Hi Jane! To start off, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background? At what stage in your life did you decide you wanted to get into the 3D animation industry?
I grew up constantly doodling and being passionate about art, but didn’t believe that art was something you could really pursue. This led to me studying mechanical engineering and feeling really dissatisfied in school. In my third year of college, I had my first real world exposure to 3D modeling when I worked at a virtual simulation lab. It blew my mind that you could actually have a job making models. I’ll always remember the first model I ever made for that lab; it was a simple shelf that took me way too long to figure out because I had no idea how to actually make 3D models. After reading and watching a lot of tutorials, I fell in love with 3D modeling and thought it was the perfect balance of something technical and artistic. When I graduated, I had a choice whether to stay in the Washington, DC area and work as an engineer, or go to California and work for a fine artist. I still had a lot of flexibility, so I chose to take a chance and pursue art. I decided that AnimSchool was where I could get the most out of learning 3D modeling and really hone my skills.
What is your favorite thing about being a 3D artist?
My favorite thing about being a 3D artist is the ability to make even the most fanciful designs look and feel real. I love how every time I work on something new, I get to research and gather references to understand what things are supposed to look like and how things work. It’s like solving a puzzle and is a constant learning process. I especially enjoy environmental modeling because there are so many elements and small details that all have a part to play. Every object is important and needs care and attention to bring a scene to life.
What sort of things do you like to do when you’re not behind a computer screen?
I’m a very active person and love running, hiking, and practicing Aikido. I also enjoy machining and fabrication, eating good food, and travelling. I always feel like there are way too many things I want to do and not enough time to do them all. But right now, I’m really focused on getting good at 3D modeling, so I spend most of my time in front of a computer.
Who or what are the major influences behind your work?
My husband is my main inspiration with his unwavering love and support. My friends and family have also been extremely encouraging. The incredible teachers at AnimSchool motivated me to do my best. Juan Pablo Chen and Brien Hindman were especially influential in making me a better modeler with their encouragement and exceptional attention to detail. The many friendly and talented people in the community also make me excited and passionate about being an artist.
Could you tell us what you’re currently working on?
Aside from working on my portfolio and reel, I’m currently part of a few animation projects that I joined through Artella. The teams are filled with incredible people and I feel really lucky to have the opportunity to work with them. There’s The Book of Mojo (https://www.bookofmojo.com), Mal & Ava (https://malandava.tumblr.com), and Pure (http://thisispure.com/). Keep an eye out for them in the future!
How do you feel you have grown as a 3D Artist since starting AnimSchool?
I have grown exponentially since first starting AnimSchool. When I first started, I felt pretty overwhelmed with how much I had to learn. Basic models felt really challenging to make, and I had to really go through and soak in a lot of information. I think that having teachers I could interact with really made a huge difference. I was able to get a lot of feedback, so I worked a lot harder to improve myself. I’m really happy that I studied at AnimSchool and feel that I’ve benefited enormously from the experience.
You can see more of Jane's amazing work at her website (https://www.jwangart.com) as well as her artstation (https://www.artstation.com/artist/jwang).
And be sure to check out her Demo Reel below:
To come and learn at one of the best online animation schools, please visit animschool.com