Sergio has created many amazing stylized and cartoony renders using mostly Blender. His unique style and fun artworks were crying out for an interview here in BlenderNation, so here goes!
Give us an introduction, who are you, how old are you, what do you do, where do you do it?
I am Sergio Raposo Fernández. I am from Spain, and I am from 1982. I have painted all my life, because my mother is painter and she has taught me this job. But always I was more interested in the animation world. Always I have been a 2D defender, but five years ago I met Blender and I was impressed about 3d possibilities.
My mother has been my teacher. She is painter and I have lived between pencils and oil paintings. It has been a great luck for me. Besides I have studied Illustration in an art school, and recently I have coursed a 3d Master in Trazos Academy in Madrid.
Curiously my favorite artworks are the less valued by the people. I love the cartoon style, so I was happy making artworks as “Tombstones” or “Retro Kids Bathroom”. They are more child’s, so I like them. I don´t like the hyper-realism, my passion is make environments for animation movies.
I see that your environments are very stylized and I love it, when did you start doing that and what inspires you to do it this way?
I always have been inspired by the cartoon style, but I started to make more stylized artworks when I met Blender. I am very inspired by the 3D movies from Dreamworks, Pixar or Sony Pictures. I learn a lot of things watching animation from these companies, it is the best school.
Tell us a little about your latest art, what motivated you to create it?
“Cartoon Spain” is my latest artwork, and it has worked very good - a lot of people liked it. It isn’t my favourite artwork but I am satisfied with it. Usually I make environments inspired in real cities, as Paris or London. And I thought why not to make an environment inspired by my country. I think Spain works very good for recreate fairy tale landscapes because there are a lot of medieval villages, with castles and ancient churches.
For this image I “traveled” by Spain with Google maps. It is a tool that I usually use to make my environments, because it gives me a lot of information about the places I want to recreate: what kind of architecture there are, which are the materials used in the buildings, if there are vegetation and what kind, etc. Then, with all this documentation, I start with the 3D. I don’t make concept art, because for me 3D is other tool more for paint. So, I “paint” directly in 3D. For this image I modeled all in Maya, and then I exported the scene to Blender for render it with Cycles. I used HDRI lighting because I like more this illumination than others.
What is your workflow when you create art?
First I collect visual information of the place I want to recreate, usually with Google maps tool. Then, I start to make the scene in 3D. I model all objects in a real scale and proportions, and then I deform them with Lattice tool. When I have modeled all objects, I “move” by the scene looking for the best perspective, the most beautiful angle. And then I texture all and set up the materials. Of course I have chosen before an HDRI texture for the lighting. I use displacement modifier for some objects, as floors or facades, but generally I get reliefs with only bump maps (my computer is bad and I have to work with the less geometry possible).
I have knowledge about Maya, V-ray and Blender, but generally I model the scene in Maya and then I export it to Blender for rendering with Cycles. I like to model in Maya because this software is very friendly for use Tablet. However, Blender has Cycles and I think it is a very good render engine. It has GPU render, and the view-port rendered option is wonderful, very fast and helpful. V-ray has the same view-port option, but it is more slow. Of course I use Gimp or Photoshop for the post production.
What are your ambitions?
I would like work in an animation studio. But my dream is to live of my artwork, as a traditional painter, selling my artworks in art galleries. But it is difficult because it is 3D, not traditional paintings.
What do you do to take a break from art? How do you refill your artistic energy?
If I could I would be painting all the time because I have a lot of ideas for recreate in 3D. But we are humans and we need rest. For to turn off, the best for me is to sleep. And I love to walk too. I live in the countryside, in a very peaceful place and I usually walk, because the Nature is very inspiring. I would like to say that we must protect Nature because the human is destroying it. I hope that governments attach importance to climate change.
Any favorite artists?
Now there are a lot of great artists. With Internet we can see artworks from all the world, it is wonderful. But I feel predilection for the old school artists from Walt Disney studios. For me, there aren’t more beautiful movies than “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” or “Pinocchio”.
I always say that the most important thing for to make art is enjoy with it. If we don’t enjoy, the inspiring dies. So, the artist has to be happy painting. I paint cartoon environments because it likes me.
Sergio has been very nice to answer all of these questions for us, so don't forget to leave him a nice hello in the comment section below!
Also, if you have any questions that are not answered here, let us know. Last but not least, who is the next artist you want to be interviewed here on your favorite place to get some Blender news ;)?