3D Valley Featured 3D Artist of August 2007 – Alexander Beim aka LotusArt. Alexander has studied art from a young age and tried out various type of art before he discovered 3D art. When he discovered 3D art he decided that 3D art was exactly what he needed he taught himself all what he knows today. Alexander currently lives and works in Germany as an independent artist in his own studio LotusART which he started in 2002.
Christa: Can you tell us a bit about yourself: Who are you and what do you do in your daily life?
Alexander: My name is Alexander Beim, I’m 36 years old. I was born on the earth of our solar system. During my life I have lived in many countries. My body was born in Kazakhstan, then it lived in Russia, and because my parents are German, I currently also live in Germany. Since I was a child, I was artist. I painted every day and have won different children awards in the city. So goes life further, and at the age of 12 I began to study painting at the art school. I enjoyed painting, also with thanks to my teacher, who could arouse and promote our interest in art via the world of mystery and fantasy.
After finishing art school at the age of 17, I was searching for the purpose of my own life. I tried out different activities. I was engaged in poetry, studying music and the art of kung fu. Although I enjoyed all those activities, I couldn’t stop with painting. No matter where I was or what I did I always found an opportunity to paint. I worked as an artist also during my military service and after transferring to the reserve I worked as an artist at the plant in my town.
Some time later I began to work with a computer. I was really fascinated with it and decided to take a one year computer course. During the computer course we studied all forms and directions of multimedia. I then realized that 3D was exactly what I needed. After finishing the course I continued specializing my knowledge in 3D. I spent many hours a day working on the PC to learn to create pictures not with crayon or brush but with a computer mouse. Today, I’m finally a 3D Artist and work as freelancer.
Christa: Do you remember the first time you knew you wanted to be an artist?
Alexander: I wanted to be an astronaut and fly to the stars and make contact with other civilizations, unfortunately that wasn’t so. I have always been an artist.
Christa: Where did you go to school and how did they prepare you for your career?
Alexander: Unfortunately I didn’t learn much via school or education. I finished the children art school and a computer course. I never seem to be the right time and place for learning for me. I painted and did my art. That is who I am and what I can do.
Christa: Which software packages do you use for your artwork?
Alexander: I started with 3D Studio Max, Adobe Photoshop, and Illustrator. Later I also learned Autodesk Maya, Softimage XSI, Adobe Premiere, Painter, and various sound programs. I also use ZBrush and many other software applications.
Christa: Can you tell us a bit of the way you work on your art?
Alexander: This is very difficult question. There is a story about one small hedgehog. He wants to know how he should breathe. He thinks about it and forgets that he must do it and so he dies. What I’m trying to say is that I need to work and I do my work all intuitive, from inside. I know how I must do it and do it without a system.
If we talk about art, then for example first I come up with an idea. The idea I scribble on paper and then I go to work. Normally I think about it for some time. So that in my head I can see the finished work in full details. Then I create a sketch and look which software is better to realize it with. If it is an illustration; I will paint it. If it is a 3D still or animation, I will use 3D software 😉 For the main model I will probably use Maya the other things I need I create it intuitive.
Christa: What and/or who inspires you?
Alexander: I take my inspiration from inside. Meditation is a process that is very helpful for me.
Christa: Do you have a favorite piece of your own artwork and if so, why?
Alexander: Yes, my animation “The Magic Box” and my painted image “Dream”. The image Dream was my dream. I’ve seen it and it was wonderful. I tried to paint it, so I wouldn’t forget this dream. It is not exactly the same as what I have dreamt, but I like to see this image nevertheless. The Magic Box was not a commercial project. I like it because it is a materialization of my own idea. I wanted to create a short LotusArt presentation movie. The Idea was to mix something ugly with something beautiful. The movie is fully created in Maya. The music was written by me, because unfortunately I wasn’t able to find more proper music for the story.
The Magic Box – Click here to see the animation
|Dream – 2D art|
Christa: What is your goal as an artist?
Alexander: Hmm, to be that what I am. I do so much as I can do. The way will show me my goal.
Christa: Do you have any tips for beginning artists?
Alexander: Be yourself and don’t try to imitate someone else. That is the way to find out your own style and to be original. It’s so very important to love what you do. Put love in your works. Only love can create true Art Works. So cultivate you love, so much you can. That is the power of an artist.
Christa: How many years are you working in the CG industry?
Alexander: I work 7 years in the CG industry.
Christa: What was your first break in the business?
Alexander: My first job as a 3D artist was with a small company in Germany. I enjoyed working for this firm. My chief told me in general outline what the spot was about. I was free in choosing and creating the characters and animation. It was a true creative job.
Christa: If I’m correct you are currently working as an independent artist in a company you started (LotusArt) some years ago. What kind of services do you offer and for which companies have you worked with/ for?
Alexander: LotusArt was established in 2002. We are dynamic, flexible company and our purpose is to assist with different 3D projects. The projects we work on are very different. Our team contains graphic artists, animators, and video and post-production support staff. Our service is very broad. There is Character animation, design, modeling, texturing, cut scene for games creation, music and video in 3D, Low poly-modeling, texturing for games, product and process visualization, special effects, Logo animation and much more….
Some companies we worked with are: media[netCom], Shade und Lohr GmbH, Sat.1, TFC Trikkompany, 3D-io, media-animation, infosys-multimedia in Dubai, Creative-Movies Indien, DNS multimedia factory GmbH, Vector-Film, Animationfabrik GmbH, Lichthof – Film & Animation, CNT Media GmbH, 49Games, Evil Grin Studios GmbH i.Gr., cerasus.media GmbH, Visual-Dream.
Christa: What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of working as an independent artist?
Alexander: Yes there are both advantages and disadvantages 🙂 First thing that I can think of is that I am free, but also I don’t know if I will have work tomorrow. It is not safe. So the disadvantage is that I can’t plan anything for the long term. The advantages are that as a freelancer I have everything more. More freedom, more traveling, more action, more various work tasks, and more attention.
|GoodYear – Still from GoodYear commercial||Angelina – Character from horse
riding game for girls
Christa: What would your dream project be?
Alexander: Work on my own movie or game, but at the moment that is impossible.
Christa: You have been entered the Animago and Siggraph with stills (Snake & Susy) and with your animation The Magic box. Both still images won the second prize and your animation the first at Animago! Did participating in the contests and winning those prizes open some doors for you that otherwise would have stayed closed?
Alexander: Maybe some doors… It is very helpful for searching for new projects, but I can’t say which doors opened specifically from the victories of competitions.
Christa: What is your favorite CG Character from the movies?
Alexander: I like many characters and movies. I like almost all the characters from Madagascar, Ice age, Shrek, Final Fantasy, and so on…
|Guards – Still from The Magic Box animation|
Christa: Can you tell us what you are currently working on?
Alexander: Currently I work on several projects. One of those project is a new space shooter game, and another project is a game for children and teenagers. It’s a horse riding game for girls. I can’t tell you more about these games because they are commercial games and will be coming to the stores soon. Another project I’m currently working on is the commercial movie for Good Year Tire.
Christa: Is their something you can’t work without?
Alexander: A Wacom tablet is very important, but not for all projects. It would be very difficult to create an illustration or work in Zbrush without a tablet. And yet often I need to repose and some solitude for the best results. So it’s best to be centered on my task.
Christa: What do you do when you are not working or creating something?
Alexander: I often go with my family to enjoy nature, play with my daughter. Do sport and meditation.
Christa: Thanks for your time and the interview Alexander!