Filippo Ubertino studied Industrial Design at the Politecnico University in Turin and went on to study Concept Art for two years while also working occasionally as a designer and architect. He now works as a teacher of Digital Art and Concept Art for video games at MasterArt.
What he enjoys most about his ArtStation Pro membership is the visibility to recruiters. “I think it is a wonderful site, wonderfully easy. Today, many companies and private individuals use ArtStation in order to recruit artists to work on projects for them. The fact that I have my portfolio on this site means that I too can take advantage of this aspect.”
What are your all-time aspirations as an artist?
I started playing video games when I was 8 years old. I remember the wonderful sensation of being catapulted into the fantastic world of the video game and briefly inhabiting that surreal world which was the result of someone’s wonderful imagination. I thought it would be exciting to be be that someone. I remember going to school and not paying attention during the lessons because I was taken up with creating my world, a world that one day would become reality. I knew I would become a concept artist. And today my dream is still the same. I am working towards making that dream come true so that in the future, someone else will ask themselves ‘who invented this?’ and I might be among the creators.
Where do you go to find inspiration?
My general background is that of a designer so my inspiration derives principally from the world of design. In my opinion, the connection between form and functionality in the detail of a design is the most important aspect along the way to developing convincing concepts. Without trying to sound banal, I believe that the creation of a new concept is directly proportional to the extent of our personal mental storage and capabilities. Thus I never limit my research to just one field but rather explore many different areas in order to find inspiration.
I also believe I was lucky to be born and have grown up in a country like Italy, where we are surrounded by wonderful scenery and some incredible works of art. The synthesis between art and design is a good combination I believe for a concept artist like me.
What is the best art advice you’ve ever received?
One of the things that always stands out in my mind is the advice ‘Remember to save’! In the context of digital art and in particular of digital sculpture you realise that a crash is only a step away and can happen at any time. It took me a while to bring this on board but I soon learnt my lessons after losing hours of work. Now I even find myself pressing crtl+S while I write mails.
Joking apart though, one of the pieces of advice that I found most useful from a teacher during a professional training workshop was ‘Don’t fall in love with your works of art’. When you begin to see signifcant results showing through after years of study and practice, it is easy to lose the impetus to search for further improvement. The only way you can do this is yes, recognise the progress you are making but also remember that it is possible and also important to seek for further improvement each day.
Tell us about one of your favorite projects.
Well, some time ago, when I was going through a particularly creative phase, I managed to convince myself that I could develop a video game that I already had in mind. I was sure that with my capabilities and with those of my colleagues and friends, we were going to produce something amazing. I was so taken up with my ideas for the video game that I lay awake at night thinking about it. I would recreate a miniature of each little object in our world. Life was on hold but at the same time my mind was galloping with ideas. I was totally absorbed. The project however was a disaster, fizzling out as deadlines passed and our abilities failed us. I would not want to bore anyone detailing the project but it was personally a significant life experience in that it taught me an important lesson.
It is no good allowing yourself to be consumed by wanting desperately to create. The director at the academy where I teach often jokes with me about my compulsive approach to my work. Now, I realize that our ideas and experimentation have to inspire us to move forward and not be all consuming in themselves, obstructing further creativity. Now maybe you can see why the project was in some ways my favourite, in spite of the fact that it failed.