beating fears of not being good enough through likeness

Alum Rachid Jatib tasked himself with sculpting true realism by setting clear goals to overcome on the program.
Rachid is an immensely diverse 3D artist with a wealth of skills. His story of working through feelings of imposter syndrome and his own high expectations is one we can all relate to and invokes tons of inspiration.
Meet rachid jatib
Tell us about yourself
Hi, my name is Rachid Jatib, I live in Miami, Florida. I’m the 3D Art Lead at Bad Rhino Games.

I've been working in the industry since 2019, starting our as a freelance Junior 3D Artist and working my way up to Lead 3D Artist.

I used to enjoy stylized the most because of its simplicity and minimalism, but now I’m leaning more towards realistic, because I like the level of complexity.

I’ve been doing 3D since 2016. I decided to study with Art Heroes because the classes seemed structured and to the point.
How did you feel about your art before studying with us? How has this changed since completing the program?
Honestly, I felt that my character art skills sucked. I still feel I have a lot further to go to meet my personal standards, but I know that doesn’t come within a day.

The main changes I’ve experienced is learning how to set realistic expectations of myself. I've learnt to be more patient with myself, and to accept my learning speed, to give myself the room and time to grow.
How it started
What's the name of your Project? Where did the idea come from? Why did you choose it?
My model is based on both the concept by a Korean Concept artist/illustrator Vandyck .K and Liv Tyler as Arwen Evenstar, from The Lord of the Rings film trilogy.
Character Development
What were the main milestones for you?
Creating a close enough likeness of the actress I had chosen and getting over the fear of grooming were my main milestones.
"Be patient with yourself.
remember you are a production artisan — a professional player, you are basically learning how to play on command."
Rachid Jatib
Art Heroes Student
Challenges
What were your biggest challenges?
Spending too much time looking at the same thing so I couldn’t tell what was wrong anymore - I think this happens to all artists!

Finding the confidence to tackle something new such as realistic portrait and grooming.

Planning and my own time management.
How did you overcome challenges?
I was lucky enough to be surrounded by awesome artists that volunteered their time to help me find what was wrong with the sculpt.

Reminding myself that this is just 3D, is nothing but pixels, if I mess it up I can start over again.

I created a realistic schedule to help me keep on track. I set a clear goal of what type of quality I was aiming for. This meant I had the necessary information to make an educated guess for my production schedule.

I literally logged my hours, just as I would when working freelance and each week I created a summary to figure out if I spent too much time on one part or not enough on another and worked out ways to optimize.
What parts of the program did you find most useful?
I liked the way the classes were structured and the feedback from my mentor Josh Wallace.
What are your personal takeaways?
Be kind with yourself.
Treat yourself the same way you would treat someone you care about. Sometimes the voice inside our head gets aggressive and things that you would never imagine telling other people you end up telling yourself. The goal is to improve, not to demorilize or beat yourself up.

Learn to have fun again with what you are engaged with.
Remember you chose this profession out of passion. It can be frustrating because you see the years passing by. You may not be exactly where you want to, and sometimes all the applications you send out come back as rejection letters, responsibilities pile up and it only gets more challenging as you become older.

But, remember you are a production artisan — “professional player”, you are basically learning how to play on command.

Before you would play to enjoy, you played better the others in this and it's got to the point where people are willing to pay you to do what you enjoy most. So now you are playing to cater to your clients needs, so you need to learn to tune out the world and the problems around you.
What's Next?
What's your biggest achievement from the program and where are you taking your skills next?
Every personal project for me has to have a purpose. I know that I will spend at least 1 year of production on it so it has to mean something to me. It has to have a very specific goal.

For example, the “High Elf” project goals were:
  • Introduction of facial anatomy/structure
  • Introduction to grooming
  • Introduction to VFX workflow

I'd say I've hit these goals but next I want to tackle the full body likeness of the High Elf.
Final Project
Artwork: Rachid Jatib
Reference: High Elf by Vandyck .K +
Erwen Evenstar in LOTR movie Trilogy
Useful Links
Connect with Rachid on Artstation: RachidJ
Follow Rachid on Instagram: RachidJatib
Editor: Hannah Barmes Healy
Artwork by: Rachid Jatib
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