Artist of the Month: Kyle Hagey

by Lillie Forteau / Dec 30, 2017 /
Lillie Forteau's picture

While perusing Grand Rapids Comic Con's artist gallery for the fifth time, we found ourselves looking at one place in particular. His work stood out to me, not only because of the smiling crowd gathered around the joyful booth, but also because of the extreme detail of each work, which pulls you in, wanting to see every little thing hand-crafted by artist Kyle Hagey.

R2D2 and BB8, by digital artist Kyle Hagey. Click to read our interview!

Your art is so cool! Can you please tell us more about the process?
I create everything in the scene using a process called 3d modeling (it's not actually 3d printing, but more like the precursor to 3d printing). I use about 7 different programs in total. It's similar to sculpting clay inside a computer - like Legos on steroids. It's its own thing, its own process, and very commonly used in the movie industry to create images that don't exist in real life (CGI). Anything from Toy Story to Avatar to background sets for Game of Thrones all use 3d modeling. The gaming industry uses it to create assets for 3d games. It's really cool.

The programs I use are 3ds Max for modeling, Vray for rendering, Marvelous Designer for fabric simulations, Ornatrix for hair generation, World Machine for mountain creation, Zbrush for organic sculpts, and some Photoshop for touch ups and creating textures. 

Kylo Ren and Captain Phasma, by digital artist Kyle Hagey. Click to read our interview!

How long have you been an artist? 
I've been doing CGI (computer generated images) for around 9 years, but a lot of it was learning.

Yoda flip off, by digital artist Kyle Hagey. Click to read our interview!

Is your art your full-time career?
This art is my only source of income, but I wouldn't say I put 40 hours a week into it. Honestly, I'm kinda lazy.

Storm troopers, by digital artist Kyle Hagey. Click to read our interview!

Where do you work?  How long have you been there?
I've been self employed for 3 years now. I sell at the Portland (OR) Saturday Market on weekends, an online etsy store, and I also do a few random shows here and there.

Do you have favorite places you like to create?
When I was first starting out, I had a laptop that I'd take to the library or coffee shops and it was always fun. But since my scenes have progressed in complexity my laptop can't handle it anymore, so I make everything on my home pc.

C3PO, by digital artist Kyle Hagey. Click to read our interview!

What does a typical day look like? Is there a typical day?
A typical day is me waking up around 9 to 11AM. Coffee. Then I start modeling. I usually have something I've worked on from the day or two before so I have an idea what I should do. Today, as I'm writing this, I'm working on handlebars for a motorcycle. The best time for me to work is when I'm sleepy and not really over-thinking, so the morning is the best time. I get a few hours of modeling in and then I check my etsy, ship prints, and prepare prints to sell in person. Eventually I eat and then do random stuff for the day like grocery shopping or buy more stock. I might hang out with friends or check out what people are posting online. If I feel like it I go back to modeling for an hour or two and by the end of the night I fall asleep watching tutorials.

Darth, by digital artist Kyle Hagey. Click to read our interview!

What materials do you prefer?
Coffee and computers.

Where/How are you inspired?
I just think it's fun to make goofy pictures.

Battle Droid, by digital artist Kyle Hagey. Click to read our interview!

Do you work on one or more pieces at a time?
This is such a good question! I've made huge plant libraries that I reuse for new scenes. I've made base meshes (like heads) to work on, so when I sculpt new faces I don't have to start from scratch every time. I have rigged people that I can pose to simulate fabrics on. I love the process of creating better tools that help automate new scenes for myself. I don't know if that's necessarily working on more than one scene so much as it's giving future me more options and saving time. There's no need to reinvent the wheel with every picture.

Boba Fett, by digital artist Kyle Hagey. Click to read our interview!

Here's more about the process, with a few excerpted photos from a book I created, detailing the above photo:
The process of creating Boba Fett, by digital artist Kyle Hagey. Click to read our interview!

The process of creating Boba Fett, by digital artist Kyle Hagey. Click to read our interview!

The process of creating Boba Fett, by digital artist Kyle Hagey. Click to read our interview!

The process of creating Boba Fett, by digital artist Kyle Hagey. Click to read our interview!

The process of creating Boba Fett, by digital artist Kyle Hagey. Click to read our interview!

If you were not an artist, what would you do?
I worked in restaurants for about ten years, so I'd probably still be doing that.

How can our readers find and purchase your art?
www.KylesGallery.com has a link to my etsy. 

Would you like to share anything else with us?
Thank you!

 

All photos courtesy and copyright Kyle Hagey

 

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