Teodoru Badiu is an illustrator, character designer and 3D artist living in Vienna, Austria. To bring his visions to life, he works with different kinds of media, from photography to 3D and vector to traditional drawing collage or mixed media. By combining all those elements he has developed a very unique graphic style with a colorful and bright color palette but with slightly dark messages. 

Remix Nr.4 by Teodoru Badiu

Please describe what you do and your creative journey.
I am an illustrator, character designer and 3D artist who lives in Vienna, Austria.
I always wanted to work in this field but It took some time to get to where I am today.

My path to become an illustrator took me to an Art School in 1995 and then to the SAE College in 2005, where I got my Multimedia Design Diploma.

I could say that my illustrator and character designer life started with surreal photo manipulation work that I created using Photoshop. Apocryph.net - the work displayed there was where it all started, back in 2000. I did that kind of work until 2004-2005 when I came in contact with Cinema 4D during my 2 years at SAE College. 

It was then 2005 when I made the decision to set up my Theodoru.com website and to switch from what I had done for Apocryph.net to illustration work. At the beginning I created vector illustrations based on my drawings using Adobe Illustrator, while exploring Cinema 4D more deeply.

After the setup of Theodoru.com it took one or two years until I was ready and able to translate my imaginary worlds and characters to 3D. I have created 3D based illustrations since then. 

I still work with different kinds of media, from 3D to photography and vector to traditional drawing collage or mixed media in order to bring my visions to life.

My fantastic 3D characters and creature designs have evolved in the same manner. 
They are fun, colorful and the cheerful nature of my creatures is something to behold and really creates a bizarre sense of tranquillity, even if some of his characters are a little menacing – they mean no harm.

Dead Wood No.6 by Teodoru Badiu

What are some of the projects you have worked on / clients or studios you’ve worked with?
I have had the pleasure to work for different clients like Macy’s, Adobe, InG, Republic Studios, 3D Artist, Friskies, 3D World and others.

What’s the most important tool you use?
Actually there are two: The Foundry's Modo and Photoshop.

Whose work (both past and present) do you really admire and why?
I grew up watching classic cartoons, from the '20s to '50s like the ones from Disney, Max Fleischer, Terry Toons or Ub Iwerks, Grimm Natwick. I love the look and feel of those cartoons and I admire all those artists. Two of the contemporary artists that I like for the same reason are Gottfried Helnwein and Ron English. Both for the way they combine traditional elements with Pop culture elements.

Pets and Monsters- Candy Dream by Teodoru Badiu

What are you currently doing, reading, listening to or looking at to fuel your work?
I have a big collection of Vintage Rubber Toys that is growing with each visit that I make to the Flea Markets in Vienna and the cities that I visit. Besides that, I love to read comics with a preference for the old ones from '50s to '70s. I love movies and music as well. On my Spotify list you can see that I like all kinds of music from the '20s Jazz and Swing to '70s classic rock or contemporary music. 

Is there something you are currently working on, or are excited about starting, that you can tell us about?
I have currently finished a Illustration based on a new series of characters that I have created. It is named “Bull and the Gang” and at the time I work on a small story that incorporates all those characters. I'm also working on a Disco Panda character for a client.

Skull Cartoons by Teodoru Badiu

Can you tell us a little about the above image (Skull Cartoons)?
The work presented here is part of  a personal Art Print Project called "Pop Artoons" that I created for an Exhibition that I had last year in Vienna. The main goal of the project was to create a series of art prints that will be attractive to adults as well as to children for different reasons.  The Project was divided into three series of works. "Dead Wood", Skull Toons" and the name giver "Pop Artoons". For the "Skull Toons" series I decided to use a kind of hybrid between classic cartoons characters and my skull design. The works are available as prints via Atelier Olschinky Art Store.

To get the references needed to create the models was easy, due to the fact that those characters are classic ones there is an abundance of reference available online.

For me it is much more interesting to create worlds and characters that don't necessary exist and that is one of the reasons why I use to incorporate my skull in different works. I love to see how something that I imagine and that exists only in my mind comes to life and it suddenly starts to exist through my work. Or, as in the case of the “Skull Toons” and “Dead wood” to take classic characters or pop culture icons and give them a new life and meaning using the same skull. 

It is simply a lot of fun to get rid of all the rational conventions and to decide myself what can be real or not. It may be surreal for someone else and some peoples will simply say that they do not exist, but for myself they become real in the moment when I create them I just let them live their own life and give the audience the freedom to make associations for themselves.

There is no hidden message or meaning connected to the skull. I would say it is more a kind of signature.