Blizzard’s senior cinematic artist Dominic Qwek talks to CGSociety about his creative journey.


Let’s go way back. Where were your born and raised? Where are you now? What sparked your interest in digital art?
I was born in  Singapore and currently I'm based in Irvine, California. I started traditional art at a very young age and as I got older, I transitioned into digital art. My interest in games, movies, comics and toys have one way or another sparked my interest in digital art.



Please describe what you do. What are some of the projects you have worked on / clients or studios you’ve worked with?
From my portfolio, most would say I'm a creature and character artist. At Blizzard Entertainment, I'm a Senior Cinematic Artist where I get to model and texture assets for our cinematics department. My career has exposed me to other disciplines such as lighting, environment art, animation, 3d sculpting for collectibles, concept art. I have both pre-rendered and real-time CG experience. I guess I'm more of a generalist but I truly love creature art. I've worked on several Blizzard projects such as Hearthstone, Starcraft II, Diablo 3, World of Warcraft and Overwatch. I've also done work for books and films.

What’s the most important tool you use?
Right now, it's ZBrush, Keyshot and Photoshop.



Is there something you are currently working on, or are excited about starting, that you can tell us about?
I've been building a series of creatures based on my own IP. Each creature is designed and sculpted in ZBrush and Keyshot first before getting 3d printed and finally painted. The result is a truly one of a kind painted maquette. I produce model kits of these designs and sell them on my website so that other artists can paint or own these designs for themselves. Striker, Alien Pilot and Hopper are some of the first creatures in this line-up. You can see them at my website: DominicQwek.com


Whose work (both past and present) do you really admire and why? 
There are so many artists that I admire and it would not be possible for me to list them all in one go. Some that have really made an impact to me are Allen Williams for beautiful line art, Pascal Blanche for really pioneering an illustrative style with 3d, Steve Wang for the Predator, H.R. Giger for the Xenomorph, Carlos Huante for his anatomical works, Zdzislaw Beksinski for his surrealistic art and Takeya Takayuki for his vision and sculptural art. 


What movie and/or game from the past do you wish you had worked on and why?
Probably one of the Alien movies. Because the Xenomorph is the single most iconic creature that has ever been designed.


What do you like to do away from the computer? 
I enjoy traditional sculpting. It's a nice break from the computer and I get to be physical with my hands. I do a lot of thumbnail sketching too to flesh out my creature designs.





Do you have any tips for aspiring artists?
Put in the hours. This might sound redundant to many but it's the only real way at getting better. This naturally means lesser time for other activities so you have to decide what has to go. Also be objective and specific of your goals and what you want to achieve. That way you don't get distracted and your time is focused on getting you to where you want to be.

Thanks Dominic!

Links
Dominic's Personal site
Dominic's CGPortfolio
Dominic's Gumroad