Hadi Karimi

October 2019 Artist of the Month

Meet our AREA October artist of the Month, Hadi Karimi!

We've long been fans of Hadi's 3D work which exudes celebrity photoreal perfection. Read on to find out about Hadi's incredible work, everyday inspirations, and life as a 3D artist.


3D Taylor Swift Autodesk Maya Arnold


How did you get started in the 3D industry?

I had been digital painting for almost ten years. For one project, I needed to render assets in 3ds Max to then use them in composition for a poster design. Once I had learned the basics, I became more and more curious and had a feeling that this might just be the right path for me. After about a year of learning and practicing, I became a full-time 3D artist.

What inspires your work?

I love music. I also love sculpting my favorite musicians while listening to their music. I think it's a perfect combination for inspiration and that's exactly the reason why most of my portraits are of singers!



3D Eric Clapton Autodesk Maya Arnold


Who are your biggest influences?


Rembrandt is one of my biggest artistic inspirations. The facial expressions in his paintings and his lighting techniques are absolutely extraordinary. It was as though he could capture people's souls within his work.

Peter Paul Rubens is another favorite, as is much of the art from the Baroque and Renaissance period.


What do you love most about being a 3D Sculptor and CG Artist?


Possibilities are endless in 3D. I love animation. It's not really my specialty, but sometimes I practice by morphing between multiple expressions that I sculpt for the same model.

What excites me the most though, is collaborating with other artists with completely different styles.


What project have you worked on that you are most proud of?


A portrait of Friedrich Nietzsche that I made a couple of months ago. The biggest challenge here was that the reference images were all of terrible quality. Plus, it made me feel really good to reconstruct the face of a historical figure.


3D Friedrich Nietzsche Autodesk Maya Arnold


What is it that you like about creating likeness sculpting?


Likeness sculpting is always challenging because you never know what people's reaction will be to the CG version of their favorite actor or singer. So, I have to be ready to face all sorts of negative comments and rejection. But honestly, I love these kinds of challenges. I believe it's what makes it so much fun!


 "Likeness sculpting is always challenging because you never know what people's reaction will be to the CG version of their favorite actor or singer."


How do you use Autodesk software? 


I've been using Arnold render engine for almost a year and I can confidently say that its subsurface scattering is the best.

I use Maya for hair grooming and composition. Making good CG hair is not an easy task, but Xgen is a powerful tool and makes it much more enjoyable.


3D David Bowie Autodesk Maya Arnold

3D David Bowie work in progress Autodesk Maya Arnold


What are some of the misconceptions of a career in 3D illustration and character design?


People always ask me questions like "What software do you recommend?" Or "What render engine gives the best results?" But all these years, no one has ever asked me how many hours I've spent studying human anatomy or how many years did it take to get over the fear of rejection.

Keep in mind that no tool in the world can make you an artist overnight, it takes time and practice.


3D Bjork Autodesk Maya Arnold


What advice can you give to young 3D artists who are just starting out?


Don't do it for money or followers and don't fear rejection. It's okay to get frustrated sometimes. Even artists with decades of experience feel stuck and fear that their career is going nowhere. Stick with it and you'll be rewarded because practice makes perfect.