Struggling to get started on that passion project? 3D artist Teo Vladov shares tips on how to make the most of these all-important extracurricular endeavors.
Personal projects are a playground. Without pressure from clients and customers, they’re a chance to hone skills, try new techniques, and explore ideas. At the same time, it can be hard to get started and maintain momentum on our own designs if we don’t have external deadlines. In this Chaos Campus Live recap, we’re sharing 3D artist Teo Vladov’s valuable advice on how to make the most out of your time spent on personal projects. You’ll find out how to get into the right mindset and reach your goals faster and with greater confidence.
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1. Enjoy the ride.
Remember that personal projects are something enjoyable that isn't supposed to stress you out. There is no client, no deadline, and you can work on them as you please when you have the time. Teo reminds us that it’s important to actually enjoy the entire process and not force yourself into a project because otherwise, you can end up just abandoning it or hating it, which isn't the point. Work on it at your own pace, even if it takes a while, just take it one step at a time and don’t give up.
2. Always be ready to shoot.
Chaos Campus Live host Nikos Nikolopoulos shares that he always looks for inspiration when he works, regardless of location, capturing moments with his camera. He reminds us that you never know whether this image could become a reference for your next project.
3. Have a plan and stick to it.
Photographers always have a plan for what to do and they never go anywhere just to take one shot and call it a day. They go all in and surrender to the process. After taking hundreds of photos, they select the best ones for post-production before giving a selection to their clients or adding them to their portfolio. This is the approach Teo believes 3D artists should take.
4. It's okay to have moments of despair.
It's equally important to be patient and self-forgiving, especially if you are just starting out and have low self-esteem or are unsure about your skills. It's not always an easy process. Remember that it’s completely normal to struggle in the beginning.
5. Set achievable goals.
Teo shares that he doesn’t usually start a project that he knows he won’t be able to pull off. His advice to artists is to start with something they can learn from, grow from, and be proud of. Instead of creating a huge project, work on a small one – something that you can do in a day or a week, not six months or a year. Otherwise, you risk being overwhelmed, especially if you are just getting into 3D.
6. Diversify your portfolio.
At one point, Teo realized that his portfolio was filling up with exterior scenes and greenery. He decided to break away from this and explore interiors and bright, loud colors, which he normally didn’t like to use. This sudden realization challenged him to expand his perception of what works well in design and led him to create projects that stood out in his portfolio.
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