First off, tell us a little bit about yourself. Who is "Ironman13"?
I'm a 25 year old ex-chef from Oregon, somewhat of a movie buff, I love the natural environment where I live and food, I love food, LOL!
You've had the honor of Vendor Of the Month once before. To what do you credit your continued success?
Long work hours, of course - sometimes 10-12 hours a day. I listen to the customers' feedback and try to respond with improvements to my products. I like to spend a considerable amount of time thinking things through before I set out on making a product. I can also be very meticulous and a bit of a perfectionist when making a product.
How long have you been involved in digital art?
About 4 years now. Previously, I did my art using traditional media.
What software is currently in your digital toolset and why?
I use Modo, Photoshop CS5, 3DCoat, ZBrush, Carrara, Hexagon, Genetica, Silo, Blacksmith3D, Poser Pro 2010/2012, and Daz Studio 3&4. I spend most of my time in Modo, 3Dcoat and Photoshop. Photoshop for texturing and ad making. Modo is an extremely flexible modeler and also has weightmap support and excellent UV mapping capabilities. 3DCoat allows me to relax and sculpt and paint with a considerable amount of freedom.
What originally made you decide to become a vendor?
I live in a small town and was laid off. There were not many work opportunities, so I decided to make my hobby my career.
Right now, I'm working on a terrain set that will probably be out by the time this interview goes out, lol. I just finished a video tutorial, and I have a couple of pose packs in the works. I also have some more Scene Enhancements, which is a new series I started where I make sets of eclectic props, because I believe a nice sculpted item added to a scene can really enhance people's art and I'd like to give them a variety of things to choose from.
Through the creation process, from inception to finalization of the product, what is your favorite part and why?
I love to make the ads for the products and see the creation really come together. This is where I also make some last minute adjustments to make sure every product is easy to use for the customer.
You've also collaborated in the past with other vendors. How was the collaborative process for you?
I enjoy collaborating with other vendors. I believe everyone brings a unique perspective and skill to the table. It's enjoyable to talk with others on Skype, or chat while I'm working, and we gain inspiration from each other while also sharing knowledge.
What do you enjoy doing when you're not hard at work creating great content?
Watch movies, play xbox, hang out in the jacuzzi, cook, and I'm getting into digital cameras, so I spend some time outside taking photos.
Do you have any final words or advice for other digital artists or vendors?
Definitely getting up and moving around after sitting in front of the computer for awhile is very important. It keeps your energy level high.
Don't be afraid to put some time into thinking about your products, spend a good deal of time on promos - you can never have a good enough promo. Consider your customers' opinions.
I know it's been said before, but find yourself a niche, something new and unique. Try looking for a hole in the market and then make that your specialty. Always keep learning and don't be afraid to ask questions. If people don't like your product, don't take it personally, it doesn't mean your next one won't be a hit!
I'd like to thank all of my loyal customers and the staff at Renderosity for giving me an opportunity to make a living doing what I love :)