Interviewing Idols: Mariusz Becker
German Freelance 3D designer, Mariusz Becker, produces incredibly realistic artwork that combines a love for 3D design, and photography. His designs range from environmental visualization, to surrealist visions, to photorealistic architecture, and much more! Mariusz is a really interesting designer to study, and I feel like I can relate to him quite a lot!
Before I start talking about his work, can I just say how incredibly nice Mariusz is haha! I found his work back in 2018 (I believe it was my good mate Lewis who showed me his work first!) and I fell in love with his work. Mariusz has worked with some other amazing artists such as the guys over at Yambo studio (Yambo, Linus Zoll, Ezequiel Grand to name a few!) as well as working freelance for some of the worlds biggest brands; Adobe, Apple, Oppo, Vivo, Nike… So it’s safe to say, he knows what he’s doing!
Why does he inspire me?
Mariusz is a designer I feel like I can relate quite well too. Coming from a photography background, everything I do in Cinema 4D feels like an extension of my love of photography. Cameras, lighting, composition, focal points, etc… are all things you need to think about as a photographer, and also a 3D designer. I’m sure Mariusz feels similarly about this too!
3D is a dream for photographers. It allows you to realise visions that would have been unobtainable with just a camera alone. Your photography is often limited by physics and geographical constraints, 3D isn’t. You can do whatever you want, creating whatever your brain will allow you to create! Through Mariusz’s work, it’s clear to see that there is a thought process through a photographer's brain at play, and being able to mix this with his talent in 3D, is absolutely lovely to see!
It’s quite funny when you scroll on Mariusz’ Instagram page, you have to question the images. ‘Is that really made on the computer?’, ‘Surely that’s a photograph’. Go give it a try, you’ll be left questioning reality just as I have been! I’ve always found realism the hardest thing to achieve in my 3D work. Making something look ‘real’ requires lots of patience, skill a real knowledge of photography. Lighting and material details absolutely make or break an image, and Mariusz nails it every time! (Just go look at his latest Instagram post, and you tell me that image isn’t real!)
A great example of Mariusz’ photorealism work is his incredible series named ‘Brutalist dreams’ (he did a whole interview with 80LV which I’ll link at the end of the interview, it’s certainly worth a read!). He mentions in the interview his love for Brutalist architecture, as well as photographing it. He talks about his process of how he created the textures in Quixel Mixer (Another thing I really need to use more often in my own work!) and also how he created the buildings in Cinema 4D. As I mentioned before, it’s a great read and well worth reading for yourself!
The Interview part
I was lucky enough to be able to ask Mariusz some questions about himself and his career. I hope this’ll give you a little bit of an insight into his life, personal and commercial as well as his design process. It’s not every day you get to interview an idol!
1. Would you be able to say a little bit about yourself and your journey in the world of design?
First of all — thanks a bunch for reaching out and asking me those questions.
My name is Mariusz Becker and I’m a 3D-Artist from Cologne, Germany. I’ve got a huge love for light, be it digitally or in real life, and the number of times I stop during walks to take pictures of light or run around the flat with my camera or my phone to capture it is probably towards the millions by now!!
I got into photography at the age of 14 when my father lent me his analog camera. From then on, I was hooked! I started to look at everything through a lens. I wasn’t good at it at all, but it was just pure fun for me. After a while, I got into digital photography and thought I’d be a photographer one day. Through music, I got into photographing concerts and did that for a while and then even some portraits. Although I always had this voice in my head that I’d probably never be a successful photographer because I lost the fun in it as soon as I started working for money. That’s probably something a lot of people experience with their art. I kept photography as a hobby and moved more into post-production work in university.
In the last semester of my studies, I needed something to distract myself, and as my diploma thesis involved a lot of photography it needed to be something else! While browsing through Instagram I discovered Beeple and was hooked immediately. I knew Cinema4D, as we had briefly touched on it in university, but what he did just looked so much different and was beyond what I thought 3D could do — Product Visualisation and VFX.
He was posting a picture each day and still is doing so to this day. This idea of learning and posting something new each day really resonated with me, so I started it as well to learn Cinema4D and 3D in general. This led me to get to know other people that did the same on Instagram, and surprisingly I’m actually working with some of them on a regular basis to this day!
None of this happened overnight, but eventually, I landed an internship, and after a lot of discussion with myself, and more sleepless nights than I’d like to admit! I finally decided to pursue this career path, and I haven’t looked back!
2. I know you’ve worked on some amazing projects, and with some amazing brands! Any favourites?
While the brands are cool, in the end, it comes down to the teams; and I’ve been very fortunate to work with some amazing people! My favorite project has to be the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5. It was a huge team and I really learned a lot on that project. I’m still incredibly thankful for the opportunity, and the chance to work with all the people on the project, especially because of all the connections I made. The whole team worked remotely at the end of 2017/beginning of 2018, and people from all over the world were involved. It was kind of a 24h workday! Some people went to sleep when others woke up. It was definitely a unique experience and probably why I remember it so well.
3. Could you give some insight into your creative process?
I’m super bad at sketching, but I still do it a lot! It helps me to quickly get an idea down when I’m not near my PC or am busy rendering, because I tend to forget stuff pretty quickly. From there I start blocking everything in 3D — just to get an idea of the overall composition.
4. What other activities do you enjoy besides Digital Design? With all your photorealistic designs, you must be a photography fan like me!
As I mentioned earlier, photography was and still is a huge part of my life. Now that I do 3D modeling, creating ‘3D photography’ through realism in 3D is a great way of combining both! So you will see me running around and photographing constantly when running through the city, just to get inspiration and ideas for renders. Apart from that, I started playing guitar 15 years ago and I still pick up the guitar a few times a week, it just helps to do something else sometimes!
5. Where do you get your inspiration for projects? Who inspires you!
I get inspired by a whole range of things. Funnily enough almost no 3D! Mainly because that does not spark any need in me to create something like what I’m seeing myself, because it’s already been done. So a lot of it actually comes from me running around the city or my flat and seeing something that somehow resonates with me. Be it in terms of lighting, composition, or situation. When it comes to people that inspire me, the list is probably endless. But a few are:
- Gregory Crewdson ( https://gagosian.com/artists/gregory-crewdson/ )
- Jeff Wall ( https://gagosian.com/artists/jeff-wall/ )
- Minh T ( https://www.instagram.com/thismintymoment/?hl=en )
I just admire their work and the feeling they produce through their images. Something that makes me stop, and not just scroll/turn the page past it too quickly.
6. If you could, what advice would you give to your younger self?
JUST DO IT! Don’t be so afraid that this isn’t going to work. Just enjoy the process and don’t put so much pressure on yourself.
7. What piece of advice would you give to anyone wanting to improve their work and grow in the digital design world?
To be quite honest I don’t feel like I’m one to give advice as I mostly figured everything out along the way and definitely did things in a way you are not supposed to do them haha! But! One thing I would like to say to my younger self: Don’t be afraid to fail and embrace the failure. One day it’s gonna pay off.
8. Do you have any big designs in the works or anything that excites you about the future of your career?
I do have quite a few things I’m working on that won’t see the light of day for a long time. I try to work at a pace that is healthy for me and my work. To be quite honest, I just love what I do and want to continue what I’m doing.
(Charlie here, I absolutely love this answer. It resonates with me heavily. Mariusz is in a position I dream of. Being in a job after university that makes you want to just continue learning and creating the work you like to make!)
9. I absolutely loved your work with Yambo studio for the Vivo advert!
I always love working with Yambo and the teams they assemble. So every job is a lot of fun! We both have a lot of respect for each and everyone who does those projects, it’s great to work in an environment like this.
10. I initially followed your work due to the incredible Cinema 4D work you produce, and it’s only gotten better! Are there any other programs you’d like to try out for your design work?
Cinema is still my main tool for assembling everything. There are a lot of other apps that help me when working like Substance, Quixel, Marvelous Designer, and recently World Creator. I would love to try out some more generative design and see how to marry that with my ‘usual’ stuff.
11. Thank you for taking part in this for me Mariusz! As I said I’ve been following you for a good while now and have watched your progression throughout and it’s been amazing to watch! For the people who will read this interview, what are your social media links for people to follow your future work?
Thanks again for reaching out to me and asking me those questions, was really a pleasure! You can find me on Instagram and Twitter!
If you haven’t seen his work before, I urge you to go check it out! Mariusz is a fantastic designer and a truly genuine person! It was truly an honour to talk to him. He was one of the people who inspired me to pursue 3D design, has he inspired you to check it out?
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