IFCC 3Q Interview // Mohamed Abdelfatah
1. How did you get started in your field and what advice can you offer enthusiasts and beginners?
I went to Faculty of Art Education in Egypt in 2006 just because I loved art and wanted to learn more about it. In the first 2 years I was there I realized that it is not informative enough and I didn’t even learn the fundamentals. At the same time resources for learning art on the internet were growing. These are really opened my eyes and I found that I could be doing art for animation, games, movies, etc, things that I have passion for and could make a living doing it. So I stayed in college to get my BA degree and started learning the fundamentals of art on my own from the internet tutorials, forums, and books, and while doing that, I also started learning 3D. I was doing and publishing 3D stuff on the internet and was soon doing some freelance work in 3D and 2D. During this time I had a chance to work full time as a character modeler for a studio in Egypt. That work officially started my professional career as a character artist. I’ve been working in studios in Egypt and freelancing worldwide with both character design and character modeling. I also worked as an art director on advertising projects in Egypt, but now I’m focusing on Character Design and Modeling for movies and games.
When beginners ask me for advices I always talk about enjoying the whole journey, don’t take shortcuts, because, especially in 3D, I see a lot of beginners start modeling characters without giving themselves enough time to study and observe the figure and human anatomy. Every time I take shortcuts I regret it. Study and give yourself time to make a good foundation and visual library. You have to observe well what’s around you in so you can develop your own vision and create original artworks. Focus on the artistic part more than the technical part, software is easy to learn, it’s just a tool. The developers help us by making them easier to use every day. Focus more on the artistic part because it makes you what you are, an artist.
2. What was your favorite project so far and why?
I have to say my favorite projects are my personal projects because they depict my vision without it being affected by the commercial and financial factors.
My latest personal project, that I’m still working on, is a short oriental fantasy film. You’ve probably seen the characters. I’ve been publishing them online.
It’s really hard to target quality on such a big, risky project that you are doing on your own time. In the near future there will be more artists working on the project. I hope we will be able to finish it soon. I will share more info, and artwork from the project as we go.
3. How will you be involved in IFCC 2015 and what do you expect from the festival?
I will be holding a live presentation to talk about my experience in the industry and explain my workflow. I would be happy to answer any questions. There may be also a workshop. I will try to prepare something. I’m really excited about the festival. I’ll be happy to meet everybody and I’m sure we will all learn from each other’s experiences.