Featured Pro Portfolio: Grady Frederick

Grady Frederick is a concept artist and illustrator based in Montreal. While still finishing up his studies, he has already began to work on freelance projects with companies like Cirque du Soleil and Mercury Filmworks.

Check out Grady’s ArtStation-powered portfolio website.

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“I love the website feature! I am always reorganizing and refreshing to decide on new layouts for my portfolio. It is easy to use and the there are themes to fit every artist’s needs.” – Grady Frederick

In this interview, Grady shares how he overcame some of the obstacles of pursuing an art career, the best advice he’s received and he tells us about one of his dearest personal projects. 

Tell us about one of your favorite personal projects.

One of my favorite personal projects is a piece called “Hearth and Home”. This was a fun and challenging exercise to design a dwelling using influences from 2 different ancient cultures –  in this case Roman and Chinese. I had so much fun preparing for this by sketching and studying shapes and structures from these cultures and really understanding what makes them unique. It was also good practice to push my 3d skills a bit further. Combining the styles was tricky, but once I had decided on my final design it was so much fun to set it in the landscape. I have always been attracted to warm cozy houses sitting in cold harsh environments.

What is the best art advice you’ve ever received?

Create what you love! I have heard this advice from many people I look up to, and it will never get old! It sounds simple, but while you are learning you may feel the temptation to follow what is trending, or what you’ve seen other “famous” artists draw. It’s important to stretch your design muscles and learn new things, but this should all fit into your overall area of passion. For example if you want to design characters, life drawing and anatomy study may feel tedious for you but it is necessary to refine your skills and push your characters to a higher level of quality and depth. It is important to practice what truly interests you because it will show through your work and that is what will ultimately define your style and appeal as an artist.

What is one of the challenging obstacles about pursuing a career as an artist?

A big challenge I encountered when I first started self-teaching was staying focused consistently. It takes a tremendous amount of work to become a good artist, and if you are inconsistent or undisciplined it will take you forever to get there. A few years down the line, I have found that self-discipline and an effective daily routine are absolutely crucial to grow as an artist. Drawing every day, staying fit and getting quality sleep will help keep your mind sharp and keep the dreaded art-block at bay. Find balance, eliminate excuses, get your priorities in order and find time to learn something each and every day.

Where do you go to find inspiration?

I have many “go-to” habits when I need inspiration. When possible, I like to get outside for a while and get my body moving. Breathing fresh air and letting my thoughts wander always seems to lead me to new ideas and a fresh boost of motivation. When I don’t have the opportunity to get out, I like to look through my favorite “Art Of” books. The art is encouraging on it’s own, but also physically scanning my collection of books on the shelf, picking one, and calmly browsing it’s contents has always been therapeutic and nostalgic for me ever since I was a little guy.

See more of Grady’s work on his portfolio website. To learn more about ArtStation Pro websites, click here

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About the author

Sierra is the Editor of ArtStation Magazine.