Umut Bora Şahin

Artists have incredible success stories that describe how they went from beginner to practiced artists. Each successful artist has followed a variety of paths to achieve their goals.

If you want to pursue a 3D artist, you can draw inspiration from the life of the following designer.

Umut Bora Şahin 26 years old 3D artist.

I graduated from Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University in 2018 where I studied architecture. Currently, I am writing my master’s thesis at Middle East Technical University. These are two of the greatest institutions of Turkey, and I find myself very lucky to be able to study there. Because the education I got was the very starting point for the journey towards Polibunny.

Since I was a young boy, I always enjoyed building or drawing something with my hands and use them as my guide, which later on transferred to playing guitar and cooking in my teenage years. I love to be able to shape or acquire something using my hands, and that is stuck with me. In my university years, it evolved with the knowledge of architecture, and now I mentally do the same thing with 3D design. It was not before 2 years that I started to watch online tutorials about Blender. When I figured out it was free software, I immediately downloaded it and started tweaking it with its settings. The very first thing I’ve ever built in Blender was a donut, as it was one of the most popular tutorials on the Internet. It took me two weeks to complete a single realistic-looking donut, and the process was so intense that I didn’t want to launch the software for a couple of months. I wanted to do something simple and fun, but I couldn’t remember how to achieve it since there was a whole load of information about Blender in my head.

Then, I had an idea. I was studying abroad from İstanbul, where I grew, and couldn’t help but miss my favorite places there. The most important one for me was the old cinema building in the middle of the city, called Rexx, and I heard it was going to be closed permanently due to the lack of income in a pandemic. It was an emotional thing for me not being able to visit Rexx one more time, so I started modeling it using Blender. I searched for photos, old and new, and gathered everything I found. The building process was hard since I couldn’t remember how the program works in 4-5 months, but the result was satisfying. It took me a week to complete the Rexx Cinema and I didn’t know what to do with it afterward but to store it in my hard-drive and move on to the next project. I started modeling the places that mattered to me, ones that I miss the most, and finally, I had a small collection of them. Also, started taking notes about ideas to do in the future, which helped me a lot later on.

With all that illustrations piled up on my computer, I began thinking about publishing them online and see the reaction of people. I already knew what name I was going to use for these designs: Polibunny. The reason for that name is so simple, I realized the designs I make resemble the “low-poly” art style that lots of people do, so I wanted to incorporate the word “poly”. And the other half was originating in my ever-lasting online profile name Bunnylord that I use for gaming, accounts, forums; simply everywhere that I could. So, I opened up an Instagram account and posted Rexx as the first illustration, then the journey started.

My biggest influences were the cartoon and animation movies I grew up watching. Not only when I was a child, but I still enjoy watching these types of movies and find them helping with my imagination. And also, I follow similar artists all around the world, taking inspiration from them and creating my ideas, some in the video-game industry and some are illustrators. But it would not be fair if I say these are my only influences. I also started looking at our cities in a different way since I started Polibunny. All the places that I shared, all the buildings that I illustrate affect my life, at some point, or at least they are the ones I truly love. As a 3D artist, I wanted to give people what they are missing while the pandemic is going on.

I wanted to remind them of those places, that they have some type of emotional connection in-between. Sometimes, when I got a “crazy” idea (like the one with the Göbeklitepe ruins) I like to play with the reality aspect of the design. I love fantasy and all sorts of fairytales as a guy who read lots of literature throughout his life. So I like adjusting the “real” to give the place a new definition, sometimes with a minor twist. I feel like all of the designs are simply parts of the imaginary land in my mind, that come together in an alternating universe at some point. I also am a game-enthusiast, love playing both AAA and indie games when I have the time. These designs on Polibunny also reflect that as I usually imagine a game character in pursue of some mystery walking around Rexx, or after some treasure in Göbeklitepe ruins. One of my biggest aspirations is to participate in a game at some point, creating places that players can wander around, or even develop my own game in the future!

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