Valeriya Voronina: From Childhood Inclination to Serious Artistic Passion


by Joshua Diokno   

A young mind is easy to shape. You give it a nudge in a certain direction and it will keep pushing toward it even against the strongest of hurdles. In her youth, 3D artist Ms. Valeriya Voronina already knew her inkling toward the digital arts, it had only been solidified through her parents’ eager guidance and her father’s love for videogames.

Ms. Voronina grew into an artist who recognizes that it is experience that builds one and that she, like many others of her talent and calibre, has a lot more to learn. And what we really admire about Ms. Voronina is that while she values the pursuit of perfection, she places importance on personal wellness and mental health.

In this feature, let us get to know Ms. Valeriya Voronina and see how at the young age of 21 is able to position herself in the 3D industry.

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”?

Valeriya Voronina (VV): As far back as I can remember, I have always been fond of everything related to the visual arts. My parents noticed this tendency and from childhood helped me develop in the right direction. Already in the process of studying the artistic base and the history of art, I realized that I wanted to connect my life with it.

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?

VV: I was very impressed when my dad first showed me a selection of works by digital artists such as Leo Hao and Dmitry Prozorov. I realized that digital art opened up many opportunities for creativity and started to explore it as well. I also vnetured into 3D graphics thanks to my dad, with his passion for videogames. I loved looking at 3D environments and characters. Hence, by the time I graduated from university, I already knew for sure that I would be a 3D artist.

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

VV: So far, I would say, not yet. I am just finishing finalizing my portfolio and starting my path as a young specialist.

XC: How does your day look like in production?

VV: Now that I work from home, my day is as routinal as possible. I get up in the morning, drink my favorite strong coffee and start my work. The first hour I do something not very difficult to warm up a little, and then I get down to the main part of my to-do list. In general, I like to divide my large tasks into several small ones, so it’s much easier to manage them. So apart from taking short breaks to rest, the work day passes almost imperceptibly while addressing various concerns.

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

VV: Each new task is a kind of challenge, especially when you have a little experience. Of course, this becomes a great opportunity to learn something new, so I really appreciate it. In general, the most important challenge for me is to create a model that fully fits the 2D concept (if any), but at the same time that also looks quite expressive from any angle, like a good 3D model. It is also quite difficult to keep a balance between artistic beauty and necessary optimization.

XC: We had the most fortunate chance to see your works online and we must say they are tremendously impressive. We really admire your style. How do you go about creating your pieces? Is there a personal “ritual” that you follow before working?

VV: When working on my projects, I do nothing of significant difference or anything that may be seen as new. I believe that the most important thing when starting work is to create a good base for it, so we can say that my “ritual” is a thorough collection of various references that inspire me and later can help me quickly resolve any issues in the process. Also, I always devote a lot of time to initial blockout and silhouette check, as this is the key to good forms in the future.

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

VV: This is a bit of a difficult subject as every piece is my favorite while in the progress. However, some time after completion, I start to find many flaws in it. I mark them for myself and try to keep them in mind when working on my next favorite project. Such a vicious circle, haha

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

VV: It is hard to name something specific. I think that the Blackout level is one of my biggest and most complex projects for now. There were a lot of components to do, such as modeling the environment, following a full pipeline of game-ready character creation, as well as importing everything into the game engine and setting up the scene and the light in it. It took me quite a long time, but it was a very valuable experience.

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

VV: I would note that both technical and artistic components are always very important in my works. This is even more significant since I work mainly with stylized characters. I try to pay enough attention to ensuring that the model has some artistic value, to maintain harmony and flow of the forms, to choose matching colors and materials etc.

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

VV: I haven’t really thought about it. It was obvious for me for a long time that I will be trying myself in working with 3D creation. Perhaps I would work in the field of 2D art or graphic design, or maybe with foreign languages (I grew up north of Russia and studied Norwegian and English for a long time).

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

VV: Everyone knows that it is very important to set goals and achieve them with a sufficient amount of perseverance despite all the difficulties. But this statement also has a downside. From my own experience, I can say that sometimes when trying to do our best, we forget about everything around us and can sit in front of the computer for many hours and even days in pursuit of perfection. This is especially true in the context of a general lockdown.

I want to say that during this time I realized how important it is to observe the work and rest schedule, take breaks on time and have physical activity in your daily routine. It sounds corny, but it really can make us much more productive and active. Our physical and mental health is very important to us! Stay healthy and good luck!

3D artist Ms. Valeriya Voronina is a graduate of a Bachelor’s degree from Saint-Petersburg State University of Industrial Technologies and Design. You may see more of her works here!

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