Sarah Petruzzi: From Sheer Interest to Unshakable Passion

by Joshua Diokno   

A degree holder in the field of set design for Theatre and Cinema alongside a Master’s degree in Set Design for Cinema at the Albertina Academy of Fine Art and 3D at Imasterart, Miss Sarah Petruzzi is a well-rounded and versatile artist. But it’s just not her adamant pursuit of higher education that had armed her of the skills. Miss Petruzzi’s interest had been cultivated into a passion through years of exposure inside and outside of the academy.

And boy are we glad she pursued the digital craft. Having worked at the FCTP Film Commission Piemonte and presently working at Alps VFX, Miss Petruzzi had indeed broken the industry through talent and perseverance. Let us get to know more about her today through this short and insightful feature.

Xeno Creatives (XC): We understand that with just about any craft, passion takes precedence. In your case, was it ever a passion to begin with? Would you consider it a “calling”? 

At the beginning, I was confused. I wasn’t sure about the exact path to pursue, not because I was not passionate enough, but I was completely fascinated by all kinds of art, especially digital art. 

Sarah Petruzzi (SP): Creating things from literally nothing is something I can’t describe. It makes me dream–gives voice to my thoughts and words on paper. Above all, making characters is one of the most interesting things to me in this marvellous digital world. I’ve never considered it a calling because I genuinely love it and I’ve never asked myself “why” or “how”, I enjoy it, I can’t help it.

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

SP: While I was studying to become a 3D general artist, I had to take some exams, one of them was about creating a full body character. The preparation period of the project was the most difficult but also the most exciting. That’s when I realized I was willing to finish the master course but almost certain I had found my passion and my future job. Probably my passion for human figures and the tons of art I used to look at every day have played a part.

I started off with little companies and private clients from the video game industry as both 3D artist and motion designer. After that, I began working for Alps VFX studio at the beginning of 2020.  

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

SP: We can’t be sure about anything. I just know that I will always be honest and do my best and this, at the end of the day, I reckon it will eventually pay off. I also love to be involved in different projects or a new challenging task, learn new skills and explore new techniques. Changing paths at some point would be interesting. However I am good where I am now, I don’t ask for more “solidity”, I like surprises !

XC: How does your day look like in production?

SP: Since the pandemic started, I was forced to stay home and work remotely. There are cons and pros of course. I am not alone in being obliged in turning my home into an office.  But I have no complaints; I find it comfortable some days. Early in the morning, I check my schedule on our studio’s portal and then start working. Sometimes we have online meetings, calls, and deadlines to respect. Sometimes I need to address reviews before moving on to the next piece. After a day of work, I usually study new things, prepare some lessons for upcoming online classes, or work on a  personal project. 

XC: What are the common challenges that a 3D artist like you encounters day-in, day-out in a project?

SP: Everyday is a new challenge! This is one of the things that makes me love this job. Each day, I face different tasks that require specific approaches. As this is the case, I need to think outside the box, learn new things, and become more versatile. It’s just not about finding the best solution to any problem, but also refining the quality of my projects.

XC: Getting the chance to see your works online was such a visual treat. Your concepts are just as amazing as your eye for detail. How do you go about creating them? Is there a personal routine that you follow before working?

SP: My inspiration comes from everywhere. Sometimes from an image,  a movie, or a phrase I’ve read somewhere, or even an idea that I don’t know where I got from exactly. Oftentimes, it’s from something that I want to express through visual form. I don’t have a precise routine before working. I just know that I am a very curious person so I like to read up, I am an observer of details, but also of the whole form, and I don’t like procrastinating.

XC: Do you have favourite pieces amongst your works? If so, what made them your favourite? 

SP: I don’t have a favourite piece amongst my works. My favourite piece probably will be the next one and It’ll be my favourite until I make a new one! Just kidding! I don’t really know as I am too critical of myself, plus, even though I don’t appreciate them enough they all have a strong meaning to me beyond the technique. I leave it to you to decide which is your favorite!

XC: What would you consider your biggest or most exciting project to date?

SP: I am quite thrilled for the project I am working on right now at Alps VFX actually! We are working on this big international project that we are really excited about. We are to disclose the details around it pretty soon, so you gotta keep your eyes peeled for that!

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

SP: Probably the ability to be flexible, to adapt to requests, learn fast, and be versatile in working despite having certain strengths and other preferable workflows. 

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

SP: I’ve always loved working for movies or anything that involves art. I have worked as a set designer assistant for a while, and I liked it. Maybe I’d try to cross over and be an actress in another life.

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

SP: First of all, I really hope this period will be over soon. It’s a blow to the whole art world, as well as for other fields. Maybe for digital artists, it’s a bit less tough however, because we have the possibility of working from home, which is of course, not funny as it prevents us from interacting with the team and learning from each other. We can carry on with production at least. In the end, I invite you to keep up the good work! We will be back stronger and healthier than before! Maybe we will be even kinder to each other.

Want to see more of Miss Sarah Petruzzi’s awesome works? Click here!

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