Devoted stories #9: FABIO CACCIOLA
Concept Artist.“Work on your mindset first”
I chose to work on characters because I like all that is related to them. While playing videogames or watching movies, I would always pay a lot of attention to characters, their styles, personalities, what they are carrying with them, all those things. Growing up, I loved to draw characters. I used to draw comics back in school, but the process was to draw all the characters “perfectly” and rush the background, so... they weren't that great This helped me understand what my passion was, and that I wanted to make a living out of that.
While studying, and then trying to get jobs, my biggest struggle was dealing with real life. Health related problems took my attention away from improving as an artist. It wasn't easy, and it's still not easy, but I was able to get back to work 100% after I started working on the mental side of things, so I would say that's something that shouldn't be forgotten, and you always have to take care of that.
I've always tried different ways to improve my craft. One of the things that helped me a lot was learning softwares like Blender and Daz. Not having to think about things like anatomy allowed me to focus mostly on the design part of the characters. Still, you have to study a lot of fundamentals, so continuing with that helped as well. And there's no real comfort answer for that, you have to do it a lot and be patient. Sometimes, or always, it is really frustrating, but the results are what keeps me going because there's no better feeling than getting good at something you love to do.
I started getting real work back in 2018, and one of the things I learned working as a Pro is the importance of feedbacks. I really think they made me improve because your Art Director sees lots of things that you probably don't notice and the moment I've worked on something personal, I realized I'm way more critical of myself, and I see lots of things I wouldn't have noticed before.
Also, you have to pay the bills. My only suggestion would be: do not undersell yourself. An important thing is to be able to understand your value, and that's one of the things I struggle a lot with, because the first thought is that everything I do sucks. But you still need to get over that, and be very objective about your work, and understand that this is a job, and you have to make a living out of it. If a studio chooses you, you're probably doing the right thing.