Alexander Suharukov. Founder Provisual.pro
1. Please introduce yourself. Tell us a few words about yourself.
Hello everyone! My name is Alexander Suharukov. I am 34 years old. I currently live and work in Warsaw, Poland. I am a 3d artist and founder of the Architectural Visualization Studio - Provisual.pro
I have been working in archviz for more than 15 years. I am an architect by training, and I studied at the Belarusian State University of Transport (Gomel, Belarus) in the Department of Architecture. Architectural education helps me a lot in my work now.
2. How was the studio created? What difficulties did you face during its creation? How much time was needed?
For a long time, I had been combining my work as an architect with archviz, but in 2017, I decided to leave architecture and focus only on archviz. The idea of creating a studio came up around that time.
For the first time in months, we were working actively on creating the website, name and logo, and we were actively refining our portfolio. It was the first stages of our journey, and naturally, there were mistakes, so in 2019, we redesigned the website and refined the logo completely. It was around that time we actively began using social media.
Our goal was to enter the foreign archviz market (Western Europe, USA, Canada). Our first regular foreign clients from the United States and Canada сame in 2018. Overall, the process from the idea of opening a studio to the appearance of our first permanent clients took about a year.
3. What is Archviz Studio in Poland? Pros and cons.
Archviz is very developed in Poland, and there are many well-known studios such as Tomorrow (Gdansk office), Motiv, Terodesign, and others. It develops and drives the industry forward in the country. We are still newcomers in Poland, but I really like the level of archviz is developed here.
It has become easier to work with European clients after relocation to Poland. There is more trust from their side. Collaborating with a business incubator allows us to work at a lower tax rate.
The biggest downside, in my opinion, is the high rental cost for both commercial and residential properties.
4. Why did you choose Poland?
In 2020, Poland launched the Poland Business Harbour program for relocating IT specialists, StartUps, small and medium-sized businesses in the IT industry. I met the criteria for this program as an entrepreneur in architectural visualization from Belarus. Another advantage of this program was the possibility to get Polish national visas not only for specialists but also for their family members and work permit wasn’t required in Poland. This greatly facilitated our relocation to Poland.
Currently, we are working through a business incubator in Poland and it is very convenient.
We like Poland. Poland is a very hospitable country, and the Polish language is closer and more understandable than, for example, the Lithuanian language. This was also important in choosing a country for relocation.
5. What methods do you use to find and attract clients?
Recently, we have been getting many clients through recommendations from our existing clients. It's easier to work on projects in this case because there is a certain level of trust established.
Behance and other social media platforms are also very helpful in finding new clients.
In fact, the best advertising is a good portfolio and recommendations from regular clients.
6. What do your clients value the most in working with you?
Stability, adherence to deadlines, and responsibility. We always keep in touch with our clients.
7. What precautions do you take to protect yourself from bad clients?
At the beginning of our studio's work, we had an unpleasant experience with a client from Italy who didn’t pay for our work.
We work with a 50% advance payment. We also sent an invoice for the advance payment to this client, but he didn't pay for it under various pretexts. We had to stop working on the project. After that, the advance payment was received. Work on the project continued, and the final renderings were approved and sent to the client. Eventually, the client stopped responding to our messages, and we never received the final payment.
If we hadn't taken an advance payment, we wouldn't have received anything for the project. That's why we always work with an advance payment. Now, in case of any disputes, we can seek the help of lawyers from the business incubator we collaborate with in Poland.
8. What interesting projects were completed?
Over the 6 years, we have completed many interesting projects. However, the most memorable one was the KT-27 project in Hong Kong. It was a very large project that consisted of exterior and interior renderings, animation, and 3D panoramas. It was the first animation that we did and learned a lot in the process. The project lasted the whole year.Click here to see the full project Click here to see the full project
As for the latest projects, I remember working on the renderings for a competition project for the renovation of the Renault headquarters in Paris. This project involved a large team of talented architects, designers, and landscape architects from different countries. It was great to be part of such a large-scale project.Click here to see the full project
9. Tell us about your team. How many people are in the team?
Our team consists of Belarusian and Ukrainian colleagues.
Currently, our team includes me as the art director and project manager (sometimes I also do visualizations for projects), two exterior 3D artists and one interior 3D artist, 3D modeler and animator. If we can't handle the current project workload ourselves, we hire 3D artists remotely.
My wife works with us, and she is responsible for managing our website, social media, and administrative tasks.
We also have a coordinator from a business incubator that we collaborate with. Although she is not directly part of our team, but she helps us a lot in solving current problems and issues.
We have moved to Poland during the COVID-19 restrictions and at that time, there was no need to open an offline office due to the constant lockdowns. Now I am increasingly returning to the idea of opening an office. The cost of renting a space in Poland is the main factor holding us back, but I hope that opening will happen soon.
10. At what do you pay attention first when choosing employees?
First of all, we look at the portfolios of 3D artists.
It is very important for us to know that the potential employee is interested in his or her work, reasonable, and has a desire to learn something new. Having an architectural or art education is also desirable.
A big plus is versatility. We mostly do exterior renderings, but there are also interior projects, so the versatility of 3D artists plays an important role.
Foreign language skills are not essential for us. It can be solved using online translators.
11. What projects do you enjoy doing the most?
Projects where I can show my creativity. For example, a project like this one: behance.net/gallery/161492031/SERAING.
The client sent a few reference images with the general mood for each rendering. For the rest, he trusted us. Usually, these kinds of projects are completed quickly and with only a few comments from the client.
12. Where do you find inspiration for your work?
Here, everything is a standard. Like many 3D artists, I use Behance, Instagram and Facebook groups dedicated to architectural visualization, and websites of top international architectural visualization studios.
13. Do you continue to improve your skills and level of expertise? If so, how? Lessons, conferences?
In our work, we constantly need to learn new things. There's a big competition in architectural visualization, so it's important to always maintain a high level of professionalism. If you have the desire, finding the necessary information is not a problem. There are a huge number of video tutorials on YouTube.
Personally, I've never taken any online or offline courses. I'm self-trained, and it is more convenient for me. Some people prefer to learn new information through courses. The most important thing is to have the desire, and each person chooses their own way of acquiring knowledge.
I also like attending architectural visualization conferences. One recent example is the 3D Warsaw conference organized by Motiv Studio - www.3dwarsaw.com. It's a good way to learn something new and make useful connections.
14. What are your goals in work? What heights and results do you aspire to?
Currently, I plan to open an offline office in Warsaw and expand our team. I hope that this will happen soon.
15. Any wishes, advice, or messages for the readers?
Thanks to the CG Award UA team for the opportunity to share our story. I hope that our experience will be helpful for someone.
I wish everyone interesting projects. Just love what you do and enjoy the process. Ideally, come to the point where you yourself can choose the projects to work with. I wish everyone to find their "perfect client."
Peace and goodness to all!