We’re gonna need a bigger toy box. Think back to your favorite toy as a kid – an action figure, doll, dinosaur… Did you ever wish it would come to life? Actually, let’s be real – do you still wish it would come to life? (This is your cue to glance at all those toys on your desk and just imagine.) The chosen design for our Toys Challenge takes the idea of make-believe to a whole new, Toy Story meets Godzilla level. The scene of Javier Ramos’ (@Vlend) toy robot gone rogue would make the Stay Puft Man from Ghostbusters look as tough as a regular marshmallow. No, no, Threadfriends; this isn’t your Woody or Buzz…although a Godzilla-sized Woody and Buzz coming to the rescue would be pretty epic, and not out of the realm of possibility in this world.
We talked to Javier about the 3D art process behind this design (scroll to see his WIP gif!), about his favorite virtual toys (aka video games) and horror movies, and about the story unfolding in this image. Read on!
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First, icebreakers! Tell us a little bit about yourself! What are your favorite horror movies and video games?
My name is Javier Ramos and I’m 36 years old. I love a lot of things, especially video games, comics, and horror movies. My favorite horror game is The Last of Us and Mortal Kombat, and Until Dawn, Resident Evil 7, and Doom (2016) are fantastic too. About my favorite horror movie, I can’t choose just one but I can do my top 10, haha. These movies are The Return of the Living Dead, Evil Dead 2, In the Mouth of Madness, The Descent, Drag Me to Hell, A l’Interieur, The Conjuring 2, The Fly (1986) and The Thing (1982).
You do art for a living! What kind of art do you do on a daily basis?
I work in a graphic design studio doing all kinds of illustrations and motion graphics. All the projects are different. Sometimes I have to do a logo animation, another day a magazine illustration, sometimes an opening video, a book cover, TV show bumpers, a giga print for a shop… I’m the 3D and motion graphics guy at work, but I am an illustrator since I was a child. My parents were comic artists, so I grew up among all kinds of horror and fantasy comics.
Mi dibu para la expo de The Velvet Underground & Nico del Salón del Cómic de Navarra 2017 :) #salondelcomicdenavarra #illustration #poster #grunge #underground #teens #velvetunderground #alltomorrowparties #comic #blackandwhite #boys #girls #party #fashion #drunk #party #dance #alcohol #art #artist #artwork #humor #fun #draw #motiongraphics #video #gif #animation #loop
You live in Barcelona! What’s the art scene like there?
Yes, I live in Barcelona since 2002. I think that the art scene here is very good. I don’t know very well how it is in other places, but here it’s full of graphic designers, illustrators, and artists. And there are a lot of hipsters and modern people too, haha.
Tell us a little bit about this design! Does it have a backstory? How did this toy get so giant?
I like to think that the child of the roof has superpowers and when he plays with his little toy robot and his toy brick city, a giant toy robot appears and does the same in giant version that the child did.
The process behind this design is so involved! How long did it take?
It took a long time. Probably 15 or 20 hours. Once I knew what I was going to draw, I searched a lot of robot toy images and I modeled my own robot toy. When I had the scene of the robot with the city, I made a giant render of it. I opened this render in Photoshop and I used it as reference to paint over it. It has probably 50% of 3D work and 50% of paintwork. The 3D has cartoon render but I don’t like it for a single image with only four or five colors. It never do what I want, haha.
How long does a 3D art piece take to make?
Good question, haha. I don´t know exactly, but it takes me two weeks, more or less. This is because I do it after work. Maybe one day I work on it two hours, the next day I can’t work on it, the next day I can work one hour, the next day I can work three hours, etc. And I waste a lot of time repeating things. I could say 15 or 20 hours more or less. And sometimes I do two projects at the same time. Sometimes I leave an illustration and I start another, and one month later I continue with the previous.
Your art varies from minimalism to extremely detailed – what’s your preference and why?
I like both styles. I love minimalism, one of my favorite artist is Charley Harper, but I think that I’m better with detailed work than with minimalism work. Anyway, it depends a lot on the alignment of the planets; one month I feel I have to do minimalism projects, and maybe the next month I feel I have to do detailed things.
If you could be in a zombie movie, which would you want to be in?
Hahaha, good question. I think I would like to be in Fido or in Deadheads. I would like to have a zombie friend named Cheese to travel by car and have adventures :)
What’s your artistic philosophy?
I don’t have an artistic philosophy, but I have some rules that I try to follow. First of all, if I don’t imagine cleanly the final art, I think of other ideas. For me, it is super important to show my work in progress and sketches to my friends and family to know what they see. I always try to do something better than my previous work. And I usually try to do something cool, even for not designer people.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I just want to say thanks for this award. This is a great honor and this helps me and motivates me a lot :)