Of Unconditional Love and Fervor for the Digital Craft: Mr. Tiago Zenobini’s Reflection on His Career

by Joshua Diokno   

With 4 years of experience as a 3D modeler and 3 years as a 3D sculptor, Mr. Tiago Zenobini is a well-rounded digital artist with plenty to say and plenty of love to dole out. As the digital art scene is caught in rapid evolution with its many innovations and fresh techniques, artists like Tiago know that the only thing they have for themselves is the fervor to keep learning, keep pushing. And while the road stretches farther from where it began, Tiago knows his roots; he knows his masters and he always places them in high esteem.

But while Tiago is not unlike the other artists we have had the pleasure of interviewing, he is one who is unafraid of detaching himself from the thick political climate. Tiago is here solely to better his art, a service much obliged and completely needed. And have seen the results, and by Odin’s beard, we are completely in awe.

Xeno Creatives (XC): We understand that with just about any craft, passion takes precedence. In your case, how did it start becoming a passion? Would we be right in assuming that you consider it a “calling” as a lot of your contemporaries do?

Tiago Zenobini (TZ): I believe it started in my childhood when I was already passionate about reading comics and drawing my favorite characters. When I realized that I could relive that nostalgia through my work with digital sculptures, that passion returned. At that point, I can say that I really love what I do.

On this being a calling, I totally agree. And by calling I understand it to be a union of several factors like biological, emotional, and even spiritual. So I consider myself lucky to have found my calling.

XC: Was there ever an art piece (digital or otherwise) or artist who served as a catalyst for your involvement in the craft? When did you get involved fully in the 3D industry?

TZ: Initially, comics and artists inspired me in my childhood, such as Joe Madureira, Jim Lee, Frank Frazetta, Alex Ross, Greg Capullo, Esad Ribic, Ariel Olivetti, Adri Granov, among others. And more recently I owe a lot to master Rafael Souza who inspired, instructed, and motivated me to embrace art (especially classical art) through his works, classes, and teachings. Later, other Brazilian artists such as Rafael Grassetti, Igor Castro, Glauco Longuini, Bruno Câmara, Kris Costa always served me as an artistic and professional reference. I got fully involved with the 3d industry in 2014 in my first job where I worked as a character modeler for games.

XC: Now that you’re an active part of the industry, would you say you have pegged a solid place in it?

TZ: I would like to say yes, but I feel that I am still conquering my space and that I have to evolve artistically and professionally further. I still have some professional goals that I would like to achieve before I can say that. And to be honest, I hope this feeling never changes as I consider it crucial to keep improving.

XC: How does your day look like in production?

TZ: I usually organize my production day the night before bedtime, setting some tasks and goals for the next day. It helps me start my production day already knowing what I have to do. So after a nice cup of coffee and a trip to ArtStation for inspiration, I start working on the tasks I set the night before. I often switch between projects during the day when necessary. If I have enough energy and time at night, I work on some personal projects and studies.

XC: What are the common challenges that a 3D artist like you encounters daily in a project?

TZ: Currently increasing my productivity and agility has been a challenge for me. Being more precise and objective in my day to day has been something I’m currently looking for. Another big challenge is to bring something new to art, as a lot has already been done and there are many great new artists coming up with good ideas. So it’s a challenge to stay up to date, creative and unique in this industry.

XC: Your works online are really impressive. You have a knack for detail and a good sense of anatomy. Do you have favorite pieces? If so, why are these your favorites? Also, what would you consider your biggest or most exciting project to date?

TZ: Thank you so much, I am grateful for your kind words about my work. Currently, my favorite piece I would say is the Joker on the throne produced by the amazing team at Tweeterhead. This is a piece that means a lot because it’s a character I love. I was part of an amazing team; it was a challenging job due to the number of elements and the end result was quite impressive.

But I also have a special fondness for my latest work so far (the X-23 piece), as she is my favorite female character and I was honored to receive the “blessing” from the original concept artist who inspired me, the amazing JeeHyung Lee.

XC: If you were to market yourself what would you highlight as your edge?

TZ: I admit I’m not very good at it, but I would say that I stand out for my passion and the desire to always make the best possible representation of these characters that I love so much and grew up with. So I always have a lot of respect for every character I work on and I know how much collectors appreciate that.

XC: If you weren’t a 3D artist today, what would you be working as?

TZ: I never thought about it, to be honest, but I would probably follow my parents’ medical career. In light of my taste in anatomy, maybe I would be a plastic surgeon working on making bodies more beautiful and aesthetic which is similar to my work, at least anatomically.

XC: What is your message to other artists in these challenging times?

TZ: Art is also made up of feelings and hard days bring a very powerful emotional charge which is great for artists, so I would say to focus your energies on art and avoid getting into arguments and political disagreements that lead to nothing, as it kills the inspiration and creativity left us mentally exhausted. If you have a strong opinion and cannot avoid exposing it, do as the great masters did and produce a work of art putting those ideas and opinions. You will certainly be doing something much more constructive and uplifting for the world, and your opinions will be much more relevant and heard.

Want to see more of Mr. Tiago Zenobini’s works? You may check out his ArtStation, Facebook, and Instagram accounts!

Mr. Tiago Zenobini is currently affiliated with Tweeterhead.

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