Wander through the works of Ondřej Zunka and allow your mind to feel like it’s been warped into a surreal dream space hovering on the fringes of reality. The first thing that caught our eye was his fascinating render of a bald man getting his face massaged by bouncy red tentacles, because dude, why the hell not. We couldn’t tear our eyeballs away from it, nor from the rest of his awesome, trippy graphics. After trawling through his strangely addictive collection on Instagram and Behance, we’re left wanting more of this unique creativity from Ondřej, an independent 3D and motion design artist from Prague.
Read our interview below to learn about his story of delving into 3D, the significance of keeping one’s mind open to the creative secrets of the universe, and what he does away from the screen.
Hey Ondřej, tell us about you. How did you get started with 3D motion graphics?
Oh I remember that exactly. I used to share a flat with my friend Tomas during my Uni studies (which by the way resulted in a Masters of Economy, I have no prior art education). I came home one day and he had modeled a BMX bike in 3D. Tomas showed me that he can change colors and move the model around and I got seduced by the idea that you can create whatever you want. I got the student version of the software the next day and I just fell in love creating and it’s been an amazing relationship with 3D ever since.
Incredible. You seem to have ventured all over the globe. Is there a place you’d want to stay permanently?
I was pretty lucky moving around lately. The last two years have been really amazing when it comes to seeing places. I spent a couple of months in Munich, Tokyo and Melbourne. They are all pretty cool cities but I didn’t find the one yet. I am living in London currently which was more of a career choice than anything else. It’s an epicenter for this industry.
Is there a creative routine or ritual you constantly practice?
I am terrible with daily routines but there’s a sort of pattern that repeats in my approach to work. I believe that one should compete with himself, not others, which is something I try to practice. There has to be something better in every new project than the previous one. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a concept, better shaders or modeling.
How difficult is it to be an independent artist?
I feel like it’s either one or the another. Pretty easy or pretty hard.
For me personally, at this point in time, I couldn’t be any happier.
You have to acquire quite a high knowledge of the tools you work with, which might be multiple programs as well as some sort of feeling for aesthetics. These both can be a long-term pursuit no matter how talented you are. With that said, it’s a steep curve and it can be frustrating at times but rewarding nonetheless.
Any words of wisdom for artists interested in doing what you do?
I only have the same cliche they’ve heard before. Work hard and the results will come.
I think you have to be in love with what you do otherwise it’s just work. And if it’s just work
you’ll never be as good as someone who loves it.
Is there a creative style you’d love to pursue, but haven’t yet?
I am intrigued by stylized photorealism. You know it can’t be real but it looks like it could. That’s sort of what I am pursuing and I’ll most likely keep doing it.
What’s the best advice you ever had about how to be more creative?
Openness. It’s not exactly advice but… Be open to ideas. Don’t take what you know for granted. I’m talking about that “I know” attitude. If you already know everything, you are closing the door to your imagination.
Sound advice! What can you be found doing when you’re not working?
I have been riding a BMX bike for like 12 years now. I’m not great at it but it’s the only sort of sport I’ve ever stuck to and I keep doing it. Sometimes it hurts but it can be also very rewarding. And I also like wasting time just for the sake of it. Wandering around with my thoughts.
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