1. Tell us about yourself. Why did you choose 3D graphics.
Greetings! I'm Maxim Samun, a 28-year-old residing in the vibrant city of Dnipro, Ukraine. My enthralling journey with 3D graphics commenced at the age of 19, a pivotal point when I was concluding my studies at a railway technical school. Fueled by a desire to steer away from the railway industry, I ventured into interior design courses.
To be candid, interior design wasn't my passion; instead, it was the programs encompassed within the curriculum that beckoned me. Among these, the spotlight shone on 3DsMax. In the initial lessons, a realization dawned upon me – this was my calling. Subsequently, I dedicated the past seven years to the realm of visualization, with the last five being a captivating journey as a freelancer.
2. How was the learning.
The courses unfolded over a span of 10 months, encompassing a diverse curriculum that delved into programs such as Photoshop, CorelDRAW, AutoCAD, and the cornerstone of my journey, 3DsMax, which received dedicated attention for three months. During this immersive period, our focus was on dissecting modifiers and unraveling their intricate settings. The aftermath of this training left me with what seemed like a dismal result, yet it laid the groundwork for what was to come. Subsequently, my pursuit of knowledge continued independently, fueled by online resources.
3. Choosing the Freelance Odyssey
Opting for freelancing over studio work was a decision influenced by multiple factors:
- Limited lucrative opportunities within my city, Dnipro, for office-based employment.
- A craving for more autonomy and less employer oversight. However, the allure of freedom revealed its nuanced challenges when working from home.
4. How you are looking for clients? What are you focusing on?
Initiating the quest for clients involved leveraging my initial projects to approach design studios in major cities like Kiev and Moscow. After reaching out to around 50-60 studios, the breakthrough arrived with my first set of clients. As my portfolio evolved with compelling 3D visualizations, studios began reaching out to me with job opportunities. Notably, impactful projects found their way to me through the Behance platform.
Currently, an active client search is facilitated through Linkedin, a platform that opens avenues to connect with managers from various companies.
5. Do you know foreign languages? Do freelancers need them today?
While my proficiency in foreign languages isn't at the level I aspire to, I navigate client communication using translation tools. Undoubtedly, possessing a good command of English can significantly streamline freelance work.
6. Tell us an interesting case from work.
The realm of a 3D artist is inherently captivating for me, transcending beyond mere work into the realm of a cherished hobby. Each facet of the creative process holds its own allure, making it challenging to pinpoint a singular interesting case
7. What projects do you like to do the most?
My affinity lies in crafting interiors, specifically engaging in projects for diverse furniture and lighting manufacturers. The challenge of seamlessly presenting their products within a sophisticated interior is one I relish. These projects offer a profound understanding of the task at hand, translating into minimal revisions. Moreover, they boast a significant artistic component and a limited number of angles, allowing ample time for the meticulous exploration of materials and lighting nuances.
8. Where are you looking for inspiration for your work?
Inspiration is an elusive muse, often striking spontaneously during moments of movie-watching, travel, or relaxation. Subsequently, the search for references commences, with key platforms being Pinterest, Behance, Render, Vwartclub, and 3ddd.ru, despite its navigational challenges. Instagram also stands out as a wellspring of inspiration, unveiling new talents, studios, and projects through its dynamic tape. Subscribing to top accounts and exploring hashtags like #archviz and #render serves as a continuous source of creative influx.
9. Do you continue to enhance your skills? Progress further? How? Through lessons, conferences.
Certainly, I consistently strive for improvement. Although the strides may not be as significant as in the past, each new project, especially those outside the commercial realm, prompts me to discover something new or refine existing skills. Initially, I frequently utilized the website perevodvsem.ru. I either purchased ready-made translations or participated in collective purchases of 3D-related video lessons. In my early days of working in 3D, I took short modeling courses and private lessons. Even during my office job and later when transitioning from Vray to Corona, I continued my learning journey. If you aim to excel in your profession and increase your earnings, continuous study through articles, tutorials, and forum participation is essential.
I actively engage in online conferences, where the increased interest and motivation contribute to my professional growth.
10. What defines a freelancer in Ukraine? Advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages: favorable taxation and the relative affordability of living, although the latter is diminishing. Upon experiencing Europe, one gains a clearer understanding of the cost of living.
It's challenging for me to pinpoint the drawbacks of freelancing in Ukraine, as I believe they are universal challenges applicable to freelancers in various countries.
11. Have you received offers to work abroad? If so, why did you choose to stay?
Yes, such offers have come my way. While they are less frequent now compared to a year or two ago, various studios across Europe have approached me. Currently, I am not seriously considering them. I have yet to decide if I am ready to work in a European studio and relocate permanently. Alternatively, I am contemplating the development of my personal brand, which could eventually provide the flexibility to move wherever I desire. Regardless, I am actively exploring possibilities to create optimal conditions for a potential move.
In any case, I’m thinking about this, I just want to create optimal conditions for myself to move.
12. How do you prefer to spend your free time away from work? Sports, travel.
While it might still be work-related, for over a year, I've been teaching at Freedes School. These are basic courses designed for individuals with zero knowledge, providing a refreshing break from the routine of a freelance visualizer.
During a couple of weekends per week, I make an effort to unwind and spend time with friends. I enjoy basketball, trips out of town, kayaking and cycling in the summer, and snowboarding in the winter.
13. What are you aiming for in your work? What peaks and results are you striving to achieve?
Initially, my goal was to create something impressive in architectural visualization. I aspired to receive awards on render.ru and 3ddd.ru, which I achieved. Subsequently, my goal shifted towards establishing a studio that would afford me a bit more free time and the opportunity to work on intriguing projects.
14. Wishes, advice, and parting words to the audience.
To my fellow enthusiasts, if you are confident in your choice and derive pleasure from this profession, don't squander your time. Dedicate yourself to achieving your goals. The plan is straightforward: identify an object that hasn't been modeled yet, material that hasn't been created, lighting, or weather conditions that haven't been explored. Attempt to recreate it in 3D. If you lack the know-how, turn to lessons, articles, and engage in forums. This way, you'll expand your knowledge and enrich your portfolio with new works.
Authors Instagram Page: instagram.com/samun_max/
Authors Behance Page: behance.net/samunmax