MAGAZINE

December 20th, 2017
Jesse Gussow


I’ve always been a fan of the macabre and dark. Monsters and creatures right out of your nightmares. Thankfully there is artist Rohan Bansie to give me my fill. Creating wicked, creepy creatures and monsters using Digital Art, his work is hauntingly perfect. Easily stuff I would expect to see in the Upside Down or in the videogame Quake. His work is a gateway to another dimension that you don’t mind viewing but would never want to physically be there.

 

Where are you from?

I grew up in a suburb of Ottawa called Barrhaven.

 

How did you get started in Digital Art?

In early 2016 I had decided to leave the tattoo industry to try and pursue a different artistic medium. I loved my time as a tattooer and in many ways it was extremely rewarding, but I knew it wasn't something that would keep me fulfilled. With more time to explore more mediums I found myself sculpting traditionally again and thinking about a potential career as a special FX artist.  While doing research on character and monster sculpting I came across Zbrush and was immediately fascinated with the software and clarity of sculpts people were producing and had to try it myself. I had dabbled with painting in Photoshop in college years ago but was so bad at it that I just said fuck it. But sculpting digitally was an entirely new thing that just felt so right to do and needless to say, I became hooked.

Later that year my girlfriend (Jessica) and I had gone to Comic Con for the first time - that place is awesome, but totally felt like a giant nerd garage sale, haha. Anyways, Jess found a ZBrush textbook and thought that it’d be a great buy to help get myself really understanding the program… and it did! Since then, I've been completely obsessed with the program, immersing myself in the world of digital sculpting and CGI.

 

How would you describe your work?

Upside down and simply fortuitous!

 

How long does it take you to create something from start to finish?

I suppose it depends on how many projects I'm working on. I usually don't need more than an afternoon to sculpt and complete a creature bust from my imagination. Though, if I’ve done rough sketches and concepts prior to opening Zbrush it cuts down on a lot of time.

 

Where do you come up with the inspiration for your pieces?

Waves of inspiration can be gathered from so many different places … I’m often inspired by my hero’s in the entertainment industry like: Neville Page, Domonic Qwek, Bobby Rebholz, and  different sculptors (both traditional and digital) like Tomek Radziewicz. Film is a big one; I’m a huge horror movie nerd. Sci-Fi or Horror movies are primarily what’s playing at my place.

But really, my childlike curiosity for life’s prepossessing abnormalities is what really catches my eye. Finding inspiration can be challenging. You don't want to spend too much time looking at the same group of artists, or in one genre. I try to open myself up to all kinds of experiences in life to fill my head with more variety that I can then apply to my art.

 

Do you listen to music while you work? If so, what bands?

Absolutely, I listen to everything! Lately while I work I've been listening to a lot of Tim Skold, Architects, Thy Art is Murder, Sublime with Rome, and various dubstep artists. I jump between genres pretty drastically throughout the day, haha. My ideal genres while I work are classical or dubstep.

 

If you could have any super power, what would it be, and why?

Oh man I’ve thought about this question too many times.

As a kid growing up I always wanted to be Nightcrawler or Spiderman. I made webs throughout my parents’ house with dental floss and even made an armature, spiked tail that I painted blue like Nightcrawler’s, haha!  If I could crawl on walls, teleport and have the jumping and strength that Spiderman has, that would be too rad. I have thought about a character being able to mutate their anatomy, distort their features and slip into people’s minds at any time to produce a “Living Nightmare” and that would be pretty wicked! Still working that one out. Stay tuned.

 

What type of equipment do you use and why?

For digital sculpting I use Zbrush. Personally I find Zbrush an exceptional tool to sketch, and provide quick iterations, within 3D space. Working in Zbrush also supplements my developing, organic style of designing.  Finalizing and polishing is done in Photoshop. I’d like to master Zbrush before venturing into any other programs.

I’m working on my MacBook Pro and Wacom Cintic, which I'm extremely thankful to have because my MacBook screen has been shattered for over a year. So the Cintiq screen comes in handy!

 

What is the worst job you've ever had and why?

Ouff… working in the kitchen at Boston Pizza. Man, was that place run by sour people.

 

Has your work ever been used in film, TV, or video games?

My work hasn’t been used in anything yet!! I just do commissioned illustrations for now. I’ve only been doing digital art seriously since 2016 so there are still so many things to learn before I think I’ll be ready to submit my work to an employer. I mean, if an opportunity came around I’d absolutely consider it! But every day I try to learn something new, otherwise it’s a day wasted. So until then I’ll keep drawing, sculpting and learning. Ultimately my goal is to assist in creating a creature or character for film or TV and see it breathing, walking around and interacting with life and props around it.

 

How have you improved from when you first started, to now? What would you like to become even more proficient at still?

I truly believe that with the help of friends and teachers my understanding of what’s expected of me in the entertainment industry has become far clearer. The different job standards, approaches and processes to achieve a “quality” design asset.

Understanding creature design as a whole has been a growing passion of mine. Figuring out different approaches to muscle anatomy, and the bio-mechanics of what it is I'm designing is one of the most amazing and fun parts of what I do! I mean the biggest challenge is to design a creature or character while balancing the “cool” aesthetic , as well as but by having the actual bio mechanics of the creature be functionally plausible.  When you see CG in movies you expect the highest level of realism because of where we are with technology. So for myself, I’d like to achieve an exceptional amount of realism to my digital art. But that all comes with time and practice!

 

What is the typical reaction to your work?

Typically when people see my work they often think creepy, horror, insect-y, but interesting. I’d love for my work to be considered “horror” but truthfully, I don't even fully consider it to be quite that. I see my work as more dark fantasy vomit.

 

Where is the one place in the world you would love to see one of your pieces?

One place? I would love to see my work all over the world!

 

Do you prefer Oreo or Fudgee-O cookies?

Fudgee-O’s. All day Fudges! I ate wayy too many Oreos growing up.

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