Fresh to the genre, CGI and makeup artist Flavia Cela creates innovative 3D portraits. She is self-taught and always eager to learn new techniques and software. We sat down with her to hear more about her practice and to get to know her.
Tell us a little bit about yourself: Where did you grow up? What are things you'd do as a child? What do you do and where are you located now?
I was born in Lushnjé, a small town in Albania in the middle of nowhere. My father was an eletrician and my mother was a housewife. When i was a child i really loved to sing and i used to dress up in my mom's clothes and wear her makeup to transform my identity into someone else's. Now, I freelance as a makeup artist and hair stylist, working with different clients in Milan.
Do you recall when and how you first consciously encountered CGI?
It was 5 years ago, I was scrolling through my instagram and something captured my attention; it was a 3D artwork. I had such a gut instinct about it and I remember feeling something called "koi no yokan", which in japan means: "Premonition of love".
Can you briefly walk us through the development process step by step of your latest work? Where did the idea come from?
I wanted to create a sci-fi character that could be from a cyberpunk post-apocalyptic movie or video game. The idea came from my last exam at university which evolved into something very close to my idea of beauty, a topic that is constantly changing in my life.
What software did you use to create this project? What challenges did the image present?
I created this work mainly with new programs I wanted to explore. So, for me it was kind of a challenge just trying to improve my skills. I used Maya and Zbrush for creating the topology, Substance painter for texturing, Blender for lighting and Photoshop for postproduction.
What inspires you as a 3D artist?
My main profession (makeup) inspires me everyday. I do a lot of research in my free time and I try to read a lot and stay informed of the latest trends. I also take advantage of difficult situations by pushing myself to do new artworks because ironically, when I'm stressed I tend to be more productive!
What is your favorite subject in CGI?
For some reason I love texturing, it calms me down. I also find learning nodes or coding incredibly fascinating.
What are you looking for when designing?
Pure satisfaction of my ego in terms of artistic need for expression.
What are your artistic ambitions?
I have so many. One would be to improve my technical capacities in order to solve my computer programming issues by myself. But I'm not there yet at all...
Who are your favorite artists, traditional or digital, and can you explain why?
Right now, I'm obsessed with particles so @zhestkov is one of my favourites.
From your personal experience, what is some advice you could share with aspiring CG artists?
First, reflect on what you want to do with all that knowledge, then just work hard till it's done.
What do you think about NFTs?
It's quite fascinating how they've granted people unique ownership of digital assets by registering them on a blockchain. I consider it as a new opportunity for artists to distribute their work.
What can we expect to see from you next?
Probably something related to Digital makeup.