Form and Content: Why Mr. Girish Srinivasagopalan is an Artist We All Want To Be
Mr. Girish Srinivasagopalan is an artist who successfully fuses form with content. No, we are not just talking about his art pieces—which are, by the way, spectacular. We are referring to how he had conducted himself in learning Zbrush. When we say he is an exemplar of how form justifies content, we are saying that he is not all talk—he is the real deal.
While this is the case, Mr. Srinivasagopalan is grounded. Humble. He is the guy whom you want to be not just because he’s cool, but because he has an advocacy; he has something to say and bring to the table.
And we here at Xeno Creatives couldn’t be more appreciative that we were given the chance of an interview. The visual arts discipline and the game development industry are two entities so tight-knit that to find someone who embodies both can be seen as a thespian—no matter how pop the discipline.
Here, we get to learn a thing or two from Mr. Girish Srinivasagopalan on how it’s like to hold your own in an industry that is constantly caught in change.
Xeno Creatives (XC): ZBrush technology is one of the most noteworthy innovations in the industry. And unlike producing visual art by the most rudimentary of tools to other 3D art-producing platforms, with Zbrush, a great deal of technical know-how is required. What processes did you have to learn to be skilled in it? As a dedicated artist, are you finding yourself to be more productive with the software?
Girish Srinivasagopalan (GS): There isn’t a day where I don’t use ZBrush for Games Art. I cannot stress enough how important ZBrush is for production. ZBrush is a software that looks complicated at first, but seamlessly falls into the artist’s workflow as time passes. I personally find it easier to implement my ideas immediately on ZBrush rather than sketching it on paper. It’s just fantastic for production as we can quickly test a character design in game instead of going through the entire character pipeline. It’s a fantastic software that has revolutionized the workflow in multiple industries. The technical know-how in Zbrush can vary on the industry it is used. The work pipeline can change dramatically from game character art to jewelry design. Sometimes these technical practices can be used across industries and henceforth advisable to expand ones’ knowledge in Zbrush.
XC: How did your decision to pursue Zbrush come about? Can you see yourself expanding to other media or do you want to just focus on it?
GS: My decision to pursue Zbrush is out of pure passion for character art. ZBrush is my first choice of software to use. After working in the games industry for over 5 years, I personally find it easier to keep the technicalities aside and focus on pure character design and art. This is something that I always wanted an Art software to be. I’m currently trying to expand my skills into 3D Printing as I find it incredibly interesting and would like to see my character designs come to life in the real world as a statue or a toy.
XC: How is it integral to be masterful in human anatomy when working with Zbrush?
GS: Learning art (especially anatomy) is always an ongoing process. I find anatomy incredibly important irrespective of which industry one works for. I would go as far as to say that even for stylized characters, anatomy knowledge is vital. Even though it is really tempting to add so much details on the sculpt, one has to get the proportions and the basic structure of the human body/animal. Otherwise, the whole character can fall apart and look strange.
XC: Do you see yourself lending your talents to the movie and television industry?
GS: I don’t know what the future holds for me but I will always hold on to my passion for art. I would like to focus on game character art at the moment and wouldn’t mind if there is a movie/television project that would fall within my interest.
XC: Were there other media that you explored? What were these?
GS: Tradition art is something that I’m trying to get back at. Hence I’m focusing on oil paintings, life drawing sessions and so on. Also, I’m starting to learn sculpting for 3D Printing.
XC: Was your art a passion to begin with or just something needed to pay the bills?
GS: My passion for the arts is what drives my career. The gaming industry is huge and experiences vary from one studio to another. Honestly, there are times where it’s incredibly hard working in games but the passion and joy of working on character art is what pushes me forward.
XC: We genuinely admire your works posted on Facebook. It was difficult picking a favorite as they are all AWESOME. How about you, do you have favorite pieces? What are they and why?
GS: Producing art is a process that I enjoy as much as seeing the finished piece. Hence there are characters that I felt could have looked better at the end but I recognize that the learning process was incredibly fun. I enjoy all my works so far and appreciate it in light of the time that I had worked on it. As of now, my favorite would be Drowntown2.0 as I took it as a personal challenge to see my improvement in my art over the years. The work involved a lot of technical know-how—like the fur for instance. This is my first attempt in doing real-time fur and was a blast learning about it.
XC: Who or what can you consider as your influences? What attracted you to them?
GS: There is inspiration everywhere and it’s just important to notice them. Inspirations can come from a variety of sources like mythologies, entertainment, cartoons, books and everyday life. There are also artists who post their works online on platforms like ArtStation, ZBrushcentral, CGSocoiety and so on. I always tend to look for some ideas that I might be able to incorporate into my current character artwork or keep them as a reference for my future character endeavors.
XC: What other pieces do you want to create?
GS: I want to work on artworks that challenge me personally. I try to avoid doing similarly themed characters as I would like to work on an art style that pushes my boundaries. I personally believe this gives me a new perspective to workflow and makes me a better artist at the end of the day.
XC: Do you see yourself engaged in Game Character Design for the long term?
GS: Yes, absolutely! Game character design changes from game to game and from studio to studio. The combination of tech and art always interests me and never makes the job mundane.
XC: If you weren’t doing what you’re doing now, what do you think you’d be specializing in instead?
GS: I actually started working as a graphic/web designer back when I was in the University. I followed it up with a job in advertising and television production for a year. It was later that I found interest In character art for video games. Hence, to answer the question, I would still be working in some form of the art field.
XC: What advice or message can you give young aspirants wanting to enter the craft/industry?
Character art for video games is a highly-competitive field. The number of job openings is quite less compared to say, environment art. But this shouldn’t let anyone down. All it takes is a lot of practice and hard work. Openness to criticism is also really important. Keeping in mind that making video games is a team effort is key. Also, it is always advisable to participate in online art challenges as it helps in creating characters within a specific deadline and with community feedback.
Xeno Creatives would like to thank Mr. Girish Srinivasagopalan for the time he had given for this interview. We wish him all the best in his future endeavors.
To see more of Mr. Girish Srinivasagopalan’s art, click here!