The Artist of the Month for December 2018 is teyon.
Renderosity members have voted teyon the December 2018 Artist of the Month. Teyon was nominated from the 3D Modeling Gallery. He lives in New York City and is a self-taught artist. He writes in his Renderosity bio; "sketches right on down to the big 3D. My first love of comics, cartoons and anime have heavily influenced me."
Teyon joined Renderosity in 2000 so he's been a member for almost 20 years!
We congratulate teyon for winning the Artist of the Month and thank him for taking the time to chat with us about his life and work. You can also read his bio on his artist page at Renderosity.
Be sure to watch the video gallery of 10 of teyon's magical 3D creations.
Interview with Artist of the Month - teyon
Renderosity: Congratulations, teyon, for being voted the artist of the month!
teyon: Thank you! That's really awesome and unexpected.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your creative background?
teyon: My name is Teyon Alexander and I am an entirely self-taught artist. I have always wanted to be an artist professionally but never seemed to time things right to take classes to do so. I taught myself 3D and posted my work here, where it was seen by folks at LEGO and e frontier America, both of which led to me getting paid work as an artist. Since starting 3D, I have worked as a character and content artist at e frontier and Smith Micro Software on Poser, Anime Studio/Moho, MotionArtist, Sock Puppets and other things. I'm currently working at Avalanche Studios as a character artist on the video game Just Cause 4 (releasing December 4th!).
How would you describe your style?
teyon: I would say I have a comic book sensibility to my style or at least my approach to all my art, as I had originally planned on being a comic book artist. So it's realistic but still stylized in a way. I had heavy influences from Jim Lee, Dave Gibbons, Moebius, Frazetta, Barry Windsor-Smith and others. I think I bring all of that to both my 2D and 3D work.
Where do you find your inspiration?
teyon: In my personal work, I usually just sit in front of the screen and let things happen. Occasionally I'll have a specific body part or design I've made that I'd like to explore but even then, the ideas there don't survive first contact with my tablet. I let the art guide me as opposed to forcing my will on it. Sometimes that can backfire though, lol. At work, we have concept artists or character briefs (where you get a paragraph and do your own concepting) so it's a bit more guided than what I do at home.
What’s the most important tool you use for your work? Why?
teyon: ZBrush without question. I create characters. Some human, some not but all require some level of realism - even the toons need to feel like they could exist in some alternate reality. Without ZBrush to sculpt out ideas or refine ones already made, it'd be a lot harder to get the work I do done.
How has your own work changed over the years? Where do you think it’s headed?
teyon: One of the reasons I love having my Renderosity Gallery is that I can look back on my growth as an artist. I think I've gone from a guy who really wanted to make monsters and scary creatures in 3D, regardless of if the design made any logical sense, to a guy who strives to make everything he creates seem like a real breathing thing.I pay more attention now to anatomy, even with my aliens and monsters - they need to feel like their body parts serve clear functions and have underlying muscles and bones guiding those functions. In a way, I guess, the creations I make are less whimsical and free in design but are the better for it if that makes sense. Hopefully, I will continue down this path and be capable of creating characters so realistic as to be mistaken for actual living things. I'm close, I think. Not there yet though.
If you could have dinner with any artist, living or dead, who would it be and why?
teyon: Can I pick two? One from each discipline (2D and 3D)? I'd love to have dinner with Gio Nakpil and just pick his brain - the man is amazing at creating believable forms in 3D - even in VR. It'd be great to hear more of his current approach, as he was one of the people I was inspired by in my move from 2D to 3D. If not Gio (or in addition to Gio), I'd love to have dinner with - hmm, deciding on a 2D guy is harder than I thought - Jack Kirby. I think talking to the King would really enlighten me on both my design choices and on what it was like to help create two comic book universes.
Thank you again for this honor. I appreciate you all so much.