Self-taught Artist and Monster Challenge Winner

Find out how Art Heroes Alumni, Giordano Prando, sculpted a character from a concept for the very first time.
In this edition of the Art Heroes blog, our student Giordano, takes us through his Art Heroes journey, and tells how to ace the Stylized Character program as a beginner.
Meet Giordano Prando
Tell us about yourself
My name is Giordano and I'm a self-taught artist from Uruguay. I've been studying 3D since 2018 but in 2020 I discovered my passion for characters. I enjoy doing personal projects with the main purpose of improving my artistic and technical skills.
How it started
What's the name of your Project? Where did the concept come from? Why did you choose it?
Before I started the Art Heroes program I was nervous about which concept to choose. At the time, I'd never made a full character from a concept so I knew I'd have to choose something that I'd be willing to commit to.

I spent a couple of days on Pinterest and ArtStation looking for my ideal concept. Until I found the concept by Liu Min. I immediately felt a connection with his character and I knew I wanted to make a 3D version of it.

Character Development
What were the main milestones for you?
I divided my sculpting workflow into two big steps. In the first one I made the block out of the character mainly focusing on the primary and secondary forms. Then in the next step I focused more on the finer details, accessories and pose.

Once the sculpture was done, I used Substance Painter and started working on the textures. Also, I worked at the same time with Marmoset so I could have a better view of how the textures were turning out.

After I was happy with the textures I set up the final scene in Marmoset.
What were your biggest challenges while working on this project?
With my little experience I knew the overall piece was going to be a challenge to make.

My biggest challenge was getting the pose, expression and gesture of the character to follow the original concept.

To face this, I paid close attention to the details that create his personality - his expression, pose and even the color palette.

"Build a board with reference photos of styles and artists you like (the more the better), this is a must for improving your work, you can see other artists' approaches to different subjects. "

Giordano Prando
Art Heroes Student
How did you overcome these challenges?
I was always looking at reference photos of real life objects and stylized ones. For example, the skull on the arm of my character was complicated to do since in the reference it wasn't very clear what it was. So, I looked for animal skull references like tigers and cats to solve this.

Approaching and overcoming challenges is important for every artist in order to learn and get better, during this project I was always learning.

What's Next?
What are your plans for the future?
After finishing this project, I'm confident that I can make any character as long as I commit to it.

For my next steps I'd like to work in the game industry so I'll continue to do more personal projects to develop my skills and improve my portfolio.
Final Project
Artwork: Giordano Prando
Concept: Liu Min
Useful Links
Connect with Giordano on Artstation: gio3dart
Follow Giordano on Instagram: instashio
Browse Liu's character concepts on ArtStation: Lance Liu

Learn With Us
Explore relevant programs and up your level
Make an appealing and production-fit character in 6 weeks
Learn the basics of ZBrush to bring any level of complexity on board
Text author: Maria JD
Artwork by: Giordano Prando
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