The third dimension has been enticing artists for decades, but it’s only in relatively recent years that some incredibly talented creatives have been able to truly utilise the flexibility, the depth, the power and the potential of 3D artistry.
Who are the top 10 best 3D artists in the world right now?
Mastering 3D art is not easy, particularly given the fact that you’ll often need to learn not only how to negotiate the complications of depth and scale but learn how to use brand new pieces of software and hardware.
It’s a field that is always evolving and always changing but it’s also one that has birthed some truly incredible talents, a handful of which I’ll be featuring today as part of our series spotlighting the very best creatives in the world right now in their specific fields.
So, in no particular order, we present to you our top 10 3D artists - Paul Gawman, Lucy Corrina, Edit Ballai, Daniel Magyar, Luke ‘Wengles’ James, Mojtaba Yaghoobi, Gill Mestari, Isabelle Boeve, Menno Van Dijk and Moustafa Shaheen.
Not only a 3D artist but an animator and retoucher with a penchant for innovation, Paul is a senior artist with decades of experience and an eclectic and striking body of work. He has tried his hand at everything from complex 3D modelling to fantastical concepts and even more tongue-in-cheek ideas, there is very little that Paul hasn’t experienced in the world of 3D artistry. That’s why he’s earned his place at the top of our heap.
A multi-disciplined artist based in Brighton. Lucy has a unique way of bringing her ideas to life and does so with a wide range of skills that encompass everything from traditional drawing and concept art, to branding, art direction and, of course, 3D art. Lucy’s work has the vibrancy and the character of the very best of Pixar, with an eye for character that finds a natural home in everything from video games to brand building. If you are looking for a cute and cuddly creation with a little edge and a lot of character then Lucy is definitely your girl.
In a world that seems poised on the edge of a dystopic nightmare, the work of Edit Ballai has never been more relevant. Hers is the work of a world reclaimed by nature and it thrums and thrives with greens and greys, contrasting the warm and the natural with the cold and the clinical. This is work that feels important and that takes 3D art in a truly unique and breathtaking direction.
With over 20 years of international industry experience in the always evolving CG industry, Daniel is all about finding creative solutions to artistic problems. In his own words, he approaches projects “a little differently than everyone else,” which is surely something to be celebrated in such a crowded field. His work ranges from the frighteningly realistic to the bizarre; the gothic to the achingly normal, and his client list includes everyone from Hollywood directors to musical artists and major manufacturers. There is, it seems, very little that Daniel Magyar can’t do.
Luke ‘Wengles’ James
In his own words, Luke specialises in “making pretty pictures, most of the time in 3D,” but there’s far more to his work than mere aesthetics, there’s real emotion in it too. There’s an anarchic spirit there too, behind the bright neon colours and the contrasting palettes, with an eye for the shocking and the darkly romantic that is borderline (dare we say it) genius.
Bringing some kind of magic to the realistic appears to be the chief skill of this incredibly skilled Iranian 3D artist. His 3D and VR models are so lifelike that you’d be hard-pressed to sort the models from their real-world counterparts. If you want to see the future of 3D design visualisation in action then look no further.
Gill is a designer, creative and animator with over 6 years of experience in the field. Although currently focusing more on design and pre-production, he also boasts a solid foundation in modelling, animation and compositing working both in small teams and as a solo artist. To say his work is eclectic would be something of an understatement - ranging, as it does, from stark realism to complicated pieces that merge the worlds of the real and the digital. Gill is an artist with a keen eye for 3D space and a singular ability to blend the real and the surreal.
If you spent your childhood years enraptured by the stories of Beatrix Potter then there’s definitely something in Isabelle’s work that will strike a chord with you. The underlying theme that dominates her work is nature being reframed as something more relatable, as we see incredibly detailed cute critters reveling in anthropomorphic bliss. Isabelle’s work doesn’t arrive to be challenging or oblique, but warm and comforting - like a homespun blanket.
Menno Van Dijk
For the last 20 years, Menno has been working independently for various agencies creating a variety of projects that range from campaign artwork to 3D modelling, animation and video. His experience has involved working in all aspects of the 2D and 3D artistic process. One day he could be on a film set working as a camera operator or DOP, another day he could be editing and compositing short movies and commercials. His bread and butter, however, is in 3D modelling. His passion lies in creating fresh concepts and working with like-minded people to reach a common design goal. His work is largely focused on bright colours and that point where the natural world and technology congregate.
A self-taught 3D Artist. Moustafa started learning 3D graphics when he was 18 and spent the next 7 years honing his craft. Born in a very small village with many limitations, he saw art as his escape into new worlds, which is what inspired him to focus specifically on environment designing. The environments Moustafa has been able to create are straight out of a fairy tale, with the surreal gift of Studio Ghibli and the delicate touch of golden age Disney. A truly unique talent.
If these incredible 3D artists have provided you with the inspiration to reach out and discover some of the best work around right now, check out our Top 25 3D artists.
If you're a 3D artist yourself and are looking for work, take a look at all the jobs that we have for illustrators.