Xeno Creatives Artist Spotlight: Dmitriy Potapov

by Joshua Diokno   

At the young age of 29 and two and a half years worth of experience in the industry, Mr. Dmitry Potapov has already proven to be a seasoned digital artist. He graduated from XYZ school and Sculpt Art School and is currently working as a Senior 3D Character Artist at AXLEBOLT studio.

Xeno Creatives has been fortunte enough to talk to Mr. Dmitry Potapov to get to know how he started in the industry, how he has positioned himself in it, and what’s in store for him moving forward.

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?

Dmitriy Potapov (DP): It’s definitely true, 3D is more than just a way for me to make money! I realized that I wanted to do this when I saw a timelapse of 3D character creation on YouTube and really wanted to try my hand at it. After I bought my first tablet for 30 bucks and spent a month in Zbrush, I realized that I wanted to connect my life to this craft.

XC: What was it that got you interested in 3D art? Did you ever plan on taking it seriously initially?

DP: I really like that my profession in general is similar to an RPG game, where you are a character and you have a set of skills and it’s up to you what skills you want to “leveling”. I think that almost from the very beginning I began to take 3D seriously and systematically spent a lot of time on this activity.

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

DP: I am happy with the results that I achieved in 2 and a half years, but I understand that my skills are far from my ideal, so I want improve my skills further.

XC: What does your pipeline usually look like in a typical production? What are the common challenges a 3D artist like you encounters in a project?

DP: My responsibilities include creating characters based on 2D concepts from high poly model to texturing, including all intermediate technical stages. Creating characters for video games involves many aspects where things can go wrong and most importantly, when something doesn’t work out, just don’t give up and keep doing it, look for alternative ways to solve a problem.

XC: What would you consider your biggest or most exciting project to date? Could you tell us a little bit about it?

DP: I think for now my most difficult and complex project was for the ArtStation challenge Back&Forth “Femail Warrior Lina”. The difficulty was due to the fact that I have a full-time job and tied to a tight deadline. Nonetheless, I made it on time.

XC: Your works at ArtStation are true visual treats. We really love your concepts–you find a way to make the otherwise known icons as your own. On top of that, we like how you render shadows to give each concept more depth and life. However, we gotta ask: which among your works are you most proud of and why?

DP: Thank you for the warm words, appreciate it!

Now I like my latest project “Moon” the most. I like how I was to one degree or another able to translate the 2D concept into 3D space. However, I do have one peculiarity. After publishing any of my works on ArtStation, a few days later, I would notice a lot of my shortcomings and would begin to self-criticize. I simply can’t help it.

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

DP: I think that my advantage is the speed of learning; if I want to learn something, I devote myself completely to it from morning to evening. And also I always bring all projects to completion and always keep my word to the customer.

XC: How do you think digital art-generating AI technology will impact digital artists and the 3D art industry in the long run? Is it a helpful tool or an insidious threat to the future of your craft?

DP: In my opinion, AI is more of a benefit than a threat. Progress cannot be stopped, and in the future I see AI as an excellent help for artists. Probably someday it will be possible not to do retopology manually, but this is not certain.

XC: What is your message for your fellow digital artists and those aspiring to be a part of the industry in these challenging times?

DP: No matter how trivial it may sound, the most important thing is consistency, patience and perseverance. Set yourself a goal and keep moving towards it. If you are unable to find a job in the industry or realize your idea, then you need to systematically continue to stand your ground and make efforts, and ultimately you will get what you want.

Want to see more of Dmitriy Potapov’s amazing works? You can visit his ArtStation and Instagram accounts.

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