Lee Griggs

Artist of the year 2015

Congratulations Lee!

It's a pleasure to present Lee Griggs, our 2015 AREA Artist of the Year! Lee was voted into the top 3 during our community voting on Facebook and then chosen as the winner by our panel of judges. 

Read below to hear more from Lee. 




AREA Team: What gets you out of bed in the morning?

Lee Griggs: Some nice quiet time to play with a new feature in Arnold for Maya or experiment with an idea. Usually, they fail dramatically, but occasionally something sticks.


AT: It's been a good day when...

LG: I've created something good or learned something new.


AT: It's been a bad day when...

LG: I've been defeated by a technical problem that makes no sense.


AT: If you could choose one person you've never met to have dinner with, who would it be?

LG: Oyonale (www.oyonale.com). He has been a huge inspiration to me.


AT: Tell us about your winning piece.

LG: It's based on a 3D scan of Lee Perry Smith. I used it to demonstrate how to render curves with Arnold in Maya. I did an Autodesk Masterclass video that demonstrates the workflow.


Lee's winning artwork

AT: You have a very distinctive style, tell us about it.

LG: I just want to try to do something a bit different. I think there is a lot of work out there that is quite 'samey' and I really appreciate work that is original and unconventional.


AT: What have you worked on that you are most proud of or excited by?

LG: Recently, I used some deformation tools in Maya to create some surreal images of some head scans that have proved to be popular.


AT: What inspires you creatively?

LG: Undoubtedly music changes the way I think and affects my work. Photography is very inspiring. My work with XGen was heavily inspired by photography.


AT: What is your biggest challenge when working on a new piece?

LG: Just having the patience to stick with an idea and pursue it without getting bored and giving up.


AT: What is your job position right now?

LG: I am a technical author at Solid Angle where I test and document the Arnold renderer. I work from customer feedback with the engineering team to improve the plugins and documentation.


AT: Tell us about your start in the industry.

LG: I started in graphic design. The company I worked for bought some SGI's with Alias Power Animator software. I used them on the weekends when the senior artists weren't around to build up my portfolio.


AT: What are your hobbies/what do you do in your down time?

LG: I like to watch films and play video games. I also rock climb, swim and cycle a lot to try and make up for my many hours of inactivity.


AT: Advice for the upcoming generation of 3d artists?

LG: There are a lot of excellent 3D artists out there so try to do something different and original.


AT: You live in Madrid, correct? Are you born and raised there? Have you worked/traveled elsewhere?

LG: I moved here from the UK to work at Solid Angle. The chance to work with the Arnold renderer in a country that has sun was a no brainer for me. I used to be a product specialist for another rendering company that involved a lot of travel all over the world to various companies and exhibitions such as Siggraph. I would definitely recommend it.


AT: What do you love most about what you do?

LG: Being able to test and use the latest features in rendering technology is very exciting to me.


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