Inside My Digital Sketchbook: Skeeva

My Digital Sketchbook – like one huge box of LEGO, where every piece is stored until one day an idea leads you down the path of creating something you hadn’t expected. Mixing, moulding, experimenting… a widespread of elements coming together in front of you to create some very cool happy accidents that you couldn’t even imagine. That’s when something magical happens.

Honestly, I’m proud of my “Digital Sketchbook”. It really motivates me when I look at all those folders and remember that every single file has its history, its own story to tell and most importantly – its own provoked emotions. It’s like that huge album of your old school photos you keep hidden in that cupboard you never look in, only to reminisce on those once in a blue moon tidy up days. I can look back at work I did on a specific day and remember those details I otherwise might have forgotten.  

For example, the file named ‘Weird Owl with some psychedelic colours’ – “oh yes, the 1st of August 2016, the day my son was born. I remember what kind of a day it was – total emotional madness!” Or ‘jellyfish floating in the woods’ – “what the? Oh yeah, I was in the vet clinic with my dog, and someone was talking about jellyfishes and how they can help cure animal diseases.”

It might sound odd but for the past 5 years, I was developing my “Digital Sketchbook” that consists of 2 terabytes of materials like 3d models, textures, pre-sets, scene files and many more. As a 3D artist, you are very flexible in your workflow – for example, I have over 900 artworks (everything is 3DB in my gallery, meaning that you can take models, textures, pre-sets or lighting setups from any scene and re-wire them for any project).

There is a pretty great tandem between your mind and the initial ideas when creating, an unpredictable one at that. There’s been occasions where my mind consciously tires to structure and follow, as accurately as possible, a client’s original brief and then, of course the creativity kicks in, and it’s not long before the internal battle between the mind and the ideas commences.

In terms of inspiration, that’s a tricky thing. I’m a visual person and I always try to find inspiration by browsing the work of others. Observing and analysing are key here. You start looking at a picture you like and without even trying your mind immediately starts generating ideas – “oh, let’s try to recreate this shape in 3D and see how it would look like with that bronze-obsidian material I created a few months ago”… You make it your own.

Don’t forget to completely switch off now and then. It’s important to rejuvenate your creative mind so that the concepts keep coming, so turn off your technology and spend more time with your family – they’re huge motivation.

Your artistic evolution…

The cool thing about keeping a digital sketchbook is that over time, you notice your visual identity shift naturally, something you might not necessarily notice without holding up old work against the new. I started my journey with some strange, surreal abstract art, then I transitioned to space art, sci-fi mandalas, friendly monsters and horrifying creatures, futuristic environments (in that order) and now I’m into super detailed, decorative, contemporary-dark-cyberpunk’ish art, I guess?! Can’t even imagine where my thoughts will lead me in a month’s time 🙂

What software is used?

As you may have already noticed, I’m a 3D artist (totally wouldn’t be able to physically draw at all, trust me). 3D is my comfort zone and everything that’s related to it. The main software/tools I use:

  • Cinema4D
  • Octane Render
  • Zbrush
  • Photoshop
  • Substance Painter
  • Marvelous Designer
  • Daz3D

Here’s how my “empty canvas” looks for reference:

(Cinema 4D)

(Zbrush)

Hidden in the archive…

I was working on a few 3D stereoscopic visuals for Flying Lotus quite some time ago. I was flattered to be one of the 20 artists who were working on the visuals. FlyLo and his team gave us a few artistic directions we could choose from and the one that stood out for me was Afrofuturism. Although untouched territory for me, it was nothing but exciting.

The main goal of the project was to create Stereoscopic 3D looping visuals for his shows – this is a brand new technology they were testing and trying to implement, and as far as I see from the reports, it turned out really great.

So basically, you put regular 3D glasses on and you see all those cool VJ loops in 3D space around you, like in a 3D movie. Epic, right?

The main reason to keep a “Digital Sketchbook”? It’s cool to look at your stylistic evolution and gain retrospective of your work to see just how far you’ve come without realising it. And besides, this is an active resource that you can utilise, mix and supplement the hell out of, personal to you, making it a totally invaluable tool.

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