Interview with Idea Artist & Character Designer Andrei Riabovitchev

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Andrei Riabovitchev is an idea and character designer with over 30 years of expertise within the animation and movie industries. He started his skilled profession in 1991 and has since held varied roles within the animation and movie industries, together with storyboard artist, manufacturing designer, character designer, and most lately as idea artist on Andor. Regardless of his packed skilled schedule, he nonetheless finds time for private work and tasks, utilizing AI as a artistic accomplice and NFT expertise to mint and promote his work.

Brady Walker: Exterior of the crypto artwork world, you’ve been a working artist in movie and animation for some time now, proper?

Andrei Riabovitchev: My skilled profession began in 1991. Connections are necessary in everybody’s life. Somebody recommends you for one job, you then simply maintain the ball rolling by getting increasingly suggestions. Once I completed college, a buddy of mine advisable me to an animation director who was in search of new skills. I didn’t have a portfolio, so I created one in per week; it was 4 or 5 pencil drawings on giant A1 sheets of paper that I tore in half. The animation director favored my work and gave me my first job as an in-between artist. So the animator attracts the important thing poses, and I drew all the frames in between. 

I really like animation. I watch each new Disney and Pixar movie. I labored within the animation trade for 14 years earlier than transferring to the UK. I  labored as a storyboard artist, manufacturing designer, character designer, and even directed a few commercials. After transferring to the UK, I continued to work within the movie trade, totally on movies.

“Historic Futurism 007” by Andrei Riabovitchev

BW: With all these jobs the place you had been a employed gun, what sorts of tasks do you discover your character popping out? The place you have a look at the work, and also you say that’s me, that’s my work.

AR: Once I create characters, I take into consideration the tales {that a} character can inform. You may inform an entire story with only one individual. 

Creating a personality isn’t nearly their bodily look but in addition their relationships, background, and historical past. A personality with an older sister would possibly look completely different than a personality with a youthful sister and completely different than a personality who’s an orphan with no siblings. You construct the entire story to mirror within the character. 

Some characters are straightforward to create, whereas others you suppose, wow, that is not possible. 

It’s significantly difficult to create feminine characters. Producers and administrators, particularly once they’re all male, have a lot of opinions on what a lady ought to appear to be and the way she must be portrayed. There’s an quantity of non-public style concerned. 

There was one, a boy; he’s a boy the entire movie till the tip when it’s revealed he’s a ravishing princess. So I had to attract a boy who can be convincing as a ravishing princess and a ravishing princess who can be convincing as a boy. It’s fairly difficult. However I like challenges. In any other case, life is boring.

“Tangled” by Andrei Riabovitchev

BW: Are most of those character designs primarily based on a script or current tales?

AR: Once I first began doing character design, it was for a mission that was written by a producer who didn’t have an in depth description of the characters. So, I had numerous freedom so as to add my very own character to the characters. That’s most likely the primary job that felt like, okay that is me, slightly bit. 

However then afterward, after I began working within the movie trade, I noticed that the director, producer, and studio bosses all had their very own opinions on the characters. It’s not your work at that time. It will depend on the director, actually. So, it was much less about my very own character and extra about pleasing everybody else within the chain of command. However this isn’t unhealthy, it’s simply that there’s much less of my very own character within the characters. 

So, I began doing extra private work and tasks the place I might put extra of my very own character into the characters. Some jobs let me convey my very own imaginative and prescient, some jobs much less.

“Spring” by Andrei Riabovitchev

BW: How a lot time do you must commit to private work?

AR: Little or no in the meanwhile. It is because I’m working. <My day begins at 6 am. I rapidly brush my tooth, have a bathe, perhaps eat a banana earlier than leaving, then drive to the studio, which takes about 35-38 minutes. As soon as I arrive, I’ve about an hour earlier than my official work begins, and through this time, I attempt to squeeze in some private work, like drawing or creating concepts. 

A very powerful factor within the artistic course of is having concepts; the remaining is technical work that may be executed later. I work till 6 pm after which drive again dwelling to spend a while with household and chill out. I normally don’t have a lot time for private work through the week, however typically on the weekends, I’ll draw on paper, which helps remind me of my outdated days after I solely drew on paper, and there have been no computer systems or cellphones.

“Metaverse” by Andrei Riabovitchev

BW: How does AI match into your artistic course of?

AR: What I like about AI is it’s like a second creativeness. For me, after I use AI, I usually suppose “Oh, that is boring” or “not fascinating,” however then I click on a button and it’s like, “Whoa, what’s occurring?” It sparks my creativeness and I begin occupied with how I can use the picture. With AI, I don’t have to spend so much of time drawing an entire pose, for instance, I can simply repair the arms or change the proportions. It’s additionally a lot sooner than conventional strategies. In case you use it in a novel method and tweak it with your individual concepts, it will probably look incredible. Total, AI saves me numerous time and offers inspiration, however it’s not a substitute my artistic course of,I nonetheless like to attract and have full management of my creativity.

“Third Eye — Evil Eye” by Andrei Riabovitchev

BW: Inform me about The Hunter. I see it alluded to in your social profiles however can’t discover every other data. 

AR: I used to work with a producer as a  manufacturing designer. He supplied to fund a 15-minute animation mission if I got here up with an fascinating thought. I began considering of a mission, my first thought being a music video a couple of couple dancing and the highway crumbling behind them, symbolizing the circle of life. I didn’t have time to pursue it because of my busy schedule and work, and I by no means completed this concept.

So, then I began to develop an idea for an historical warrior on a horse who can be a vampire hunter. In my thoughts, the story would contain this warrior and his buddies preventing in opposition to vampires and a strong empire positioned in a fortress. I used to be inquisitive about how a traditional individual would struggle such superior and highly effective creatures in historical occasions.

One of many scenes I drew was of the warrior standing on horseback with an historical weapon subsequent to a spaceship. I discovered this idea fascinating, and my thoughts started to work in that route.

I confirmed my sketches to my artwork director on the time, and he or she was impressed. At a London workshop I used to be talking at, an idea artist favored my sketches and requested concerning the brutal-looking character with an enormous weapon and spaceship. I instructed him it was a private mission I used to be growing, however I wasn’t positive if I had a reputation for it but, like “Hunter” or “Vampire Hunter.” He urged I discuss to a buddy of his who was a kids’s ebook author and will probably assist me develop the story. I agreed however talked about I didn’t have cash to pay for assist. He stated his buddy would assist out of enthusiasm, and he gave me his contact data.

So I linked with this man, and he was very nice. He stated he might assist me out with my mission. On the time, it was only a small thought, however it’s grown so much since then. It’s not only one story, it’s a bunch of various characters and adventures. It’s like an enormous world. So he helped me develop the story, and we labored on it for a couple of yr. However then he received busy along with his children, and our collaboration stopped. So I continued engaged on it alone for some time, after which one other man joined me. We spent one other yr engaged on it, and it was okay, however there have been nonetheless some issues that may very well be improved. However anyhow, that’s the fundamental thought of The Hunter. 

It’s a narrative a couple of father in search of his daughter in a multiverse. There’s this place known as Nowhere that connects all of the completely different earths. It’s not a fantasy or a Star Wars-type sci-fi story, however it’s received some cool parts of each.

“Discovering Gods of the Metaverse” by Andrei Riabovitchev 

BW: Are you able to inform me about your items that allude to visions of the metaverse? I’m considering particularly of “Tribal Angel of the Metaverse” and “Discovering Gods of the Metaverse.”

AR: When individuals began speaking concerning the metaverse, I received inquisitive about what it’s and what it might appear to be. The metaverse doesn’t exist but, however it must be one thing big, like constructing the entire earth, no less than, and perhaps a few planets.

One producer I spoke with had an fascinating thought: to create a brand new world, the outdated one must be destroyed. So one thing must occur for the outdated world to crumble and disintegrate, making method for the brand new one. On this new world, there can be cleaner buildings and expertise, and perhaps even new types of power.

I additionally considered what can be on this new world and what can be left of the outdated one. For instance, historical statues or ruins which can be crumbling and falling aside, however within the background, you possibly can see cleaner and newer buildings.

Faith can also be an necessary facet to think about. Some persons are nonetheless non secular and should need to see gods and angels on this new world. However we are able to’t see all the pieces, we solely see a small share of what’s round us, and there may very well be different dimensions and worlds we don’t learn about but. 

This concept of constructing the metaverse sparked my curiosity in physics, quantum physics, and the multiverse. This ties into The Hunter too. It began with the primary character, a gatekeeper, who guards and protects the world from different worlds, however then there are gods, demons, and angels. 

“Tribal Angel of the Metaverse” by Andrei Riabovitchev

BW: What recommendation would you give your 20-year-old self about artwork and creativity?

AR: Two issues: The primary is to be affected person. The second is to study 3D. 

“Life” by Andrei Riabovitchev

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