I came to CGVerse concept art school so I could learn how to create compelling scenes and kickstart my art learning experience.
He works as a freelance pixel artist on various projects and as a texture artist for Cyclone Designs and lately for Keytales studio.
746 Words written by Gabriel
~3 Minutes to read
My name is Gabriel Juárez. I am an aspiring concept artist in San Francisco. I came to CGVerse concept art school so I could learn how to create compelling scenes and kickstart my art learning experience.
When I was 10, I fell in love with the game, Minecraft, and it was through Minecraft that I learned how to be creative. I would love to play with the textures, to change things up and give them some personality. And, truth be told, I never shook my addiction to Minecraft. Even today I spend hours on pixel art for the game, and I have made many valuable companions and acquaintances through its community. For years, though, I was stuck in pixel art. While I always found other types of art interesting, I could never muster up the motivation to try these arts for myself. It was not until I sought a mentorship with CGVerse’s school would I finally venture out into more traditional art styles.
I explored various 3D and 2D techniques to build the scene.
Most art colleges in the States don’t offer courses for concept design. And the ones that do are way expensive!
CGVerse offered a cheap and practical program that could help me learn the skills I would need to create polished concept art. On top of all that, the mentorship structure seemed more appealing to me than traditional classes. One-on-one meetings with my mentor could allow me to work at my own pace and ask questions whenever I felt I wasn’t getting something. If you ever feel you’ve hit a plateau with your art, the easiest way to overcome that plateau is to talk to another artist. They will provide a completely different perspective which can give you that boost you need to figure out what’s keeping you from reaching the next level. And through the mentorship, that is exactly what you get.
As I mentioned earlier, I was stuck in pixel art for the longest time. While I was certainly interested in illustration and painting, I never had the motivation to pursue these art forms. So I knew that, naturally, I would struggle as a concept artist if I couldn’t even draw! However, I do not regret the time I’ve invested in pixel art. During my time working with pixels, I learned many design techniques and art skills which can apply to just about any art form. I think it was helpful to have limits, as with pixel art I often have to figure out how to use the few pixels I have to convey an idea. I believe working with limitations can help you develop a clearer artistic vision.
This is a library scene we worked on in the first part of the mentorship. We started with a 3D base, laying out the props and architecture. Then we transitioned to 2D, adding figures, props, and other assets to give the scene some life.
I learned powerful toolsets to help me execute my design vision in Blender and Photoshop. And honestly, if I were left to learn these on my own, it would have taken me months! But through the mentorship, I was able to learn how to use these tools proficiently in a matter of weeks. What is particularly helpful about having a mentor is that they will tell you how to execute your design effectively with the tools you have. I think it is easy to come up with inefficient workflows if you are working on your own, so having a mentor can help you shave hours off your production time.
This is a jungle setting inspired by the cultures of Indonesia and Africa.
The mentorship was great! As I said, I learned some very useful tools. On top of Blender and Photoshop skills, I learned some design theories to help me create compelling pieces on my own. I think CGVerse has a very powerful approach to design. It is very human-centric, basing itself on fundamental elements of human culture and biology. I also like how CGVerse proficiently leverages traditional theory with modern technology. We were using theory crafted centuries ago and tech crafted yesterday!
The mentorship will help you so long as you are open-minded. Many artists I have worked with fail to see their shortcomings because they believe their work is perfect. And I honestly think that is the biggest blockade to growth. It will close so many doors. And you must not mistake ego for confidence. You can be confident and still understand that you can improve. So, as long as you maintain a critical mindset, you will be able to improve.
(Before the mentorship)
Halloween - Candy Creepers
Bikes - Rapid Racers