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This is an inspiring story from a talented 3d artist Rodolfo Fanti. Rodolfo always had a passion for drawing, but somehow it never turned into a career. When he was 27 yo he started to learn 3D editors and in 4 short years he managed to become a prolific and award winning artist!
An Unusual Beginning
I’d really love to be able to start by saying that “I always drew as a kid” or “I was creating little stop motions since the age of two”. Unfortunately, or fortunately, it wasn’t that straightforward.
I never really thought of myself as an artist till my early twenties and I actually started learning 3D at 27 (I’m 31). The art seed has always been there but I never really decided to explore it. I’ve always thought it would have to come natural to you to draw, paint or sculpt. So whenever I attempted to create art I would give up at the first sign of failure.
Little did I know that failure is simply a partial definition of success.
I went on to study psychology, drop out and explore various jobs and careers till I met my wife at 23. She taught me a complete new way of living and seeing life.
I now had a burning desire to find my path, my tribe and I knew it had something to do with art.
I started studying drawing, anatomy, perspective, design and others forms of art without a particular outcome in mind. It became a sort of obsession. I also started sketching everywhere.
Sketching whenever I could
After four years of self-directed learning and a very intense and stressful period of introspection I stumbled upon Zbrush. I connected the dots: my passion for video games, storytelling and the art training propelled me towards the unshakable decision of becoming a professional 3d artist. I wrote on a piece of paper how I planned to become a professional in the following two years. I was gonna practice day and night but the first gig should have come in two years. That was my promise to myself and my wife.
I started setting up my first, humble little home-studio.
My first humble “studio” coming to life
The Discipline and the Craft
Those years of struggle taught me one of the most valuable lessons of my life: no matter what happens, assume full responsibility for your life and actions. Strongly reject blame and criticism and move towards actions and solutions, everyday. Every single day. This mindset shift gave me the necessary motivation to endure many sacrifices, difficulties and rejections. Inevitable obstacles of every journey.
Mr.Easy represented all the struggles I had endured so far
I honed the craft of 3d everyday, widening my portfolio and, most importantly, constantly assessing my learning experience, asking myself “would I hire myself? why not? what am I missing yet?”.
Friends and relatives didn’t actually believe in my new career, many of them weren’t even aware of what 3D was. It’s understandable. But this never mattered to me. I persisted.
My efforts started to be rewarded when I received an award from 3DTotal.
From there I was able to capitalize on that, get some freelance gigs and eventually working with Nexus Productions in London. Subsequent gigs in the miniature business followed until I conquered my current role of Character Artist at Bohemia Interactive.
I always joke by saying “I was extremely lucky to be unlucky”. All those sacrifices and roadblocks gifted me with the most valuable commodity: the motivation to succeed and never give up. And this is something you choose everyday.
I’ve been also taught the importance of gratitude, appreciation and humility fundamental pillars of my path. I practice them everyday (notice the word “practice”) and I allow myself the luxury of being “contagious” at work. We need to share the good stuff!
This is the end of my little story, I hope readers will be energized and refreshed by seeing how even this “older” fella could break into the industry. On my side I’m now trying to give back with a blog project called My.Ousia, which is still not active but you can check it out on my website.
To all of you reading this, please, please remember: work hard to make things happen everyday, don’t wait for them to happen!