Interview with Elodie Mondoloni

I started working in the CG industry a bit more than a year ago, I’m still pretty junior. I started with freelance jobs, and then I started working for a bigger videogames company because I wanted to work under the supervision of art directors and have more feedbacks about my work, but also to specialise in Hardsurace concept art.

I mainly work with Photoshop but I also use a lot of rendered and lighted 3D bases for my artworks, that’s why I’m using Maya and Marmoset a lot.

What led you intto the CGI/3D? Tell us your story.

It’s only quite late that I decided to work in the video game industry. I was always drawing when I was younger, but kids are not really encouraged to pursue art related studies. So after a science oriented hight school, I was quite lost and didn’t really know what to do. I was playing some video games but not that much, I was more interested in fine arts. I visited some art schools but the traditionnal and very restrictive methods pushed me to look after something else : and that’s how I found my real time 3D school. I discovered a brand new world, that video game industry was full of amazing artists. I studied and graduated as a 3D artist but I was passionated about concept art, all my free time after school was dedicated to personnal work, skecthing, life drawing, studies …
It’s because of that background that I’m still using a lot of 3D in my artworks, I try to take advantages of both 3D and 2D worlds

Where do you go to get inspired? What/Who inspires you?

Literrally everything is a source of inspiration, it could be cinema, photography, paintings, museums, real life … The world is full of inspiration as long as you look at it with curious eyes.
There are so many inspiring artist it would take ages for me to write them all but if I had to choose, I would say Robh Ruppel, Moebius, Hiroshi Yoshida, Zdzislaw Beksinski, Gérard Trignac … But also other concept artists such as Alex Konstad, Sparth, Lip Comarella …

How does a typical working day look like?

Nothing crazy really, I just start working around 9, have a 1h break for lunch, I use it sometimes for personnal work, somethimes to play videogames (ok video games most of the time) and I leave work around 17:30. I try to do personnal work after my working day as much as I can but sometimes I just need to relax with music and a good book.

What does your workplace look like?

I have a large desk that I can adjust if I want to work sitting or standing up, 2 monitors and I work on a Cintiq Pro 24 P. I always keep a cup of tea or coffee to boost me during the day and a pile of different artbooks to find inspiration.

How do you stay motivated in this tough industry?

It’s sometimes hard to stay motivated when you see all those incredible artist who can find time to do personnal work everyday, work for the best projects and still have time for themself. But instead of giving up and complaining, the best thing is to take them as examples, as goals. I’m also craving to learn new techniques, new skills, new knowledge … this is keeping me motivated to do better everytime and the inspiration is often coming from what I learn while learning new stuff.

What is your passion beside CGI/3D?

I have loads of passions but if I had to choose I would say everything that is related to space. It could be History of space conquest, scientific insights, astronomy … It’s fascinating and still have so much to discover.

How do you keep your portfolio up to date? Any tips?

I try to do personnal work as much as I can, and sometimes when I’m running out of inspiration, or I want to set myself some strict milestones to keep me motivated all the way throught, I try to participate to challenges or contests.

What Software do you use to create your artwork?

I start my 3D bases in Maya, light it and render it on marmoset and off course, paint over with Photshop.

What Software do you want to learn in future? And why?

I’d like to learn a bit more about Cinema 4D because it allows you to create really nice, complex and intricated shapes very quickly.

Which books would you recommend to the read?

I’m a huge fan of Science fiction so I would recommand the classic Dune saga (very rich and visual expanded universe) by Franck Herbert, Fondation cycle by Asimov, 1964 by Georges Orwell, The WindWalkers (La horde du contrevent) by Alain Damasio … And if you’re more into space, science and philosophy, I would recommand Stephen Hawking books, namely The Grand Design.

What music do you listen to while working?

it depends on my mood and what I’m working on, but mostly electro (Fakear, Odesza, Dreamers Delight, Rone, Lorn …) But also a bit a metal and rock (Megadeth, SoaD, Nirvana, Guns n‘ roses … )

Any advice for new Artists?

Practice and be curious about everything, not only trendy artist on Artstation.