Take a ride into Eva Cremer’s “happy place” with her new, playful website. The site not only represents her uniquely fun aesthetic, but it also gives the opportunity to make your own fun. Double Whammy!
We were giddy after playing around in Eva’s website so we video-chatted with her to get to the source of all this happy! We were eager to talk to Eva about her swift journey to where she is now, in such a short period of time. And darn it! Eva is another example of how going the extra-mile, discipline, and diving right into your fears pays off. Guess it’s true that there’s no such thing as a short-cut. But have no fear, she gives us the inside scoop as to how she self-taught herself 3D and isn’t afraid to show us the learning curve along the way.
Q&A Eva Cremers
Your site is such a joy! Can you talk about the initial inspiration for the website?
Thank you! I really wanted to make sure my website represented my work and I thought the best way would be for people to step into this world full of happiness. It shouldn’t just only show my work, the whole website should ooze my aesthetic.
How long did it take to conceptualize the website and then produce?
I reached out to Studio Strindemarks at the end of 2019 to work together on a crazy website. Thank god he rolled with it so well! It took us half a year for the whole process, but we didn’t work on it every day! Sometimes you also need some time to digest things and come up with new solutions and ideas!
Tell me about “The Factory”
The Factory is the interactive part of the website where visitors can build their own character! I really wanted to incorporate something like this, as I think it will make people remember my name and website! Also, it’s been so fun to see all the endless results that people create with it!
You’ve got such a distinct aesthetic. Can you pinpoint specific influences?
I never really thought: this is going to be my style. I started out with simple shapes in 3D and I wanted to make it look cuter and more fun, so I started to put eyes on it and give it bright colors. But when I look back on my early graphic design work, I can see I’ve always had a thing for this happy aesthetic with characters and googly eyes! Definitely a big inspiration for me are old Walt Disney comics and Felix the Cat. I also love old toys and old candy/food packaging.
Do you have images of earlier graphic design work so we can see your progress?
YES! Laughing is allowed.
A lot has happened for you over the last year. Can you give us an overview of how you got to where you are now?
A year ago I just started out as a full-time freelancer! I just finished my internship at Man VS Machine, and to be honest, I had already started to look at part-time jobs that I could do while building my portfolio. By the time I got back home, I got my first small project for Intern Magazine. This led to another project and to an even bigger one. In the beginning I worked really hard and spent way too many hours for what I got paid. But this really helped me in taking bigger leaps of growth!
One of my first small editorial jobs did not pay much, and I worked around 30 hours for it, and included an animation they didn’t ask for. I knew I had to nail this and make it perfect. This truly has been the start of other jobs. I wouldn’t say you always have to work way more than you get paid, but sometimes this can result in even bigger things!
How did you make the leap into 3D?
In the summer of 2018 I graduated in Graphic Design. The graduation happiness only lasted for a couple of days, because that big question started to haunt me: NOW WHAT? I was very happy to receive an email from Man VS Machine, the 3D gods in London. They asked if I wanted to do an internship starting in January 2020 at their studio as a graphic designer/art director. Being very flattered and having no clue what to do with my life, I obviously said yes! There was only 1 condition: I needed to learn the very basics of Cinema4D. From September to November, I locked myself up in my tiny office for many hours each day. Half of the time I was watching YouTube and Vimeo tutorials of how to create a certain effect, and the other half I was giving it a try by creating something. I really wanted to learn as much as I could in those months, as I didn’t want to look like a complete fool between these 3D pros. When entering Man VS Machine I actually was a fool, but luckily they didn’t mind! I learned a lot and worked really hard on both my internship and in my spare time to learn more 3D. I started to fall in love with it!
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What was the scariest part of learning 3-D and breaking into that field?
There were two big scary monsters! Like many other disciplines, you get so frightened by looking at other people’s work. When getting into 3D, I started looking at a lot of 3D work done by others to figure out how they created it. This was both inspiring and scary. My attempt of creating a sphere with a cube seemed so far away from the professional-looking work of others. Apart from that, the second scary thing was learning a completely new program (Cinema4D). It was just so overwhelming. It’s such a technical program and it looks like an otherworldly thing with hundreds of weird buttons. How on earth was I going to get from zero to sixty?
How did you overcome the challenge of “comparison”?
I found a great solution to make the gap between a famous illustrator and myself way smaller: I figured, they didn’t start working for these amazing brands right away, they must have been insecure students too who started out making questionable things! I often would pick one of these illustrators and read early interviews with them, or scroll way, way back on their Instagram account. You can then see that often it has been a path of years before they got to the point they are now. I started thinking: well if they can do it, why can’t I? Also, sharing my work on Instagram was really helpful. People started to comment and liked my images, which helped me gain confidence!
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Can you recommend any tutorials or educational sites you found particularly helpful?
Yes! Some of my favorite channels or people to follow are: Greyscalegorilla, Eyedesyn, CG shortcuts and Cineversity.
Besides tutorials, what other tips can you recommend when learning something new?
Self-discipline! This is one of the key ingredients to learn a new program from scratch. Something technical like 3D can be so frustrating in the beginning because a lot of it won’t work out the way you want it to. Having discipline, motivation, and sticking with it really helps.
What does self-discipline look like for you? Did you set a schedule?
I am way too chaotic to have a tight schedule, but for me it was about trying to go for it, creating a lot even though you don’t have a project. Trying to become better through tutorials and through trial and error. Also not giving up, because a lot of people asked me: “sooooooo, what do you do really?”. Because everything I created in the beginning was super random as I was trying to figure out Cinema4D. I wasn’t earning any income, so it felt really stupid to go all in. It isn’t now, is it!? Haha!
What is your design to animation process (do you sketch, storyboard, do animatics, etc.)?
I often start sketching some very rough storyboard by drawing in Procreate on iPad and I add some style frames in 3D for the client to make that translation from 2D to 3D. When approved I start building the scene and animate the whole thing. I often send over a low quality render first to get approval on the movement before I render out the big thing!
A big project for you was working with illustrator Dan Whitehouse. How did you connect with him?
I simply sent him a message on Instagram asking if he was interested in a fun collaboration! I said that I would do most of the work, as it was going to all be in 3D. But then we came up with fun ideas together! It was fun for him to see his work and style in 3D, and for me it was a big learning curve to figure out how to create it all. He already had a big fan base on Instagram so this helped me gain some audience too!
It seems that you have no fear when approaching the unknown, including contacting strangers to collaborate. How has this been beneficial to you?
I think because I am also quite sociable in real life, I have no problem approaching people I don’t know. I always try to reverse the thought process: “what if someone asked ME this question?”, that wouldn’t be weird at all. And if the person you approach says no to your question, well it really isn’t a problem, is it? But if you don’t ask for it you probably won’t get it either. You can’t just sit in a chair all day waiting for people to come to you with money. Haha!
What advice can you give someone who has an interest in design, animation, or 3D but doesn’t know where to start?
- Don’t be afraid to share your work on Instagram! You never know who’s watching.
- Always work on personal projects (if possible). Set yourself some boundaries, think of a theme/material/program/color scheme/goal, and go for it! Most of the time personal projects are the ones that will get you paid ones!
By boundaries — do you mean set some parameters for your personal project to follow? if so, like what? Can you list some boundaries you have set for yourself?
Yes, for example: I want to create 5 short animations, all in this color scheme, they all have to be about cheese. This really helps to make it feel less random when starting a personal project. One clear example I did is for 36 days of type. When starting out I set some boundaries: they all should have eyeballs, each three should have the same colors and textures. It became a series of 12×3 images. Super fun!
Which projects of yours started out as personal projects that lead to paid jobs?
Definitely the project I did together with Dan Whitehouse aka Superfreak!
Well, there you have it! An easy to follow process to learning 3D when you have no clue where to start! And I think the big take-away is: YOU JUST START! DIVE IN! EMBRACE YOUR FEARS!