Mr. Andre Yamaguchi: Why We Shouldn’t Let Go of Childhood Wants and Dreams
Rarely do childhood hobbies and interests take flight when a child grows up. Rarer is when it is made into the adult’s profession.
Sure, we’ve all heard it before: Dreams are made for those who sleep. Yep, you know it’s a line from a song, and just like a catchy song you keep hearing on the radio, a childhood interest grows on you when you keep at it. Yet, because we live in an economically-motivated world, few are those who pursue their passion. Practicality takes the forefront.
But such is not the case with our featured Zbrush artist. Mr. Andre Yamaguchi is bold. Courageous in that he chose to actualize a childhood dream. In a world saturated with self-affirmation and self-admiration, Andre chose to better himself to contribute to the visual arts. And we could not have been more inspired.
Mr. Yamaguchi was generous enough to give Xeno Creatives the time and the day for an interview. Here he shares his experiences and aspirations that are evident of his uncompromising passion and dedication to the craft.
Xeno Creatives (XC): We understand that being an artist such as yourself, you start with the very basic of tools for honing your craft. As such, what processes did you have to learn–given the technical know-how needed for Zbrush–to be well-versed in your discipline?
Andre Ymaguchi (AY): Zbrush is a very intuitive tool, I believe that a person with even just little artistic knowledge can already use the software. In my case, before moving on to Zbrush, I studied traditional modeling; I practiced on human anatomy. When I started with Zbrush I took a course in an arts school, then I did some online courses and looked for tutorials on the internet.
XC: When did you realize that you wanted to pursue Zbrush as your medium of expression? Would you want to expand to other media or do you want to focus on it?
AY: I realized that I needed to learn Zbrush to work with characters–that was what I wanted for my career. For the market this is very important because it was one of the essential processes for application in projects. In the future, I would like to learn other software to specialize in characters for games and cinematics.
XC: Have you tried your hands on other media? If so, what were these?
AY: Yes, I studied traditional sculpture and drawing.
XC: Did delving into the art start-off as a want or a necessity?
AY: I started in art for both reasons. First, because since I was a child I always wanted to work with something that involved art; it was always what I liked to do. The other reason was that I needed to work with something that I wanted for my future—although I recognized I needed to pay my bills and my college tuition to start my career.
XC: Seeing your portfolio online (specifically on Facebook and Art Station), was such a visual treat! Saying that these are amazing might not even justify our feelings of delight. We must say, we are in awe of the Orc from the “Art of Warcraft”, the Batman XE Suit for Prime One, and the Samurai just to name a few. Do you have favorite pieces? What are they and why?
AY: My favorite pieces are Soldier76 and the Orc. Both characters are from a company that I greatly admire which is Blizzard Entertainment. I’ve always wanted to model something of Blizzard because I’m a fan of their games and their designs. Soldier76 opened doors for me to the collectors’ market. The Orc on the other hand, was always something I wanted to do; this gave me considerable visibility in the community.
XC: Who or what can you consider as your influences? What attracted you to them?
AY: When I was younger, my inspiration came from games such as Diablo 2, Starcraft and Warcraft. After the world of 3D software became more accessible to me, my inspiration shifted to sites where I began to discover works by incredible artists such as Fausto De Martini, Kris Costa (Antropus), Alex Oliver, Wei Wang, Alessandro Baldasseroni, Bruno Camara and many other great names that if I mention here will occupy a great deal of space. What attracted me most to them was their preoccupation with the details and the complexity of their characters. These in turn motivated me to study–to try to reach their level one day.
XC: Are there any other pieces that you would want to create? What are these and why?
AY: Yes, there are a lot I would like to do. I want to make some warriors which is something I really enjoy doing and try to model some animals to study. It’s something I get to do very little.
XC: Apart from creating renders of characters across different pop culture universes, do you also see yourself delving into Game Character Design?
AY: Currently, the personal pieces I make serve to enhance my modeling skills; to apply in my current work which is rendering collectible pieces. But in the future I would like to learn more about Game Character Design, which is something I have no experience in.
XC: If you weren’t doing what you’re doing now, what do you think you’d be specializing in instead?
AY: I do not know, maybe something involving motorcycling, because that’s my other passion.
XC: What piece of advice or message can you give young aspirants wanting to enter the craft/industry?
AY: For those who are starting, the ideal is to join if you really love what you do. It is an area that requires much study and dedication.
Mr. Andre Yamaguchi is one whom we really admire. He’s a rarity and we couldn’t help but be motivated to pursue our aspirations.
For more of Mr. Andre Yamaguchi’s works, you can check out: https://www.artstation.com/andre301