Interview with Reynante Martinez

Reynante Martinez is a CG Artist and Lighting Enthusiast from Philippines with 14 years of industry experience. He likes to work with Blender, GIMP, Substance Designer and Substance Painter.

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

It was between 2003 and 2004 when my older brother (an AI Researcher) introduced me to GIMP, an open source image editor. We’ve always been artistic during the entirety of our childhood and our parents were very kind to encourage us on this. We would spend our weekends reading comic books and copying the cool images that are drawn. Sometimes, we’d cheat and use a carbon paper to trace over the outlines. The memories are still vivid and it’s probably why I got very attracted on the CGI world.

Since discovering digital art, I have been hooked and there’s no getting away from it. The possibilities are just endless—and so much fun!

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

Metaphorically speaking, I go nowhere and everywhere to get inspired. It’s this ether floating around us that inspires me. The tricky part though is how to absorb and interpret these.

In the digital realm though, browsing through Artstation and Pinterest has been one of the most addicting and satisfying methods of injecting my mind with inspiration, which can both be frustrating and liberating. There’s just so much good stuff out there!

There’s also something mesmerizing and intriguing about nature itself—the mathematical patterns, the fractal patterns, the metamorphosis, the symbiosis, and many more. And it has always been a challenge for me to recreate these digitally, even just a portion of it.

How does a typical working day look like?

I usually start work after lunch, when all the early morning routines—walking our dogs while sun bathing for several minutes, working out and getting my blood pumping, cleaning the house, sorting my office, etc.—has been taken cared of. I usually stay in the office (with several breathing, exercise, and reading breaks here and there) until 9 PM. But I also take a break regularly to attend to my family. Afterwards, when the environment becomes so silent, I focus my time on learning (CG, piano, philosophy, etc.).

What does your workplace look like?

How do you stay motivated in this tough industry?

I usually stick to the mindset that I will always be grateful for the fact that I am a better artist than I was yesterday. Sometimes it can be very frustrating when you see other artists excel on what they do and you can’t come close to the level that they’re in. But when I focus on my personal growth as an artist, that’s enough to keep me motivated. And I know that in time, with patience and perseverance, I’ll get to that level that I looked up to, and even higher.

What is your passion beside CGI/3D?

I love studying Philosophy in general; it gives me a better view of the world that I live in. When I’m not reading, doing CG, spending time with family and pets, I’m usually on my piano studying the instrument and just indulging myself in the harmonies and melodies that music has to offer.

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

The best way to do this would be to stick to a routine and make it a habit to create. I myself, at times, have fallen into the trap of procrastinating and just losing the urge to create. But whenever I can muster the courage to create stuff in CG, I sit down and won’t let go of the idea until it becomes solid enough that I can leave it be and get back to it to finish.

It’s also a good idea to stay relevant and to keep pushing your creative juices beyond its limits.

What Software do you use to create your artwork?

It’s predominantly Blender/GIMP. But recently I started dabbling with Substance Painter and Substance Designer, which both intrigue and challenge me as an artist.

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

Definitely SideFX’s Houdini. I’ve been hearing a lot about its node-based workflow and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

Which books would you recommend to the read?

I have a lot on my list, but here are a few that stands out for me and I would highly recommend:

  • The Practicing Mind by Thomas M. Sterner
  • 12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson
  • Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
  • Mindset by Carol Dweck
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
  • The Art of Racing in the Rain

What music do you listen to while working?

When zoned in on work and any creative endeavors, I usually listen to instrumental background music (Chillhop, Piano Lounge, Classical, Zen, etc.). When aggressive and have to do something urgent and I’m pressed for time, a little dubstep, techno, dance, or house music is needed.

Any advice for new Artists?

Be honest and genuine with your work and with yourself. If there’s one story you should be telling the whole world, it should be your own unique story and not somebody else’s. And enjoy the journey!