The Art of Mr. Roberto Chaudon: On Discovering His Passion and Making a Contribution to the Industry
Coming from the traditional discipline of sculpting, Mr. Roberto Chaudon is an artist who knows the fundamentals of any visual art craft. He brings to the table a certain perspective that not all digital artists are privy to. And at his age of 55, we are completely amazed with how he had kept on doing what he does and his wealth of wisdom that he imparts to the ever-changing digital art landscape.
Xeno Creatives has nothing but respect for artists like Mr. Chaudon who not only was able to adjust well into the advances made by the industry, but make a great contribution to it.
We are pleased to bring this online interview to introduce to you Mr. Roberto Chaudon.
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?
Roberto Chaudon (RC): I’ve always loved doing things with my hands, like drawing, playing with putty and the like. I remember when I was 5 years old my favorite class was the one called “clay course”, I still remember the smell of the materials. I had the chance to be selected to participate in a creative atelier in the primary school when I was about 11 years old. It was a place where you could do many things such as modelling, painting, assembling etc., that atelier was like being in paradise!
One day I went to visit some ateliers close to my home. I joined the sculpting, painting and ceramic ones and as I liked the experience so much, I decided to study at a Fine Arts school. Two years after, I travelled to Europe where I got to create miniatures and start playing a strategic war game. Then I sculpted some models, among them a Beast Man. A friend of mine saw it and told me to participate in a widely-recognized contest in Paris. It was the Golden Demon in 2005 where I had the chance to win a prize. I met many people there and some asked me to sculpt models to sell and that was the professional starting point for me for doing miniatures.
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?
RC: It was quite an experience to try a digital program to create things which motivated me to go into the digital industry. At the beginning it was a bit strange, but also exciting as I come from traditional sculpting. You know, at the moment of creating, where you can see the work in actual 3D in your hands change that is when I realize that I am able to express myself creatively. For instance, I am able to perform speedy sketches or quick mock-up of figures and creatures which are solely from my imagination. I must say that after experiencing some time doing digital pieces it’s clear for me that traditional sculpting and digital are very different. However, I can’t necessarily say that I’m sculpting when I work with my computer, I feel it more like to be drawing which I love to do as well. So after being a traditional sculptor specializing in miniatures for many years, I decided to go into digital full time about two years ago. It has been such an amazing experience, the opportunity to learn something different is always great. Now I live off rendering figures, creatures, and monsters to be 3D printed for companies and collectors.
XC: Now that you’re an active part of the industry, would you say you have pegged a solid place in it?
RC: This is a tricky question. I’m not sure because it’s not so much time ago that I started to do digital but on the other side I have work constantly since and I think the people who has had trusted me is happy of what I’ve done for them. This is the most important thing for me.
XC: How does your day look like in production?
RC: I always work a lot, I normally start working after a good breakfast 🙂 Afterwards, I can go for many hours until night time. It depends on what I have to do, 8 hours is the least and about 16 hours maximum for a working day. My breaks are spread across the day of course. At times I am simply motivated to get out of bed to work.
When I was doing traditional sculpture I found that working not so many hours (about 6-7 a day) was better as I could concentrate deeper and the quality and quantity of the work I produce would be the same. I’d be less tired as well. However, with digital, I feel I can work longer before feeling tired.
XC: What are the common challenges that a 3D artist like you encounters day-in, day-out in a project?
RC: There is always a nice challenge when starting a new project. For instance, when it’s a commission, I normally have a sketch illustration or a written idea that I follow. The difficulty is to be able to translate and pass the message that the piece wants to convey. At first you need to get the closest to your client’s requirement and then (and this is what I like very much), you input your brand: the way you treat shapes, volume, profiles, textures, approach of lighting etc. as these configure into “your style”. Sometimes, it is not possible to put all your ideas in one piece. It’s a case-to-case basis and that in itself is another challenge.
When it’s a personal project, it’s like being in front of a white canvas; you are given the creative freedom.
There is also the aspect of deadlines. Fortunately for me I have yet to experience a stressful situation; I shall try to be ready when this happens.
XC: We have had the chance of seeing your works online. And we must say we were really impressed. But among your works, do you have favorite pieces? If so, what would these be and why? Also, what would you consider your biggest or most exciting project to date?
RC: You have placed me in a tough situation here: you are asking me to choose an offspring among my children! Seriously, there have been models I consider to have given me a particular learning experience, but all of them are of equal importance as I put all my efforts and enthusiasm when I was creating them.
Probably what I can name as my favourite is this dragon head I did some time back. Why this one? Because I remember how deep I was into it when giving shape to the main structure (auto symmetry helps a lot to save time) when trying to give it an interesting expression. Working on the textures was fun as well. As it was one of my first models, I found it to be one of the most memorable. I can also name this Beastman figure/bust that I did – it was the first time I could get both executions from one idea with slight changes. There are many others, the Alchemists, the different dragons I’ve created, the Horseman of Death, and the Celestial Leviathan, all of them have a particular feeling to me. To choose one as the biggest or most exciting project I’d have to leave to the people.
XC: If you were to market yourself what would you highlight as your edge?
RC: Consistency and the will to create will always remain to be my edge.
XC: If you weren’t a 3D artist today, what would you be working as?
RC: In that case maybe I would try to live by coming back to fine arts, or being a professional photographer as I like these very much as well.
XC: What is your message to other artists especially in these challenging times?
RC: It’s ironic as I can see not only through my experience, but with other friends with the actual situation there are not much change about what we are happily doing. However, this does nt mean we are totally safe or alien to what is happening in the world so my advice is to carry on, to work very hard and always try to be better not only as an artist but as a person. Act with the best will, be optimistic and show solidarity with others.