Meet Renderosity Vendor, arcebus
June 26, 2008 12:58 am
It really is amazing what one can learn about fellow artists, if only it is thought to ask. That is definitely the case here, as I had the great opportunity to talk with one of Renderosity's talented Vendors, arcebus.Full of humor and a dangerous looking fellow, as he himself is first to declare, he is a man of many talents. I was delighted to be able to get a look into what he does, and hear his views on what it takes to be a succesful vendor, and artist.
Who is "arcebus", and how did you come by that username?
"Arcebus" is just the translation of my family name into latin. I love dead languages, and I like the seriously sick ones, too. But I'm not an old roman. During my professional life I used to change my artist names depending on the kind of work I did - and sometimes even from one customer to another. Just like the ancient japanese painters. But also - I am not japanese.
Having talked about what I am not, maybe that's the
point I could start to answer your question...
At the age of 28, I launched an advertisement agency, which a decade later employed 35 staff and more than 20 freelancers. My marriage broke up, I lost everything I owned. So I intensified some contacts I already had - to publishers in the USA and GB, and worked free-lance, again, as a photographer. Besides this, I had several regular contracts as an academical teacher - sculpture and art-theory. In summer 2006 I started to look for something new.
And guess what - I found something new.
What has been the most satisfying for you in regards to
artistic medium: photography, sculpture, or 3D art? Do you still
venture into photography or sculpture?
At this time, I am working with Poser7Pro, have Poser7 still installed on my main workstation, and Poser6 on an older machine with nothing else in the runtime other than just V4.2 for testing. My modelling mainly is done in Hexagon 2.5. One of the most important tools is an older (free) version of the Komodo text editor. For texturing and postwork (which I keep as minimal as possible, not by religous reasons like so many other people, but to deliver a result in my promos that can be repeated by others without climbing mountains), I use Corel PhotoPaint X3. I've been with Corel since their very beginning, so I stick with them.
Also very important, is Steve Cox' UVMapperPro, because it offers some dirty tricks for grouping. For some time I also used some of PhilC's tools, as well as some from Netherworks. But these little helpers, even though very, very useful in the beginning, also can limit the technical and design possibilities. These tools are a great help while learning, but the more skilled one becomes, the more manual editing is required. It just leads faster to better results.
I also spent a lot of money for new hardware lately, after eFrontier announced network rendering. Their network rendering is somewhat different from what I expected, but at least the renderqueue turned out to be very, very helpful. I am now able to send jobs to the network and let my new machines do their work overnight - while I can sleep. Sound funny? It isn't, because during my "hot" learning times there were weeks with 15 hours sleeping time overall.
The network is running under Windows XP64, by the way.
Guess, whatever I'll say now will be used against me...
What I have learned is, to follow my own directions, no matter what it costs. It is for sure not the easiest way to go - times are changing, peoples minds are changing, the "taste" of the people is changing - whatever you do as an artist can as well be "wrong" as "right" to the public opinion. To be an artist can be a pretty lonesome business, because you will have to wait for people to gather around you. Because - if you "join" a group, an audience, a "school", a "fashion" or even other people's (including customers) opinions, you are no longer an artist, you are everybody's fool.
And as soon as the group that gathered around you is big enough - change your ways. Because you will begin to follow others' opinions, you will try to fulfill the expectations that others set in you. If you don't break up here, you are lost - you will begin to copy yourself, and this is not the beginning of the end, it is the end of the end.
There are so many examples of highly talented artists in every imaginable branch out there to explain what I mean. I will not mention names here - but there were photographers who started an entirely new way to view things, people, landscapes; there were painters that revolutionized their art after WW2, even one or two real good sculptors, architects, musicians - whatever it may be.
They started something new. They were successful. They copied themselves. They were history.
Also, there is an ever-growing amount of restrictions art is put under since the late 70's/early 80's. Half of my brain understands and accepts those restrictions, even if they seem to be against all social reality. The other half knows that art should be absolutely free, with no restrictions whatsoever. That's a thing that comes and goes through all of mankind's history - my generation has to deal with the fact that we were there when there weren't restrictions.
So, as far as I can imagine, the only advice to others can be: find your way, learn how to put your boots on, and then go. For good or for bad.
As a Vendor here on Renderosity, how has your experience
been? Are there any tips you would give to members looking to start
And then - remember that it also needs a lucky hand.
Think about brokering with ONE company - being exclusive in one store helps the entire store (because that store becomes more and more exclusive). A strong store strengthens the vendors. So - if you are just mediocre or even bad, sell at xx and/or xxx, if you are really good, sell exclusively at Renderosity.
I see that you offer plenty of Free Stuff, both on Renderosity and on your personal website. How do you decide what you will offer for free? Does it depend on what it is, and does it help to support your MarketPlace products?
Most of the items that I give away for free were originally made because I needed them for a special image, or because I tried a special technique on them. They are either not "big" enough to be sold - like that squirtgun thing - or are given too little options - like the "Bronze" facade from Joss Whedon's Slayerverse that I needed for one image. It offers just the front of the building, which I think is not enough for a product, but it would have been a pity not to publish it. So it became a freebie.
A supporting function for my MP products - well, actually the stats say, there is some, especially because I promote my freebies on other sites, too, and I'm offering my newsletter opt-in, which people seem to like - it gives them an advantage of between one and three weeks when a new freebie is published. And even if that wouldn't be the case, I think it's a way to say "thanx" to my customers in a way useful to them.
In all honesty, what do you think it takes for a vendor to be able to make a decent living by creating digital content here on Renderosity?
I think, about the same things you need for every business - inspiration, patience, discipline and a good portion of luck. In addition, it will turn out to be helpful if one has got some financial resources or a very low level of regular expenses - it takes a while until the income is good enough to make a living from it (I'm far away from this point at this time). The weak US Dollar is an additional, serious problem for everyone who does not live in the States...like me.
The neccessary technical equipment is underestimated far too often. One cannot work on one computer, no matter how fast that thing is. A reliable redundancy is essential, and with P7P, the development process became much, much faster just by putting renders to the farm and being able to continue the work while the test renders are made elsewhere.
So, this is about independance - from cashflow for the first months (or years...) and from technical problems - if your big-boy-machine has decided to die.
There's another thing I think one must become independant from, and that's the market. Just speaking for myself now: a lot of people waste their talents and efforts on trying to "make stuff for the market". Creating products that come from the heart turns this method upside down: good products create their own markets. This is valid in general, not just here at Renderosity, or specifically 3D.
So - do what you do best and use it to create what you would like to buy yourself.
I always love seeing folks collaborating online. I
noticed in your store that you have a few products from both you
Is this something that you may do more of in the future?
I am part of a group of totally insane "ripe adults" who gather up once a month for a "long Buffy night" - watching an entire season of the vampire-slayer in one session. YES - that's some 20 hours, isn't that just wonderful?
Then there's some clubbing, not as often as in those years long gone by. Most times I would like another dance, but I fear to have a stroke.
Music of course - listening, not making...
And if there's still some time left, I try to look as dangerous as possible.
Any final words or advice to fellow Renderosity artists/vendors?
Take care, and always suffer with a grin!
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Nick C. Sorbin is a digital artist, sculptor, writer, and Managing Editor for Renderosity's Front Page News.
June 16, 2008
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Fascinating interview Arcebus(Hermann). The explanation why all your work is state of the art masterpieces... Is to be read in this interview. The best reading in ages btw. You are the number ONE vendor on RR imo. Because your artwork is made for all the right reasons. That is the simple reason why it is as good... as it is. It shows in a product if it is made with your wallet or with your heart. You actually managed to accomplish what even Picasso found difficult... Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up...Pablo Picasso. Thanks for all the amazing models of yours. Keep it up :) Lars - Denmark
Hermann, so happy to see you here and to read this funny but clever interview. I can't agree more with my friend Lars, yes: you accomplished what Picasso said and more and I know that you make everything with the heart, this shows up in anything you create. Never change my friend, especially never ever lose your sense of humor. There are already too many people that take themselves way too seriously, the world needs some fun and imagination. All my hugs. Lory
ARCY! I come back here today just for you! I can't miss this for nothing in the Universe my friend! I read all ur interview with the emotion of a baby in the heart, U are always so funny and argute!!! Anyone is so right, U make this place so interesting and Ur prducts are all originals and greatly done and U are a person that mke all WITH THE HEART and it show! I wish for U all U desire, I miss our crazy adventures together, Ur ladies was often in trouble with this "bewigged cat" and it was marvellous! Thank you for being the way U are, keep going sweet Hermann... I still around enjoying Ur success (and working on a certain rubber pig and mouse). Laura