Artists have been creating wonderful portfolio websites with ArtStation Pro as a great tool to present their work in a way that is both attractive but also simple and easy-to-navigate. This week, we’re featuring a portfolio from Italian Character Artist & Illustrator, Alessandro Baldasseroni.
Alessandro has over a decade of experience in the industry and is currently a Senior Character Artist at Riot Games. Samples of his character modeling work can be seen in several recent game cinematics, movies and commercials such as : The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Thor : The Dark World, Elder Scrolls Online, and Batman Arkham Origins, just to name a few. His artworks have been featured on several international magazines and art books and he has also recently been published as an instructor in the educational DVD “Stylized Character Modeling for Production” for the Gnomon School of Visual Effects in Los Angeles.
Read what got him to where he is now and his portfolio advice for aspiring artists:
Nothing formal in terms of art education or training as I’m a self taught artist. As a matter of fact, my studies include Science of Information (Programming) and few years of Math at the university. Then magically, my hobby of doing CG in the spare time became a full time job when I took the opportunity to work for a video game company in my hometown Milan. From there, I never stopped a self learning process that brought me to work on more than 50 intellectual properties, both professionally and personally.
I’ve done a lot of CG in a span of of 18 years, both at work and at home. But as far as “intensity”, the first 5 years were the most formative. Those were the years of the fire, the genuine passion and drive that keep you up at night to do computer graphic, random chaos that push you to look for online tutorials and 360 degrees knowledge. After that, the years in the industry were very formative in a different way…a more structured learning process, based on receiving feedback from more experienced professionals.
I had the luck and opportunities to work with great people and supervisors throughout my career. They trained me pretty well when it comes to observation and flexibility of execution, so it was more than a single word of advice, it was a constant learning process of trial and error that lasted for almost a decade.
That being said, I remember this guy who one day told me something to the effect of “don’t fall in love too much with your first idea/execution, you might end up heartbroken.” It was very prophetic.
In your opinion, what is a portfolio “must-have”?
I don`t think there’s a recipe when it comes to that. I’d say it really depends on what people need the portfolio for. Mine in particular has always been “fun oriented”. Since I started, I worked on things that I liked and I was never targeting a specific audience, or company. This was easy because when I started there was not much around in terms of hiring companies, not in Italy at least.
Specialization (characters in my case) came later. Life and opportunities decided for me, but one thing wasn’t random : I always gave 100 per cent as far as time, passion and technical knowledge on every piece I’ve ever done.I’ve never added a piece in my portfolio just to for “quantity” and have always been proud at some level of what I’ve shown. I’d say be specific if you want to target a specific job, but most of all, be consistent with the quality of your work, whatever you decide to showcase.
I collect tons of references on every single project I work on through Google, Pinterest, social media, and ArtStation. The more the better. I usually drag the images from the browser directly into a PureRef canvas and I keep that canvas to marinate on my right monitor. Reference images of sculptures, paintings, and photos never leave me for the entire length of a project. Other than that, I watch tons of movies (not really CG ones these days) and I’m an avid collector of comic book covers/illustrations.