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Interviews with artists: Jhon Ortiz

02 May 2018

Following in our interview series, we bring you young talent Jhon Ortiz, who we had the pleasure to meet when he won the jury award of the Cinema Challenge we celebrated last year. Though Jhon's main focus is in 3D animation, as you'll see in the interview, he also works on 3D modelling, illustration, and other disciplines.

Interviews with illustrators: Jhon Ortiz

Tell us a bit about yourself: how did you end in the illustration and animation world?

I’m not sure of the moment I decided to become an artist. I always enjoyed painting and drawing, but I did it just for fun, I never connected it with a professional career. I remember watching the Saturday morning cartoons as a kid: Merry Melodies, Looney Tunes, and Hanna-Barbera where among my favourites. I was a kid bqack then and knew zero about animation, they were just fun characters to me. I think everything changed for me when I first watched Toy Story: I knew what I wanted to become since that moment, even if it’s difficult to tell your family you want to earn a living with animation.

Even if I knew it was not my thing, I decided because to study journalism because I thought that way my parents would be less anxious about me having a degree, and would let me dot what I wanted after. At university I met a friend who was as mad as me about animation. I remember us going to a Motion Graphics course, and things flowing fast since then: one course led to another, and my will to learng grew more and more until leading me to 3D animation.

You work on a variety of fields: illustration, 3D modelling and animation, even some UX and UI Design. Is it easy to combine the creative side with the technical side? Do you think that more artists should do that?

John Lasseter once said that "art challenges technology and technology inspires art". I think both things, art and technology, walk hand in hand. Creativity is one of the most important skills of a human being. The technical side helps us execute and make real what we imagined, but I don't see it as two separate things, but as a whole process.

The skills I have in those diverse fields come from different situations, and each artist walks a different path and finds different obstacles. In my case, I always was a self-learner and being able to sketch, concept, model, and rig a character gave me a lot of freedom and independence.

Interviews with illustrators: Jhon Ortiz

Who are your biggest influences and the artists you most look up to?

I'm influenced by a lot or artists: Genndy Tartakosky, Nate Wrangg, Mike Yamada, Dice Tsutsumi, Gop Gap, Elioli, Julia Sarda. And I could go on! Nowadays, just opening instagram or pinterest makes you discover new great and talented artists.

How do you manage your social networks, and how much time do you spend on them?

I don't have a strong influence in social networks, and I usually post stuff when I got some spare time to illustrate. But I don't really schedule myself for it, there are times where I make stuff and won't post it. I don't try to keep it up-to-date, I just draw and post stuff for fun.

Finally, any advice to those who are starting to work in illustration and 3D art?

It's hard advising when I just got started! But I think what matters is to be constant. You've got to see things like a marathon, not a 100 meters race. Hard work wins over talent when the talent does not work hard! If you are passionate about it, don't stop working on that, and don't be afraid of asking what you don't know and don't be afraid to show what you do know: the most talented people I know are the humblest.

Thanks a lot, Jhon!

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