Artist Interview: Vladimir Silkin

Today we have Vladimir Silkin with us, an amazing talented Lead 3D Artist.

His works are on Top Trending in most 3D websites and he was humble enough to give us this interview so he can share some of his experience and knowledge with us.

to Check out Vladimir Full Portfolio visit his site:

Lets Start:

Question: Hey Vladimir, Can you please introduce yourself, Your name, Education, Early life?

Hey there, My name is Vladimir and I’m 3d artist. I live in Kharkiv, Ukraine, and currently working for 9 years in the company Plarium as 3d character artist team lead. I have been working on modeling and texturing for video games, commercials, and 3d printing. My total experience in the CG industry is over 15 years.

Question: What made you choose Art as a career? 

As a young kid, I was always into drawing and since was a teenager I played a lot on computer and consoles. So I believe that passion for video games makes me who I am now. As a gamer, I always wanted to create my own worlds and characters. When my best friend found 3ds max and shown might blow my mind.

Back in the days, I lived in small-town and it simply was my hobby, because in our country there weren’t any game dev studios. After graduated from school I started a study atUniversity in the fairly big city of Kharkiv. There were a couple of game dev studios and I decided that I want to be a part of this industry.

Question: Did you have the support you needed from your family starting out or was there opposition?

Definately, my parents and my wife gave me all support and motivation

Question: Did you Learn 3D on your own or did you get a diploma of some sort? 

I’m a self-taught artist and don’t have any diplomas. In my country, there is no possibility to achieve education in the art industry. So the only way to become an artist is patient, self-education, and hard work.

When I started study 3d graphics in 2003 I even didn’t have internet, that’s why I bought a book about 3ds max 5 and literally read how to work in 3d. Also, I used F1 help inside 3ds max and did every lesson from there.

Question: Did you find a job quickly after finishing your education? 

Yes, I found my first job pretty quickly during my last course at the university. It was a company called G5 entertainment. There was a funny accident. I made my test model for the G5 in 3ds max and was hired, but when I came to work it turned out that the company works in Maya.

So I was fired on my first day. But I didn’t give, came home and start to learn Maya. And in one month made the same test model and animation in Maya and was hired again. So never give up and keep working!

Question: What were the obstacles you faced in the first job you took as an artist? 

On my first job, I was the first 3d artist in the Kharkiv office and other 3d artists were in Moscow. We worked via Skype and there always was non-paid overtime. Nikolay Makarov who was my lead from Moscow was a rude and toxic person. That’s why after 8 months I had to leave this company.

Question: Do you feel to be an artist an individual should be a master at drawing? 

From my point of view, it’s a huge boost for 3d artists if you have experience in drawing. This helps you see proportions, composition, colors, and light scenes properly. But if you are not good at drawing it’s ok, I know many good 3d artists who can’t draw at all.

Question: What is currently your workflow when it comes to working? what softwares do you use? 

I’m open to discovering new programs that I can use to improve my work. At this time, I currentlyuse3ds max, ZBrush, Marvelous designerandSubstance painter for 3D modeling and texturing. In terms of sculpting, I prefer ZBrush because it’s so powerful and has everything you need. As to my workflow.

First of all, I gather reference photos and use PureRef software in order to keep them in one place. Then I jump into ZBrush where I start to make a rough block out future models.

After I approved the primary forms I dive into detailing my high poly mesh. Step by step from primary forms to tertiary and surface details. The next step is baking and texturing in substance painter.

The texturing process is my favorite step because here the model is brought to the life. After texturing is finished it’s time to make a presentation in Marmoset toolbag if it a game ready model or render in 3ds max if it cinematic model.

Question: Do you practice any kind of traditional art, for example, Painting, Traditional Sculpting? do you think that is beneficial in the digital age we live in? 

Rarely, but sometimes I like to draw and sculpt something in clay. It’s beneficial in the digital age because during traditional sculpting you feel forms and don’t have symmetry tools and ctrl+Z. This gives your sculptures more life and creativity

Question: What kind of tech do you use? do you use a Wacom? Do you think it’s better for artists to get a laptop rather than a PC? 

I work on PC with Wacom Intuos Pro Medium, and it’s comfortable for me. But nowadays you can create amazing stuff even on tablets with stylos. The main instrument is your own hands and head.

Question: In your opinion what is the best software to start with if one wants to learn 3d ? and why? 

No matter what you’ll choose to start with because all software does the same result in the end. The difference is only in buttons and menus

Question: Do you think artists, in general, are well paid? do you encourage students out there to go into this field? 

The best job is a well-paid hobby. I earn enough for living and traveling. So If you have a passion to create characters, environments, weapons or etc. you definitely must go to this field

Question: If you were to give your younger self 3 pieces of advice what would those be?  

The first advice is to study human and animal anatomy it really helps you in the future. The second advice is to stay in touch with industry professionals and strengthen your networking, visit conferences, and take active participation in the community.

And the last advice is to be creative.