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Interview with Josh Maule

Josh Maule is an artist, musician, and author here on Blender Cookie

Josh Maule PhotoToday I’m thrilled to interview Josh Maule, one of our Blender authors on CG Cookie. He has become a source of inspiration and a great example of how a little dedication to your education can take you a long ways.

Josh is quickly being recognized as a great artist and incredible tutorial author. In the months since he’s started working with us he has produced several great tutorials for our Citizen members that have been remarkably well received. He has a certain knack for describing what he’s doing in a way that most anyone can understand. He also has a good balance of calm demeanor and humor.

I like to think of myself as just an average guy struggling to get a head full of ideas out into the world somehow, be it through music, art, stupid YouTube videos of me singing Weird Al songs

Can you describe yourself to all your fellow Blender Heads?

Bacteria

I love to create. It doesn’t matter much how I do it, I just need to keep doing it. I like to think of myself as just an average guy struggling to get a head full of ideas out into the world somehow, be it through music, art, stupid YouTube videos of me singing Weird Al songs (they’re out there), or whatever it takes.

I’m by no means the best or brightest at any of these things, much better Weird Al sing-a-long videos are easy to find, but I make sure that whatever I’m doing I do the best that I can. I also GROSSLY overuse commas, as you’re about to see.

How do you describe your job/hobby to your extended family?

Most people seem to understand that I do art of some sort, even if they don’t completely understand the CG aspect. I’ll usually end up making the comparison to a Pixar movie, and they can generally grasp that.

A beer. Nothing brings people together like sharing a drink.

How did you get started with Blender and computer graphics in general?

Goldfish

I’ve always been fascinated by CG art of all kinds, especially as it began to really advance.

My first run-in with Blender was just short of two year ago. I was working on a video project in which I needed a black smoke effect and stumbled onto Blender’s smoke simulator while researching ways to achieve it. I never really did get the smoke effect I was looking for, but I started messing around with the modeling tools and never looked back.

 

Do you have any traditional art background?

I suppose I’ve had a semi talent in art my whole life, but never fully latched to any of the more traditional mediums. Over the years I’ve tried my hand at painting, drawing, sculpting with clay, just about everything I could do, but nothing ever really seemed to keep my interest until I started with 3D modeling. It just sort of clicked with me.

Final model of an electric guitar by Josh Maule

 

Is there anything you’ve found extra beneficial to learning CG?

It’s taught me patience and persistence. Nothing comes quick and easy in art of any kind. I often find myself struggling with a project or technique and really just want to scrap it and move on. Sometimes I do, but I never delete anything and always make myself go back and revisit the idea later. Some of my favorite creations have come from second or even fifth tries.

 

It’s clear you have a knack for 3D and spend a lot of time doing it, but what else do you like to do to keep yourself busy?

Ice Cream Sandwich

First off, thank you. I do a lot with music. I play several instruments, although none of them exceptionally, and I like to dabble in home recording. I used to play in a struggling rock band in the Seattle area. I also occasionally mess around with video editing.  It all comes back to the desire to just create something.

 It all comes back to the desire to just create something.

 

Where do you see yourself five years down the road? Do you think you’ll still be doing CG?

I very much expect to still be doing CG, but hopefully a much better job of it. I’ve never given much thought to the idea of making a career out of it. My real dream is to nail down character art.  I love designing and creating characters, telling stories with images. I’ve had a few successes, and many, many failures in this area but it’s one I’ll never get tired of doing.

 

If you could share one thing with a random stranger right now, what would it be?

A beer. Nothing brings people together like sharing a drink.

 

Do you have any favorite artists that have inspired you through the years?

Gir

Most recently the CreatureBox guys. I’ve always leaned heavily towards stylized and cartoony designs over realism (big surprise I know) and those guys are the epitome of that style. I honestly wish I was more familiar with individual artists out there, especially in the 3D field. I tend to really find myself inspired by styles and ideas, and unfortunately I sometimes overlook the artist responsible. Shame on me.

 

Lastly, if you could have any new Blender feature right now, what would it be?

A pop up that asks if you’re sure you want to Save User Settings.  Don’t know how many times I’ve accidentally hit it and overwritten my default set up.

 

You can view all of Josh’s Blender tutorials here

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Discussion

28 Responses to “Interview with Josh Maule”
  1. Posts: 4
    jorge guerrero says:

    I love to read my interviews because they are a source of inspiration for me., and always help me to change my way of seeing things or see from another point of view.

    to me so with user settings default always end leaving a scene where I work

    sorry for the English, I used a translator because I speak only Spanish,

  2. Posts: 54
    Annonymous says:
    The user has disabled their account.
  3. Posts: 36

    Working through one of josh’s tutorials now. Has been really great, I am glad he posted it.

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