Hey fellow artists! I’m Ezgi, a 23-year-old freelance 3D artist from Germany, currently studying Game Art at university. Making stylized, hand-painted art is what I live for, and I’d like to tell you a little bit about my journey so far!
Just like many among us, I also stepped into the world of games in my childhood. My first game was “Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins” for the Game Boy Color, which was pretty much the reason I got stuck on gaming and everything related to that.
Throughout the years, games have heavily influenced my life, especially when it comes to creativity. When I started drawing, I eventually began drawing characters and levels of my favorite games. Still, I never thought about pursuing art as a career until the end of high school. Later, towards my graduation, I realized that I wanted to be able to be creative at my job. After some research, I stumbled upon Game Art, which united my two main interests. Coincidentally, there was a German university that offered Game Arts and was near my home.
After my graduation, I started to dive into portfolio creation without having a plan. It was basically a mess of traditional and digital 2D art that had little to nothing to do with Game Art. So, I completely changed my approach after getting rejected, which got me into 3D. My first attempts were basic low poly environments, but I was quickly introduced to the world of hand-painted 3D models, which was mind-blowing to me. It was the perfect combination of both worlds while being a new way to express myself and an opportunity to learn. Fast forward, I got rejected two more times before getting accepted at my current university. I even said to myself that I would give up after my third attempt, but I still had this driving force within me that kept me going. So, I kept learning and improving my portfolio constantly while having an unrelated full-time job.
It was a stressful time, but if my past journey has taught me anything, then it is—as cheesy as this may sound—to never give up and work hard to reach your goals. Even if it’s really demanding sometimes, even if it’s a long road, it will eventually get you there!
To this day, I continually come across so many inspiring and talented artists that I look up to. It makes me so happy to be able to give a new twist to stunning 2D concepts by turning them into 3D! Often, I find amazing illustrations and work with them, taking as much information from one image as possible, as was the case with my second stylized model. The original artwork was made by Shen YH.
Sometimes the artists include work in process images, or turnarounds, which is really helpful when modeling in 3D.
This next one was a fun side project I worked on whenever I had time next between working and university, but I eventually finished it. The awesome concept art for this project was made by haejoo and became one of my favorite projects that I have done so far!
The original artwork for the following project was based on an illustration by Matt Dixon. I thought it would be a nice twist if I displayed the scene as a snow globe as it was a fitting set up to do so.
When I started, I thought it was important to stick to the concept as closely as possible. I slowly learned that this isn’t the case at all! Adding your own personality to an already existing concept is a great way to improve your artistic vision and find your own style eventually! Keeping in mind that this is a long process that takes time, I, too, am still in the process of finding my own place.
So far, I also did not exclusively model environmental assets as I learned to enjoy modeling characters too. However, my character modeling was more of an experimental project than a direction I want to go in professionally.
Looking at my projects so far, and even though I still love to create hand-painted art, I have realized I want to break out of my comfort zone and try out new workflows, starting by including new software and using my own concepts more. Sculpting and procedural material creation are still a little bit scary for me. Nevertheless, I am on my way to dive into all the new and exciting techniques that are out there, holding opportunities to improve my art and work more efficiently!
During the last years of working creatively, there were a few challenges I have yet to overcome, one of the hardest ones being art blocks. It can be very frustrating to have a thousand ideas and yet have nothing feasible at all in the end. At the same time, when I find myself having a block, it is probably my mind and body begging for a break where it is needed to stop for a while.
The constant pressure easily overwrites our need to care for our mental well-being, especially when we feel guilty for not working 24/7, which is very harmful. Even if sometimes it may seem difficult to take a break, breaks are equally important as getting work done. We need to remind ourselves to break out of this habit and mindset as soon as we find ourselves step towards it. Getting your motivation and flow of ideas back is one of the greatest feelings there is, so grab yourself, your favorite drink, and a book or game, relax your mind, and be kind to yourself! 🙂
Sketchfab is your best friend.
I started to use Sketchfab when confronted with the question of how to display my models properly. Very quickly, I found out about Sketchfab and uploaded my very first model a few years later. It was so amazing being able to spin my work around and set it up to improve it visually.
Post-processing is my probably favorite tab when editing as it gives many different options to play around with and tailor the settings to present your model in the best way possible.
I have used Sketchfab a lot for inspiration and collecting references, still to this day! It is so easy to navigate and look at other people’s awesome work from all angles and distances. It is incredibly helpful being able to get detailed views when doing studies of a particular style, for example.
Finally, I am very grateful for this series and Sketchfab’s general support throughout the years, and I am delighted to have the opportunity to present my work here!