing proper scale models requires too much money and also more space that I could arrange in my student’s flat. In one of the scale modelling magazines I read about doing models in 3D and I got hooked immediately. I started with low-poly style art but with time I got more interested in creating realistic assets for games. Modelling one of my latest projects – Fokker D. VII was like making my childhood scale modelling dreams come true!
Also with the freedom that digital tools provide I could let my imagination wander and create some fun stuff, like this “Grandpa’s Wifi Router” (which you can download here for free)
However, I strive for realism in my models. Usually I need to compromise some details to not get too crazy with poly counts and keep it game-ready. My favourite part of workflow is texturing – I really love adding details and working with amazing procedural tools we have available now. I’m thoroughly fascinated by how maths can help artists create amazing things and I can’t wait to see what the future will bring us in that matter!
I still visit scale modelling forums and shops to seek an inspiration. They are all really great artists, who value attention to details, have vast knowledge of historical background and great eye for composition and storytelling. As I’m mostly creating real vehicles, it’s rather easy to find a lot of photos for reference, but I would also often use scale model instructions. If you’re planning to do a real vehicle, check if there is a scale model of it (most likely there is). Instructions always help me a lot with figuring out geometry and details!
I started selling assets over 1.5 years ago and I still remember the joy of earning $1.50 for the first sold asset. Obviously it was not because of the money, but the fact that someone actually was willing to pay for my art and probably is going to use it somewhere. Since then I created over 40 assets for marketplaces and I think it greatly influenced me as an artist, as it forced me to take my props to the very end every time I created one. My first sold item was a very basic, low-poly, hand-painted sword. You don’t need to start big!
That’s always difficult subject to handle and I think I still haven’t figured this out completely. For small assets I would set price $2.50 per hour of my work (hoping to sell multiple copies over time), but with vehicles I would usually lower the price to around $25-50, which seems to be a good spot for game-ready things. Of course it’s always a good idea to look for similar assets in the stores and try to match the price. Don’t undercut other artists though; “fight” with quality of your work, not prices.
Promoting Your Art
Personally I don’t believe in aggressive marketing – putting everywhere ads, banners, self-promotion posts on facebook groups and so on. Instead I always try to provide value for people I’m interacting with, giving constructive criticism, sharing their stuff and giving advice when they ask for it. That way you create not followers, but friends, who would gladly assist you when you need help. A great platform for such things is Discord, where I’ve met many amazing people!
Increasing Your Sales
I’m surely not an expert but there are some tricks I could share, which could help you get started:
- Find a niche, where demand exceeds supply (that’s of course easier said than done, but I can point you in the direction of science-related stuff, food, and animals).
- Constantly work on improving your skills and make great use of it – your best chance is doing something that others can’t easily replicate.
- Don’t overthink it, though. In the end it’s more important to just create new content constantly.
- Provide additional texture variations, LODs, Unreal/Unity files and additional formats. You want your assets to be as flexible as possible and ready to use within different workflows.
- Take care of how you present your assets – that’s the first thing your potential client will see.
- Be patient. It took me over 2 months to sell my first assets, and that’s perfectly normal. The more assets you create the more visibility and reputation you will get.
- Make sure you constantly have fun with it! The most beautiful part of selling assets is that you can choose what you create and have full control about the final effect, so don’t dive into subjects that seems boring to you, only because someone said it is best way.
Sketchfab is always my go-to place to present my work, and being able to sell assets here directly is a huge thing! Things I value the most are how easy direct contact with the customer is and the ability to closely inspect the asset before buying with all the amazing tools Sketchfab has. I really hope it will become one of the biggest players on the market soon, and I strongly advise you to try putting your work up for sale. Even if you won’t sell something immediately I think that being forced to make finished, production ready assets is a very valuable skill and you can learn a lot that way!