Saad Moosajee is a very talented artist who specializes in 3D artwork, despite only being 15 years old he has accomplished what many designers only hope to do. He has also written the excellent Psdtuts+ tutorial How to Integrate 3D Images into Dynamic Scenes. With inspirations coming from science fiction and various other sources Saad shows us that age does not define your skill.
1. Welcome to Psdtuts+! Please introduce yourself, give us a brief bio, tell us where you’re from, and how you got started in the field.
Thanks for the warm welcome! My name Is Saad Moosajee and I am a young self taught artist who recently turned 15 and is currently residing in the United States. I was originally born in London, England and always carried a hidden, deep passion for the arts.
From the time I could walk around I would always be drawn to anything that looked artistic over something boring, I even found myself being compelled to buy certain music from certain artists because I preferred the album art. So I guess one could say that’s how I got started with art, however I ended up on the digital path like most people, through an online RPG game, which eventually led me to Deviantart and so on and so forth. I now do a lot of mixed media work, usually mixing three-dimensional objects with two-dimensional objects and painting/drawing.
2. The majority of your designs feature 3D artwork. What exactly draws you to this specific style of using 3D renders?
One of my longest and hugest inspirations is actually H.R. Giger, who is one of the masters of Science Fiction. In addition to him, I’ve always been highly interested in Rene Magritte. Unlike most people I actually started working with 3D before Photoshop, which was when I was 13. At first I attempted to use random 3D objects just for aesthetics, but as I have become more knowledgeable of more programs I use them as not just aesthetics but symbols as well.
This is partly inspired by the recurring symbol traits that artists like Magritte who carried with his bowling hats and windows and Giger with his promiscuous aliens. For me, I used a lot of parts of the human body, mainly hands. The hands to me are a symbol of the human race.
3. How long have you been creating 3D renders? What program do you use? And give a few tips to a designer who is looking to start creating 3D artwork.
I have been working in the 3D medium for just over 2 and quarter years. In 3D there are so many programs that you can use, in my opinion the three building block programs are Cinema 4D, 3Ds Max, and Maya. You want to learn one or all of these, and then move on to more specialized programs like Poser, Zbrush or Realflow. I use Cinema 4D, Poser and Zbrush. These programs unlike Photoshop can be used to create literally anything, so my one tip for any designers new to the medium of 3D is to constantly experiment because 3D has a world of limitless opportunities.
4. What would you say is your biggest flaw when designing? How do you try and correct it?
Personally, I would say my biggest flaw is that I am limited to only the digital medium. I spent most of my time originality learning Photoshop just because I wanted to be an artist despite the fact that I had such an unsteady hand and couldn’t even draw a straight line.
Looking around, almost all the best artists in my opinion are ones who have skill traditionally, because it gives you a lot of building blocks for technical aspects such as perspective and lighting while also teaching you lots of properties of creating a good composition. At the moment I have been painting on canvases a lot and sketching in a notepad, but don’t have anything worth showing, hopefully that will change!
5. When looking at your portfolio I see that you have collaborated with numerous other artists on your designs. How do the designers benefit from the experience besides having created some amazing art?
I have always been a fan of collaborations because when two artists with different styles aesthetically, but similar styles technically mix up their work it always seems to have a good outcome. To me one of the biggest benefits of this is the experience of working with another artist. I’ve found that a lot of my friends were made through collaborations, however if the art turns out to be a good one, then it is automatically very beneficial to both artists because most of the time the piece will each have certain trademark qualities of each artist that when fused create something wonderful.
6. Despite being only 15 years old, you’re able to create amazing designs that even some older artists cannot replicate. Where do you plan to be in 5 years? Are you going to attend a design school or go the freelance route?
Hah, that is a question that I ask myself a lot. Really I am only 15 so I don’t want to worry to much about that stuff because who knows I might change my mind. If I had to say something though I would be more likely to take the path to a design school.
7. “Inferno” is an amazing design with stunning visuals. Please give us a small look into your mindset from the creation of the idea to the end of the design.
The inferno piece is actually my favorite all time work. It was created for an exhibition of Oxfam in the Sydney Museum Of Contemporary Art via the online art collective Evokeone. The brief was pretty open, mainly just something related to global warming. I started off with a quick sketch of how I wanted my concept to look on paper. The idea I was going for was something that would use symbolism that could be interpreted in a different way from each viewer. After my usual quick sketch I went to work on the environment and got myself a stock photo and began to paint over it with my tablet.
Afterwards, I got to work on the main symbol, the hands. To make these I stripped them off a Poser model in Cinema 4D and then finished them by point to point modeling. After that I took them into my environment and painted on the two different planets on each hand. One planet is the earth revitalized; this is the view of the earth if we save it. The second planet (left hand) is the incineration, and what will happen if we continue our path. Finally, I topped it off with a few more small symbols, the Penguin (an endangered species that would hopefully live on) the Car (man made global warming) and the poor beggar (the result of poverty as a consequence of global warming).
8. Thanks again for providing Psdtuts+ with this opportunity at interviewing you, any final thoughts? What would you tell other designers that hope to be as good as you one day?
Thanks very much also, my only real tip would be to practice as much as possible because even though its really cliché, its actually true.