Designer Interview | Muhammad Wildan Cahya Syarief

Meet Wildan! Read how his freelance journey has been after resigning as an Art Director.

Designer Interview | Muhammad Wildan Cahya Syarief

Tell us about your role and what you do.

Hi Everyone! My name is Muhammad Wildan Cahya Syarief; you can call me Wildan. I'm a full-time 2D & 3D illustrator freelancer, but currently concentrating more on 3D illustration mostly. I'm from Madiun, Indonesia. I graduated with a bachelor's degree, majoring in Visual Communication Design with a specialized focus on illustration. Before venturing into freelancing, I worked as an Art Director at Animation Studios located in Surabaya, Indonesia, for six years from 2012 to 2018. I decided to resign from my position and begin a freelance career in 2019.

What is your primary source of inspiration, and what is your creative process in creating these awesome, fun designs? How would you describe your style?

Every day before I start work, I spend at least 1-2 hours on Pinterest, Dribbble, and Behance, pinning all the great art from other artists and building my mood. I also try to train my eyes to see how people choose their color palette, how they find and maintain their style of art, how they manage to achieve some details, etc. This helps me get inspired and motivated to implement it in my art as well.

Actually, my style leans more towards Stylized 3D, a Non-Photorealistic Rendering (NPR) style, where an artist chooses to make the 3D object different from the real-world looks. Stylized is still too wide, but I prefer to explore more on the smoother low-poly with geometric shapes, also a bit of cartoony. The goal is to maintain the object as simple as possible. For example, if I want to make a 3D TV object, I will make it really simple; as long as people recognize it as a TV at first sight, my job is done.

What software and design tools do you use during the process? Do you have a preferred one and why?

The main software that I've been using is Blender 3D. Why? The main reason is that it's free and open-source software; anyone can simply download it on their official website. The other reason was cause I couldn't afford to buy other 3D software back in 2012 while I was still a college student, so I decided to learn Blender back then.

Wildan's workspace

I also chose a PC as my main gear because 3D stuff will work much faster if we use a dedicated GPU/VGA like NVIDIA or AMD. But I recommend using NVIDIA because it has been compatible with Blender since 2011, when the first Cycles engine was released. So it's the best choice for now.

I personally don't recommend Mac for 3D work. Although it has now improved a lot since Blender supports Metal engine for M1 Chip, we can't compare it with a PC that uses a dedicated GPU. It's a different case.

I do use Macbook Pro, but the M1 one to maintain other work and also to do some 3D work occasionally while I travel outside of the city, and I have to continue to do 3D work from it. Although it is not as fast as my PC, I think it's enough for me. It's really good to carry such powerful gear in your bag with a battery that can last a whole day.

Wildan's workspace

Any advice you would like to give to the designers from the IconScout community?

Keep practicing, keep exploring, and post regularly on your social media or any portfolio platforms like Dribbble, Behance, Instagram, etc., so your work will reach many people. Don't be shy to ask other people for their opinions and listen to them to improve yourself. Search for mentors, search for references that really suit you the most, improve and modify it and make it your style. And one above all - Be unique!

How can people find you and get connected?

I often use Instagram, Dribbble, and Behance to reach clients.

What is your favorite asset on IconScout?

Actually, I love all of my assets, but maybe the recent one will be my favorite since I did it with my recent skill and technique than the older one.

3D icon designs created by Wildan
3D icon designs created by Wildan

If I had to pick one, I would say this one, "Graphic Designer Tools." I don't really know the exact reason, I just love it. Maybe because it's related to me the most, as a graphic designer, the object looks simple and is recognizable in a second. Also, the color palette looks so colorful, fun, and cheerful, just like when we did our work, right? ;)

What are the three main things you love about IconScout?

First of all, it is easy to use the platform. At first, I thought I would have to spend quite a lot of time learning about how the platform works, but I found it easy and simple to use for contributors and users. The contributor dashboard is simple and easy to understand. We can monitor how many assets we have, how much we earn, and the sales.

Secondly, I don't know if this is the main thing, but I love the preview/showcase/cover generator. It's incredible! Once I have uploaded some icons in a pack, and if I haven't created a cover for the pack, IconScout has plenty of templates to use. It's really fast and easy to use with a single click.

The third one is the community. The connection between us contributors and the IconScout team is close. There aren't any borders. We can chat freely with quickly respond to help us. Also, they have many programs/competitions for us to compete in; this is a chance for us to earn more as contributors.

What are your thoughts on the members and culture of the IconScout team?

As I said earlier, I think IconScout is unique compared to others. I feel close to the people inside it. They're nice and ready to help you out. They also have unique plugins to use, so you don't have to worry if you're using other platforms; you can still use IconScout assets simply with their plugins to speed up your work.

IconScout is one of the biggest design assets that provides 3D assets. You can easily alter the 3D asset available in raw Blender files and other software compatible with OBJ, FBX, and the newest one, glTF. You can also change the view angle in case you need it.

How do you see your future with IconScout?

I hope IconScout comes up with more advanced features for the glTF 3D Editor like selecting each individual object and freely customizing each color. Maybe even more advanced features like adding a simple motion, editing the layout/composition, hiding or showing necessary objects, adding lights, changing HDRI reflection etc.

What are the benefits you have received from uploading your work on IconScout?

Of course, the passive income! Getting featured on the IconScout homepage gives a higher chance for my asset to be downloaded or found by potential clients for a new project.

How did IconScout as a marketplace help accelerate the growth of your work?

I think I have to say thank you to IconScout personally. When I decided to become an exclusive contributor for IconScout and my style of 3D icons, I found my own workflow that greatly improved my work speed, so I can now work faster and make tons of 3D icons in no time.

And as for the marketplace, I am really grateful that I can contribute 3D icons here. I have not come across other similar platforms as I have not joined other platforms yet. I want to grow my passive income, increase clients' chances to find out about my work, and hopefully request more new projects.

What would you like to see more in the future of animation?

I don't really know, maybe a Full-Scale Virtual World? Like metaverse maybe? Anything that we make virtually in 3D can be seen in real-time and interact with it in VR, I guess?

Whatever happens, we have to be ready for it and prepare to adapt to any new technology that will come in the future so we, as graphic designers, can survive in any condition.

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