Igor Starostyuk - interview with a digital artist

Igor Starostyuk - digital artist

1. How do you define your style in 3D art?

Now I can describe my style as a mixture of brutalism and deconstructivism. Minimal amount of materials, strict shapes, restrained colors, asymmetry. I like to experiment with color, but now I prefer to work with black and its shades.
2. What role does the color palette play in your works? I noticed that mostly dark black and white tones are used.

Yes. I really use a lot of black, gray or white in my work. At this stage, I want to focus the viewer's attention on the form of clothing and its materials, which is why bright colors do not appear on it so often. But that doesn't mean I don't like working with color. I think it strongly depends on my mood or the specific task that I set myself in the process of creating things.
3. What does your approach to creating works look like?

In recent months, the approach to content creation has undergone certain changes. This was influenced by the avalanche-like development of neural networks. Concept development, writing texts. AI is now taking part in all this.
4. How do you choose a theme for your work?

If we talk about creating individual art, then I proceed from trending topics or sketch out a few delusional ideas in notes, which after a while I wind up to more holistic images in my head. As for digital collections, here I try to stick to my style and philosophy. You can call it a brand identity.
5. Which project has become the most difficult for you and why?

The very word “complex” always causes me some tension. It can be difficult to start learning something new. It is difficult to start a new project because of the fear that it will not work. Probably, this feeling is always with us. The only question is how much your confidence and desire to do something can block it.
I can say that for quite a long time we, together with a large team of professionals from different countries, have been working on the phygital platform “DOM WORLD".
We focus our project on enthusiastic users, brands and talented creators. Imagine an ideal environment for communication and cooperation with talents from all over the world who will be able to work together on new projects, develop personally and develop the infrastructure of the DOM WORLD project.
This project is very complex, so everyone has to take responsibility for handling a variety of tasks. My area of responsibility is working on the digital fashion department and everything related to it. And yes, at first it was difficult to figure everything out. But the more time we work on it, the more confident we are that everything is moving in the right direction.
6. This is a cool project! You talked about him at an online lecture at SHKI. Can you share at what stage of development is the metaverse now?
The team has been working on the project for more than two years. I joined him a little over a year ago as the Head of the digital fashion department. "DOM WORLD” in our understanding is primarily a community of people united by the idea of happiness, development and eco-friendly thinking, where competition is replaced by collaboration, with unlimited possibilities for implementation. There is a desire to unite two worlds that will complement each other with their advantages. We are not replacing the real world, but expanding it with opportunities that will bring our better future closer.
Not so long ago, we finished part of the work that concerned the design of locations. I am sure we will be able to tell more about ourselves in the coming months.
7. How do you cope with burnout?

I try to allow myself to disconnect from work or, if there is no such opportunity, at least reduce its volume. It's good when your projects allow you to do this. When there is no such possibility, I switch between different tasks that require different professional competencies for their solution. The simplest example is to alternate the creation of 3D models with work in neural networks.
Socializing with people, computer games, watching movies and TV shows, playing sports, traveling (the longer the better). All these are also very effective methods that help to switch. But the most effective method is not to bring yourself to burnout. Then you won't have to fight him.
Tips for novice 3D designers.

8. How important is it to have good hardware and how expensive should it be in the current realities in order to do cool work?

The answer to this question very much depends on what kind of work we consider cool. A classical artist can paint absolutely mind-blowing paintings without having expensive paints and an easel with him. I think this analogy is appropriate here. Depending on the desired result, different amounts of resources will be required. Of course, if a person wants to develop in the field of photorealism in 3D or specializes in physical simulations, then his equipment should be more powerful. Any technique is just a tool that a person selects for their needs.
9. How can the author determine the cost of his services and give an objective assessment of his quality? Let's take your sphere.

When the phrase “let's take your sphere” was added to the question, we greatly complicated my answer. If we talk about digital fashion in general, then it is worth understanding that this market is still being formed. This has its pros and cons.
One of the main disadvantages is that not everyone is willing to pay for clothes that they can't touch. There is still no reasonable practical application of digital clothing in a person's wardrobe. Here we are not talking about skins in games or metaverses. Many of my friends still don't understand why someone might need a digital image on an Instagram photo.
All this can be contrasted with brands, startups with digital avatars and other similar projects. They have an informed understanding of the usefulness of digital fashion. For some, this is the digitalization of real collections, which can then be used in advertising and social networks. For others, it is the creation of unique digital images.
As for the assessment of the cost of their work, in addition to their experience, it is worth paying attention to the market as a whole. Determine your hourly rate. Various graphs showing the level of payments of 3D specialists of different levels can help in this. Also, it will not be superfluous to analyze the projects that other designers are doing. What strengths and weaknesses can you identify in your work compared to them? In other words, what is your competitive advantage.
10. Do you leave Easter eggs in your creative and commercial projects?

Definitely, yes. I grew up on the games of the early noughties. I'm sure my dad instilled this love in me. Then various Easter eggs (so-called Easter eggs) could be found in every game. They can not be found exactly in all my works, but they are there. Even now, with the team, we are thinking about hiding some object or character in our digital world. What happens if someone finds him?
11. How to achieve a constant increase in the price for your work?

There is no universal recipe here. But based on my experience, I can say one thing for sure. First of all, you need to value yourself and your time. This is the basis of everything. Each of us is unique and talented in his own way. And the more unique you and your work are, the more valuable you are.
12. How soon will the neural network be able to replace you?

So far, I don't see any obvious prerequisites for this. We became very good friends with her. Therefore, she does not plan to replace me yet.
But seriously, it's a great tool that facilitates many workflows. It is only necessary to understand how to interact organically with it.
Contacts of the 3D designer: