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Micah Masbaum has been making 3D Character Models for a little over a year now. Average time for each character is one month. She was born and raised on the Eastside, but recently moved to Texas with her twin sister who is a 3D animator. (Image: Micah Masbaum)

Artist of the Week: Micah Masbaum

Seattle might be notorious for niche coffee shops and scenic waterways, but locals know it's also home to an array of people who love to create. This city is chock-full of artists and today marks the first weekly artist feature on Seattle Refined! If you have a local artist in mind that you would like to see featured, let us know at hello@seattlerefined.com. And if you're wondering just what constitutes art, that's the beauty of it; it's up to you!

Can we just say - we are loving how many recommendations for artists we are getting lately! It must be the holiday spirit, because you all are feeling extra loving towards the artists in your life - and wanting to give them their moment to shine! We found out this next artist, Micah - through her mother! "Thanks for considering her. I think she is amazing." Agreed, Mama Masbaum - she is! Micah isn't just any old artist, she amkes 3D Character Models. Before I mess up trying to explain what those are....let's let Micah.

Seattle Refined: How long have you been creating? Do you work with other mediums?
Micah Masbaum: I have been creating art throughout my life with a variety of mediums growing up, however, I only started learning 3D art about three years ago and found that I really enjoy it. The main mediums I work with now are 3D and digital art. I'd love to try out clay sculpting in the future.

Can you tell us about your artistic process and how the different stages work into it?
My process usually starts with taking a concept image and gathering all of the references I will need for the project. If I am making a character I will find references for the armor, clothing, anatomy and anything else that is unclear. Then I will start sculpting and roughly block everything out in Zbrush. Once I have all of the proportions correct, I will proceed to sculpt the details. Then I create a low-poly version of the sculpt, UV map it and bake the maps. After that, I texture it and set up the scene for the final renders. When I set up the final render and pose, I like to think of the personality and story behind the character.

Tell us about where your inspiration for your art come from?
My inspiration comes from a lot of places. I'm very motivated and inspired by seeing other talented artist's work and their personal progression. My family inspires me every day because they are very hard workers and that pushes me to work harder as well. I also look to concept art and fashion design for inspiration.

Do you have a specific “beat” you like best – nature, food, profiles etc?
I really enjoy the fantasy and sci-fi genre. I think the wonderful thing about art is that you can create anything that you can think of and bring your imagination to life, which is something I always enjoyed about 3D art in particular.

Do you have one piece of art that means more to you, or is extremely special to you?
My first 3D model holds a special place in my heart because it is what got me interested in 3D art in the first place. It was a ninja character and looking back on it I made a lot of mistakes and errors, but it was the first step towards a career that I love.

What experiences in your life have affected your art the most?
Growing up playing video games and watching movies had a large impact on my art. Watching the first Shrek movie made me wonder how 3D animated films were made and it sparked my interest in 3D initially. Video games also played a big role because they showed me how art could be used to create an immersive experience for people.

If we want to see more of your work where should we go to find?
You can find more of my work at my website.

What is next for you? Anything you’re working on right now that you’re really excited about?
Currently I'm working on an unannounced game and I'm also working with my sister, Hannah, who is an animator, on a couple of personal projects that we hope to be posting online soon!

Lastly, how do you take your coffee?
I don't drink coffee that often, but I love a good cup of hot chocolate!

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