Who is 'coflek-gnorg' and how did you come to use that member name?
My real name is Dominik Lenardo. I'm 39 years old and I live with my wife and 4-year old son in Croatia, Europe.
In the beginning, I published some pictures in RR galleries, and for a joke named myself coflek-gnorg (both were my IRC nicks). When I started selling products, I was thinking about changing the nickname. But, meanwhile, that nickname became a 'brand' name for my products. So, it's still here even though it's hard to pronounce (now my friends addressed me simply as Coflek or CG).
How long have you been involved in digital art?
I started exploring digital art when I was a teenager, with little options that the Commodore 64 had to offer. I expanded my horizons with the Amiga 500, even made some animations. But, the real deal started at the end of last century, with 3D graphics in 3D Studio.
Have you had any traditional art experience or training?
Of course! As a child I drew bad comics :). Seriously, no, I'm generally self-educated.
What are you currently working on?
Tough question, haha. I'm skipping from one project to another in a matter of days. My creations vary from outdoor toilet to complex Sci-Fi environments. But, right now, I'm planning to do some robotic creatures, or fantasy dioramas (see what I'm talking about?).
What software is currently in your digital toolset and why?
My main programs are 3ds Max and Photoshop. I use Poser only for assembling product for the MarketPlace. But, my newest investment was ZBrush. I was aware of the possibilities this program offers, but also terrified with the look of the ZBrush interface. Now, I'm glad that I decided to work with ZBrush: there's many new possibilities for my creating process.
How would you describe your creative process?
I'm waiting for a good idea to strike. I stopped chasing ideas a long time ago, now I wait that they come to me. After that, I put some sketches on paper and start modeling in Max. Sometimes I do texturing along with modeling, and sometimes I finish a whole model and then begin the texturing process. Hardest part for me is creating promotional pictures for the MarketPlace. That's the real pain in the neck for me.
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?
Video tutorials are very useful. No matter which program, no matter what effect or creation process, everything can be found in video tutorials. That's how I learned to work with ZBrush.
Where do you find inspiration for your products, and do you have any particular favorite among the products you've created?
Usually I put ordinary, everyday scenes into my own world, filtering them through my Steampunk, Cyberpunk, Sci-Fi and Fantasy filters, or mixing them all together into something new. Favourites? Lapcoder, Steampunk Jets and Patrolboat.
Have you ever created product in response to customer feedback?
Yes, I expanded my spaceship segments vol 3 and 4 on demand. There was some other good ideas, but I'm still keeping them in reserve.
Do you have any advice for aspiring Digital Content Developers?
Try to find your unique style. Experiment with everything: styles, themes, presentations... Take your time, nothing is lost during the creation process, you can only learn new and exciting stuff.
How has this online Community (Renderosity) enhanced your work, relationships, and learning?
Huh, in the beginning it was only a casual hobby. Now it's a really serious job, but luckily, fun remains the same all the time. I'm still learning, still trying to improve my models, my textures... that's a continuous process I enjoy so much. I only regret that I can't find more time to correspond with more members on RR.
Do you have any final words or advice for other digital artists?
Here's final words for all... Carter USM: "The impossible dream" - my anthem
"To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go
To right the unrightable wrong
To love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are to weary
To reach the unreachable star
This is my quest, to follow the star
No matter how hopeless, no matter how far To fight for the right, without question or pause And to dream the impossible dream"
Be creative, be free!