1. Tell us about yourself. Why did you choose 3D graphics?
Hello everyone, my name is Ruslana. I am from the small western town of Stryi, but now I live in Kyiv.
Since childhood, I dreamed of becoming an artist. As it turned out that two grandparents in my family were artists, my mother dreamed of studying at Trush College, and my father also had excellent artistic skills. I can't remember the exact age when I started painting, but I remember very well the smell of oil paints and canvas primers in my grandfather's makeshift workshop.
From the fifth grade of high school, I began to study at art school. I was very lucky with the first teacher who was an honored artist of Ukraine.
For me, it was the best place in the whole world - I spent a lot of time there. Unfortunately, no one but me saw prospects in this profession, so as a compromise, the profession of Architect was chosen.
When I realized that architecture with its design and engineering part did not interest me too much, 3D graphics threw me a lifeline that allowed me to get around all these nuances and get closer to what I wanted so long ago.
2. How was the training of 3D graphics?
In general, learning is quite difficult for me, but over time you just get excited and do not want to stop at a certain result.
The first courses were extremely unsuccessful. We were taught 3ds Max in general according to the book)
Then there were a million unsuccessful scenes with crashes, freezings and a general misunderstanding of what was happening and how to banally set up a good light, which was very disappointing.
In the 3-4th year of university, when I was trying to find my first job in 3D graphics, I went to courses at the Gizmo office. This was probably one of my best decisions, which gave me the first good base in this field and a boost for development.
After that, a long path of self-development began - with various courses, video tutorials, articles and everything else - a path that continues to this day.
3. Why did you choose freelance?
Initially, I managed to change three jobs in the field of Architectural 3D visualization. I left the first two after I realized that I was trampling on one place in terms of professional development.
I was fired from the last place very unpleasantly and unexpectedly, just before the corporate New Year's trip, for which I specially applied for a passport. And in general, "liberation" was somehow not very much in my holiday plans.
I remember very well how long I walked in the evening park and tried to digest what happened and how to live in general, what to pay for housing, where to go. At that moment, I realized that, perhaps, I no longer want to find myself in a situation where the events in my life do not depend entirely on me.
I have never felt completely free in such circumstances, when there is a person who influences your creative process, interferes in it, or simply has a different vision.
So I piled up my savings, which I had saved all year, asked my father for a loan, and bought my first workstation.
Also, I was once again helped in this situation by the guys from Gizmo, who threw a good clients at the beginning, which gave me the opportunity to stay in Lviv and finish some first small portfolio.
I would like to emphasize that freelancing is not the best choice, just with my difficult character it was a way out, which I was satisfied with.
My first independent order was a large residential complex for 20 renders and with a deadline of 10 days. It was a terrible stress after I was fired and I considered myself a bad specialist.
But after many sleepless nights, the result paid off, the customer became permanent. For me, such stressful challenges, as it turned out, stimulate professional development better than a comfortable stable income and all the benefits of working in the studio.
Now I work in a very small but own team and think only about its development and expansion.
4. Tell us how do you searching for clients?
My first client came from 3ddd. In general, I believe that at the moment the success in finding clients consists of two key factors: the first is a quality portfolio, and the second is its distribution in the media.
Unfortunately, now a good portfolio alone may not be enough for customers to notice you. So do not be ashamed to publish your work on various resources.
It is necessary to actively develop on such platforms as Behance, ArtStation, Instagram, CG Award ua, LinkedIn and others. Publish on any platform you like, it all increases the chances that the customer will notice you.
Also still working is the method of sending letters and banal sundress radio, when from one of your satisfied client can come the next.
5. Do you know foreign languages? Does a freelancer need them today?
I was lucky enough to study at a foreign language school, so I got a good base in English and elementary German.
Now, of course, it is worn out, and the courses do not give me a long-lasting effect, so I want to try to improve my language skills in some other way.
In general, knowledge of a foreign language is one of the most important factors for a freelancer, but even a basic level of English with a Google translator and a Grammarly application will be enough to work.
6. Tell an interesting case from work
One day a client called me and very tearfully asked to make a discount of $ 20 for each picture from a large project. I, of course, got into the situation, decided to work a little for free. And a week later, he posted a photo of his newly acquired Mercedes S-Class. Years have passed, and I still walk.
7. What projects do you like to do the most?
I probably still don't know. Now I'm looking for - the most interesting thing for me to implement my own projects, in which the framework exists only in my head. But often they are limited by the lack of my technical skills in certain programs and tools, which delays this process.
It is in the Architectural 3D visualization that I am most impressed by the atmosphere that can be created in the picture. My biggest love is fog.
8. Where do you look for inspiration for your work?
I am most inspired by the works of other artists in various fields, various historical events, the film industry.
For example, my work "Fog" is a small tribute and reference to the almanac of Vasyl Kandinsky and Franz Mark "The Blue Rider" in 1911, which changed the framework of art in its time, opened the way for young artists in the gallery and influenced the development of modernism in general.
In general, I admire such people who throughout history have changed their view of art from primitive copying of the environment to deep meaning.
Olafur Eliasson's wonderful work "The weather project", the films "Lighthouse", "Suspiria", all the works of Parajanov, Tarkovsky still keep me from the more modern ...
I have also always been attracted to history and archeology, unfortunately I am a layman in these disciplines. Because I never managed to live with them, but they often inspire me in my work. It affects me, as, perhaps, fiction affects someone. There is a strange picture in my head, the atmosphere, the mood, which then I want to convey somewhere.
9. Do you continue to improve your skills? Raise the level? In what way? Lessons, conferences.
Advanced training is like a lifestyle, well, or a disease. She actually ate me. You think, this is the last course - and then I will sit down to work, to make my perfect project.
Then, without finishing the first, you see on the horizon another course, or lesson, or software that urgently needs to be studied, because it burns to make some small detail that no one will see and as a result you procrastinate and do nothing.
Now I'm writing this at 2 o'clock in the morning and I remember that I signed up for a new course on Monday. I hope that one day it will all end. The hands of the curves are finally leveled and I will be able to make my perfect project, well, or at least start earning money, rather than take them to new courses)
To be more serious, without it now in any way now, everything moves forward very quickly. To just stay relevant and in demand as a specialist, you need to constantly run. And to grow at least a little, you need to run even faster.
10. What is freelancing in Ukraine? Pros and cons.
To be honest, I even doubt its existence in our field, not to paint the pros and cons.
It is generally cheaper for Ukrainian architectural and design studios to hire a full-time specialist. Or tell to the designer - here is your award in the form of a course with 3ds Max, from today you are also a 3D visualizer, but for the same salary.
Developers are more likely to turn to 3D visualization studios, because the level of credit trust in them is greater than in one freelancer, who can get sick and not do the job on time. Personally, unfortunately, I have not encountered a Ukrainian freelancer, in most cases it is a job for foreign outsourcing, or banal remote work.
I can only agree with the opinion that was written here earlier that freelancing is a certain buffer zone. I see it more as a step in development, because it also has some unpleasant limitations - for example, the inability to do a lot of work as fast as only a well-coordinated team can do. And the lack of a large credit of trust from the customer.
11. Have you had invitations to go abroad? If so, why did you refuse?
There were invitations, but I don't know how serious they were, because I refused at once.
At that time, I was no longer interested in the obligation to work in a certain studio for a very long period of time, which still did not give a sure prospect of remaining in the country as a full-fledged citizen. And the salary and obligations have not been so impressive that my opinion on this has changed.
12. How do you like to spend your free time? Sports, travel
This is a sick topic for me, I can't rest and now I'm trying to fight it, because it led me to panic attacks and various health problems.
All my life I wanted to make my own hobby my job and its erased all the boundaries between work and leisure.
Now, ideally, I would like to have an active weekend with museums, exhibitions, travel and a passive weekend just to unload the brain, but so far it does not work out.
First of all, my dream is to go horseback riding and spend the day in an art workshop. Unfortunately, this year's travel did not work out, as the pandemic made its changes to my plans, and before that I could not feel the full taste of travel.
Sport, unfortunately, for me is more commonplace and a way to improve health than recreation. In general, there are a lot of plans and unrealized dreams for vacation, maybe someday I will buy a metal detector and become a subarchaeologist, who knows))
13. What do you strive for in your work, what peaks, results?
I am in search. I don't want to stay within just one industry, because there are so many interesting things related to art around.
All you want is to get better every day, there is no one final goal, otherwise there will be nothing to strive for when it all becomes a reality, so there are a lot of desires and goals for the future.
14. Wishes, advice, instructions to readers.
I want to wish for what I myself have always lacked - courage to change, a cold mind to calculate and never to be disappointed and not to blame myself for failures. Sincere thanks to everyone who was able to read all this and I wish success in all endeavors)