Creator showcases are our way of giving extra attention to outstanding creators and artists here on the Blender Market. We speak with them about their current projects as well as future plans and pick their brains on how to be a successful creator. Jonathan Lampel is a Blender artist specialized in environment design, modeling and VFX. He made waves in 2014 by winning the Autodesk CG Student Awards and has since been busy as a successful freelance artist - and has recently joined the CG Cookie team as a tutorial author. His Blender Market shop reveals his love for nature, featuring assets like Earth, grass or trees which have received praise for beautiful realism. We sat down with Jonathan to talk about his beginnings as a Blender artist and his tips for other creators.
For people who might not know you, could you tell us a little about yourself and your involvement in the Blender Community?
I'm just finishing up my first year as an animation/game design student in Seattle. Thanks to the free nature of Blender, it's abundance of tutorials, and amazing community, I was able to teach myself 3D during my free time in high school. This ultimately allowed me to win the Young Guns category for the Autodesk Student Awards when I graduated. I found that I enjoy teaching as a way to give back to the community, so I regularly publish video tutorials. I currently work part time with the CG Cookie crew, and part time as an independent contractor.
How did you get your start in Blender?
I originally started Blender to make simple VFX stunts. I'm not sure how I lasted through hundreds of tutorials, but somehow Blender stuck with me. It must have been the idea that if I became skilled enough, I could create absolutely anything.
The Blender Market is a great addition to the community because it rewards creators for spending the extra time to create high quality assets and add-ons for Blender, while also supporting the developer's fund. This really helps accelerate Blender's growth and makes it an increasingly viable option for small studios. Mix in a little extra gas money in exchange for polished assets I need to create anyway, and I was sold!
In your head, what does the future of Blender look like?
I took a gamble choosing Blender when starting out, and it really paid off. I can only hope to see it continue to grow over the next few years. I see a bright future for Blender as technologies such as virtual reality and 3D printing continue to improve and become accessible to the general public. Whatever the future turns out to look like, putting the power of creation into the hands of anyone who is willing to learn is a strategy that really can't lose.
My only suggestion is to make eye-catching featured images and engaging product descriptions! Show your product looking great in a production situation, and clearly explain what makes it worth the extra money. I know it sounds obvious, but it helps sell your product while at the same time making the Blender Market look like a premium place, which will attract more customers for all the creators over time. The market is still relatively new, so we're still setting those first impressions.
Is there another creator you think should be showcased? Would you like to be the next person we interview? Let us know in the comments!