interview with Michal Pilch

I started having fun in CGI 2 years ago, treated it as a hobby, but right now my goal is to get job in the industry.

Michał Pilch is a Graphic Designer from Gliwice, Poland. Not working in industry yet.
He likes to work with Unreal Engine 4, Blender and Photoshop.

What led you into the CGI/2D? Tell us your story.

I always loved cinematography, games and concept art. Unfortunately I believed that you need academic education to work as an artist, that’s why I abadoned creative stuff until I was 23 years old. I was working physically since 18 years old, but never felt happy. One day I was randomly surfing websites and I came across Maciej Kuciara’s work and started reading about his story, turned out he was self taught as well as many other industry „Pro“ artists and suddenly my life changed and I finally felt that I can do what I love and translate my vision into 2d/3d work. Since then (It was about 3 years ago) I am grinding hard to break into industry, absorbing knowledge mostly from Youtube tutorials, some paid courses and figuring out stuff „my way“.

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

In the beginning I was mostly inspired by other artists work. Right now my main sources of inspiration are: movies, music, architecture, animation, military and photography. If I had to choose few artists that made me do creative stuff: Maciej Kuciara, Ash Thorp, Alex Figini, Mark Chang, Alexander Mandradjiev, Sava Zivkovic and Paul Chadeisson.

How does a typical working day look like?

Since my daily job is not connected with creative stuff I like to do, I usually do everything after work. So most of the time I spend 8 hours at work, then I come back home and either do some personal projects or learning new stuff in 3d. If I feel tired or lazy I watch and analyze movies and tv series.

What does your workplace look like?

Simple 2 monitor setup, PC, Wacom Intuos Pro L.

What is your passion beside CGI/2D?

Propably biggest passion right now besides CGI is cinematography, I’m pretty geeky about (good) movies. I can watch one movie 10 times and analyze composition, vfx, music, acting etc. Besides that I used to do a lot of photography with big influence of cinema. I also like to rollerblade on skateparks from time to time. Right now most of my free time I spend in front of my computer learning new stuff so it’s my main and only passion for couple of months.

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

I don’t consider any of my artwork to be portfolio-ready, so I don’t feel like giving tips, but for sure there are some stuff to keep an eye on like quality, design, storytelling, composition and detail.

What Software do you use to create your artwork?

I used to do most of my artworks in Photoshop, but right now my usual workflow is sketching either on paper or in Photoshop, modeling in Blender and assembling everything in Unreal Engine.

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

Propably Unreal Engine capabilities will take most of my time, but I’d love to learn some VFX stuff in Houdini. I’m also curious how VR will affect industry so for sure I will keep eye on VR software.

Which books would you recommend to the read?

Unfortunately, I don’t read a lot of books, but for sure I can recommend Mastery by Robert Greene – great book.

What music do you listen to while working?

Mostly instrumental music from movies (Hans Zimmer, Max Richter, Ghibli movies soundtrack). I also listen to some old school hip-hop songs from American East side and a little bit of rock/alternative rock music from time to time.

Any advice for new Artists?

Never give up, create art that you want to create (I mean don’t focus on what people like and instagram likes), be original (too many Beeple copies out there), watch new trends in industry, always learn something new even if you think you’re „good enough“.