Julio Cesar Benavides: Gently Treading the Path to Mastery

by Joshua Diokno   

Mr. Julio Cesar Benavides knows how it is to tread along the difficult path of mastering the digital craft. And he had done so gently.

He didn’t have it easy. Fact of the matter is, he had to learn the software on his own, something that we find truly amazing as it is indicative of an artist who is genuinely dedicated to his craft.

Let us get to know Mr. Benavides in this short feature by Xeno Creatives and be inspired to be better in our own craft.

Xeno Creatives (XC):  ZBrush technology brought a lot to the industry. What processes did you have to learn to be skilled in it?

Julio Cesar Benavides (JCB): ZBRush is a wonderful program in terms of creating 3D sculptures and I had to study it rigorously. I was dedicated to understanding, anatomy, anime, cartoons, robotic parts, topology, and several production processes since my work is printing. I had to set standards to prepare a piece so that it can be printed with the same quality as the digital model. I read a lot about my character and I try to understand its anatomy and expressions.

XC:  As a dedicated artist how did ZBrush help you further your art?

JCB: A lot! Every day, I look at works of amazing international artists on Pixologic. I think right now I can’t be considered expert. I still have a lot to learn. I learn a lot about the software everyday as I would want to learn more on how to create human figures, robots, plants, animals, cars, and the like through ZBrush.

XC: Was your craft really a passion to begin with, a hobby, or a mere job?

JCB: Actually, before getting my hands on the digital arts, I worked as a bartender, a waiter, a delivery man, jobs that had nothing to do with this industry. However, I always liked to draw by hand. One day while surfing the net, I stumbled on certain works of someone who guided me and inspired me to pursue the craft. Mr. Daniel Bel’s art is beautiful, worthy of emulation. However, while watching how he went about producing one of his works online, news reached me that an uncle of mine had died. Realizing that my life is short, I dedicated the next 3 months to learning the software. Afterwards, I got my first job. It has been a year and 6 months since then and up to this point, I still keep learning and discovering new things about the software.

 Of course a part of it is getting criticisms from people and I think I have gotten a fair share of them. Despite these, I kept pushing, with my great artists being my main motivation.

XC: Given your experience in the industry, what do you think is your edge as a 3D artist?

JCB: I think one of my advantages is that I have tried to work and develop myself as a generalist. By this, I mean that I do not discriminate against different subjects. This had helped me develop in sculpting. It had allowed to exercise my powers in producing works of greater detail.  What I deem a disadvantage is that I am still new to this and definitely have a lot to learn but I am definitely motivated.

XC:  Whom do you do you consider your influence(s)?

JCB: My main influence, as I have already mentioned, is the great artist and a personal friend Daniel Bel.  While he is always busy, he finds time to answer all my questions and critique my works in all honesty. Another important person who had helped me develop in the area of robotic parts was Alejandro Castiblanco a digital artist who had given me greater understanding of the 3D world. He had gone from being my mentor to a great friend. Another person who influenced me when I started in all this, was Andre Castro. His works are impressive and I remember that he taught me things that, to this day, continue to surprise me.

XC:  So far, what were the challenges that you had encountered working in the 3D industry?

JCB: Too many. The first challenge that I encountered was understanding topology to create robotics. Another was understanding the software because I practically learned alone. The major challenge however was, in my country, nobody gave me work as I don’t have any prior studies and experience.

XC:  What is your most exciting project to date?

JCB: Rogue! That’s’ a personal fan art work. I used all my skills and put all my effort on it. And people seem to have liked it. Despite not being able to sleep while doing that, I was really happy with the turnout. You may have finished tired, but when you view the reaction of the people, the feeling is so positive that you are motivated to push further.

XC: Do you have any advice to aspiring artists?

JCB: Of course, never stop dreaming! This was told to me by this the artist whom I truly admire and I take this to be true. Despite the possible criticisms and bashing, keep producing work. Do not stop learning. I had to learn on my own and realized that I really have to keep studying to improve on anatomy.

Also, I think being disciplined and good at what you do takes a positive attitude so that your work will see the fruits of what you aspire to achieve. Never get discouraged.

Want to see more of Mr. Julio Cesar Benavides’ awesome works? Click here!

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