Who is 'Ironman13' and how did you come by that username?
I am a 24 year old Chef living in Oregon. I am a wife and have hopes to be a mother soon. I came by the username Ironman13 because Ironman is my husbands and my favorite comic book hero. The 13 being a traditionally unlucky number is there to remind me that luck has very little to do with anything. It makes me feel more optimistic. Knowing that regardless of the challenges that come up in life or in 3D I can always find a solution.
Have you had any traditional art experience or training?
I haven't had any traditional training, but I have always loved to draw and paint with traditional medium, and it's been interesting trying to translate what my hands do with pencils and brushes to my computer screen, LOL! Books, tutorials, and just getting inspired by the beautiful artwork in the community has helped to improve my skills, but there are many areas where I would like to improve more, and thankfully, there are many people in the community who are willing to lend their advice and feedback :)
What are you currently working on?
I have so many things going on right now. Some are joint projects with other vendors and some are my own. A temple, a Halloween pack, an outfit for v4 and a pose pack for m4. Just to name a few. As so many other artists have said, "I begin something, get about halfway through and then decide it's not right, so I start on something else." Sometimes you will begin something and then realize that although it seems fantastic as an idea, it simply does not translate well to 3d.
What software is currently in your digital toolset and why?
Currently, I'm using Carrara, 3D Coat, Zbrush, and Hexagon for modeling, I also use Zbush, Blacksmith3D, and 3D coat for texturing, along with Genetica. Photoshop 7, Paint shop Pro X3, and Photo Impact for texturing and ads. Note Tab Lite for text editing, Poser 8 & Poser Pro 2010, along with DAZ|Studio 3 and DAZ|Studio 3 Advanced for content creation. Also, Poser Tool Collection, and Poser File Editor from Dimension 3D. I like to get trials and demos of every program I can to see if it's something I'd like to add to my workflow. I've found that having a wide variety of programs to work with is beneficial in that each program really shines in one area of content creation. Check out each program you see and consider its benefits, sometimes even the most unassuming little program can save you hours and make your work so much easier!
How would you describe your creative process?
There are three ways in which I create products. One is simply public demand. I ask about it in the forums and ask friends what they feel is needed. The second is to find a great real world reference material. Examples would be my cozy bedroom or bathrooms. The third is to simply create from pure imagination (these are the products you rarely see come to market). Examples would be anything in my Tribe series.
Are there perhaps any tips or tricks you have found in your own work that might be of help to others learning the software you use?
Lots of tutorials and manual reading! And also, don't be afraid to ask lots of questions in the forums, the community here is very generous and willing to help if you get stuck in a certain area. Everyone has something to offer and if you listen closely to their advice you can usually get that little piece of Poser gold you were looking for. Even if you only learn one new thing in a tutorial it's worth the time spent. It's amazing how fast you can learn when you really apply yourself.
Where do you find inspiration for your products, and do you have any particular favorite among the products you've created?
So many things are inspirational to me: movies/tv/video games, books I've read, other amazing artists here, watching people in everyday life, and, of course, the essential staring-off-into-space sessions!
Some of my favorite product are those from Tribe series – because it's from my imagination and there's a whole story behind it. It's really a whole world that I'll continually be expanding :)
Have you ever created product in response to customer feedback?
Most recently, Pin Up Pro and Mavka Fairy Pose Collection were made in response to customer requests. Many of my customers have been kind enough to take the time to share with me what they like about my products (thank you!) and other things they would like to see in future products. Thanks to everyone who's sent me their suggestions and kind words, they are so much appreciated.
Do you have any advice for aspiring Digital Content Developers?
Keep at it, and don't be discouraged when you run into problems. Half of content creation is fixing problems, lol. Just breathe deeply and have a look in the manual and in tutorials, it's time well spent. Be sure you're having fun and doing what you like. If you are excited about your work and passionate about sharing it you'll be amazed at what you can do. There is something for everyone in content creation, from painting to programming, experiment with lots of different areas of it and find what you're really excited about working on.
Also, exercise and good food (and coffee! Lol) is an absolute necessity for working. Take good care of yourself – you're worth it. Even if you're in the middle of a project and can hardly tear your eyeballs from the screen – remember to get up and stretch every few hours and get some good exercise in, you'll be glad you did. And you'll also get more work done this way too – spending a couple extra hours a day on cooking good meals (drop me a mail if you need any recipes, lol!) and exercise will actually give you a lot more time and energy for your work. Sorry to digress so much here, but this is a very important subject for me :)
How has this online Community (Renderosity) enhanced your work, relationships, and learning?
There is an absolute wealth of knowledge here at Renderosity. I can find anything I need to know, either in the tutorial section or by simply asking in the forums. There is always someone willing to help. When I first arrived here I really needed help and Rebelmommy helped me in a huge way (thank you!!). She did not even consider that I was making a competing product. She just helped me. I believe that's an example of the kind of people I have met here. Just wonderful, helpful people willing to share in there knowledge. I have made many friends here, and some of the other vendors make up most of my social life. I think we get along so well because we have so much in common.
I'd also like to give a big thanks to the admins here as well, who, although they are so very busy, continually take the time to give their help and a smile whenever I have a question or problem. Thank you so much Debbie, Jenifer, Stacey and Blake!!! You've made my experience here at Renderosity a very friendly one, all those smiles have meant a lot! :)
Do you have any final words or advice for other digital artists?
Yes I do. One thing I feel is very useful to me is to keep a folder and name it "quick reference." In this folder I keep note tab docs and screen shots that show simple ways to complete tasks in the various software I use. Nothing cramps your flow and costs you more in time than having to go and look up something that you already learned 4 months ago. With the quick reference folder I can simply open it and find what I need. I also keep a row a PDF manuals smack in the middle of my desktop so I remember to read them, lol.
Also, look at all your art through the eyes of someone else. If you stumbled upon this image would it make you think "Wow, that's neat"? If the answer is no, then it's back to work.
Thank you again so much for this honor, I very much appreciate it! Thank you to everyone who has helped me in the forums and with their tutorials and advice. A *huge* thank you to all of my customers, I could not do this work without you and your feedback is so important to me. If you ever have a question, suggestion, or need any help with a product or program, let me know and I'll be more than happy to offer my help!! Thank you :)