Good Enough is Never Enough: Mr. Gabriel Bona’s Continuous Journey to Become the Artist He Wants to Be

by Joshua Diokno   

Any artist would know that satisfaction only means you’ve gotten through one level–that the work is never done, there is always room for improvement.

Then there is a notion that artists see their works as their children and that they would not choose favorites as all are equally lovable as they are fruits of their love. But what could it possibly mean when an artist thinks that his or her works are not good enough? Is it a betrayal of their talents? With Mr. Gabriel Bona, the answer is NO.

Mr. Bona is one who is not easily pleased with his own efforts. Not that he is a perfectionist, he just recognizes that he can be better. And isn’t that how every artist should be? Isn’t art supposed to reflect human’s advancement in their sense of aesthetics? Mr. Bona is exemplar of what artists should strive to be: constantly wanting to be more, always innovating.

So let’s take a look at Mr. Bona’s experiences and motivations that led him to become the amazing digital artist that he is.

Xeno Creatives (XC): ZBrush innovated the 3D industry. But it does take a lot of learning to get used to. What processes did you have to go through to work efficiently with it? How did ZBrush help you in your craft?

Gabriel Bona (GB): Well, for me, ZBrush is fundamental. It was the first 3D software I’ve used and it is crucial on my workflow. The fact that I started in ZBrush makes it much easier for me to integrate it on my workflow since it has always been part of it.

XC: When did you decide you’d be using ZBrush as your main medium? Do you want to just focus on it or do you still have other media in mind?

GB: ZBrush was my beginning and it will be part of my workflow until somebody creates something better. But ZBrush is only a part of the process. I do not have interest in anything not related to game art as a professional. As an artist, I’m always going back to my traditional roots which is drawing.

XC: How about other media that you have already used or are currently using? What are these?

GB: My family has a huge drawing and painting background, so it was natural for me to draw my entire childhood. Drawing has become much more rare for me nowadays since I rather sculpt or study something related to 3D. But it is always handy to have a pencil and a paper, as observation skills translate throughout many different mediums.

XC: How did you start with 3D art? Was it a real passion to begin with, a mere pastime, or just a job for you?

GB: Well, 3D started for me last year, April 2016. That was when I met my great friend Andre Castro and he showed me ZBrush. That was when I discovered my purpose and my passion, especially when I started studying game art-related subjects.

XC: Your works online shows your utter originality and eye for detail. They are really promising. We know it’s going to be a tough question but do you have favorite pieces? What are these and why?

GB: I Don’t like any of my art, they are not even near the result I want to achieve, so I’d say they are all equally bad, but that is not a problem for me. I know it is part of the process of becoming great. I just try my best and to push the results further in each piece.

Definitely my last piece (My D3-inspired wizard) is the one I hate less atm.

XC: Who do you consider your influences? What attracted you to them?

GB: As all artists, I have big influences from top artists from big studios but they are not as important to me as the people that stand by my side everyday. And these people are fundamental to me being the wannabe artist I am today.

The two key persons in my life are Andre Castro, my brother from another mother and mentor, and  Rafael Souza, a man that can not be described with words. These two guys are eternally in my heart; everything I achieved in my life has been possible thanks to them.

It is also extremely important to mention all my great friends that work with 3D as well, without them everything would be much harder, we are a family, these people are: Micael Oliveira, Gabriel Dionisio, Alex Renner, Eduard Oliver, Elisa Moraes, Fabio Nishikata, Felipe Chaves, Gabriel Maciel, Gustavo Medeiros, Luana Bueno, Marcello Zibetti, Ricardo Luiz Mariano and Victor Kallahan. They are my true inspiration.

My next big influence is Blizzard Entertainment, I’ve been playing Blizzard games since I was a kid and it definitely led me into this path.

XC: What other pieces do you still want to create?

GB: When I’ve decided to focus on game character art I put something in my mind: that I wanted to become the best character artist in the world–that I would be able to do any type of character. The harder the better, realistic, stylized, it doesn’t matter, it only needs to be as good as possible. And since I like almost all kinds of themes it is no problem for me to be diverse in the types of character I do. That is also great because I have a lot of inspiration from different artists with different styles. So, expect anything coming from me 😀

XC: Has working for television and film ever crossed your mind?

GB: Not really, I appreciate a lot of artists that work in the movies, they are phenomenal. But my thing is real time, game characters.

XC: Your works will look really AWESOME in a VIDEO GAME. I hope it’s all right to ask, are you working on a game? If you are not, do you see yourself being immersed in Game Character Design?

GB: I’m currently not. I’m focusing on my studies atm so I can increase my work possibilities. I want to work in a AAA studio of course, specially because I dream of being part of an awesome art team.

XC: If you weren’t a 3D artist today, what do you think you’d be working as instead?

GB: For me it is either 3D or 3D, no other options.

XC: What advice or message can you give aspirants wanting to enter the craft/industry?

GB: Well my advice is pretty simple, do what you love, no matter what happens. Always follow what your heart tells you because sometimes our brain is the stupid one. Oh, and study a lot.

Mr. Gabriel Bona, we are grateful for allowing us an interview. Hearing your story inspires us to be better. We hope that more artists will be motivated to innovate and upgrade their attitude in producing art.

Want to see more of Mr. Gabriel Bona’s works? Click here!

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