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Seb Bellavia (Q+A)

Architecture student currently in London, Seb's (@red.porcelain) creations aren't limited to buildings but expresses diverse styles and ideas through digital painting, sketches and detailed renderings. Even a couple stencils that you might see around.

How has lockdown affected your creativity?

Its been great honestly, I’ve managed to get into a much better routine drawing and rendering, mostly out of boredom to be honest. In the holidays I just always seemed to gravitate towards my desk and needed something to keep my mind whirring.

What do you think of the current situation for the creative fields?

Well despite what’s been in the news recently I think that creative jobs are soon to be some of the most valued in the economy due to how hard it is for automation to take hold. Furthermore the vast amount of technical progress in the field, with AI, with simulation, with VR, only serve to push these mediums further than ever.

How did you begin in art and rendering?

For Art I’ve probably been creative for almost as long as I can remember. I used to draw weird fantasy machines and doodle a lot when I was younger but I began to practice more regularly in secondary school.

For rendering on the other hand I was about 13 or so when I first started. My brother was messing around with blender and naturally, I took an interest. Over time it became clear that he enjoyed the technical aspect of creating shaders and materials whereas I preferred digital modelling and lighting as so we learnt of each other for a while.

Biggest individual inspiration?

That’s definitely a very tricky question as an artist because you have to take inspiration in such small amounts to avoid simply gravitating towards someone style or ideas. I love Naughty Dog, their games, their concept art, but in terms of an individual Atey Ghalian has probably been my biggest inspiration. His quick sketchy digital art, with its cinematic and narrative qualities really pushed me to try and produce more and also to visulise my memories and ideas without reference.

From architecture to still life- where are your sources of inspiration coming from?

Artstation has been a go-to for inspiration for me recently, you get to see concept art from people who are the creative directors for all of the best movies and videogames and so it’s very easy to filter the highest quality work. In terms of ideas though it’s quite random. Sometimes it will be an experience in the day or a fond memory but often I will just think of an idea in a moment randomly and won’t do a serious piece for weeks until that moment occurs. The starting idea for a piece is its foundation and so if you’re going to dedicate hours of your life to it then you need to be sure that it’s exciting enough for you to be able to commit. Having said that though it doesn’t negate the importance of sketching every day, for both developing practical skills as well as ideas.

Have you seen the advert from the UK government about 'Rethink, Reskill, Reboot'. What did you think about it?

As I touched on earlier I think it’s just hilariously stupid and I’m glad to see the response online mocking it. I saw one post that broke down the advert into the various graphic designers that worked on it, the makeup artists, set designers, photographers, typographers and so on which really highlights how silly the whole thing was.

What could they have done better?

I think the original advert was simply intended as a push for people to work in Cyber specifically but the poor presentation lead it to seem as though it was targeted at discrediting creative skills and jobs. Clarity was all that was needed.

Which is one piece you particularly enjoy and what about it?

Recently I did a Sci-Fi, Space themed piece utilising a 3D digital Mandelbulb fractal generating program and it opened up an entirely new pathway for me in terms of designing via information and parameters. Similarly, I’ve been using Nvidia’s AI suite resources such as Gaugan, and separately artbreeder for inspiration which both utilise deep learning algorithms to generate images.

What's the next step and where do you want to go?

At the moment, studying architecture, I just want to expand my creative skillsets and see what I enjoy. I think only then can I really begin to see my limits. One thing I know for certain though is that I don’t want to be stuck in one profession for my entire life and so far I’ve got my eyes set on game design, architecture, CGI and visual effects.

Is there any advice you would give to somebody starting their journey?

Start small and practice practice practice. So often people are inspired then reach too high and knock themselves down, start small and then build up each time, no matter the medium. In terms of practice I found it helpful to try and never have a 0% day, it takes as long as 30 seconds to do a simple sketch and if you do even that every day soon you’ll get into a healthy habit.


Make sure to check out his work.

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