Keyframe Design Winner Interview — Dragon’s Rise: The Forgotten Realms

1st place Dragon’s Rise: The Forgotten Realms – Keyframe Design: Sergey Grechanyuk

For the next interview in our series featuring Dragon’s Rise: The Forgotten Realms Challenge winners, artist Sergey Grechanyuk provided us with a special look at his 1st-place Keyframe Design submission.

Why Did You Decide To Enter the Dragon’s Rise Challenge?

Sergey: After a six-month break from work after Russia started war in Ukraine I decided to try to roll back to doing some work again. The contest was a good option to do that with no pressure of a client. Something personal but with a given theme and time frame. 

Two boys look at a large tree stump washed ashore. Inside the tree stump a glowing light is visible.

What Was the Inspiration Behind Your Submission?

Sergey: The inspiration was childhood. It was a time when we imagined our worlds, believed in fantastic creatures, in magic, in crazy stories that we told each other. Keyframes may show us the real things that happen to kids. Or maybe just their imagination. My childhood was very fun, we played a lot outside, explored urban or natural environments. It’s hard to see how children are affected by war and what the consequences will be in the future. And how many children we lost already in bombings. It is heartbreaking. 

Two boys approach a glowing light within a tree stump. A stormy sea is in the background.

How did you Handle Time Management During the Challenge?

Sergey: I wasn’t very busy at that moment. I worked professionally for years before so that wasn’t a problem to work on the contest as if it were a full time job. I try to manage my time as if I have to work office hours, even for freelance or personal work. If you have a day of work you better have some progress. It helps with insecurities, uncertainty in your own work. Just try to not stop. Because when you stop—you stop working, stop learning, and stop progressing. But have breaks and have rest on weekends. Breaks are good when they are planned. What is bad is procrastination. 

Two young boys look up at a magnificent dragon, framed by small elf warriors

What Advice Do You Have for Future Challenge Participants?

Sergey: Just do what you would love to see yourself. I would love to see the story that brings me back to childhood, and I tried to do that. No matter if you win or lose you did what you wanted. You bring it to life for people to see. It also is kind of magic to be able to do that.

Dragons fly over a misty mountain range

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