Get to know the artists | Steve Talkowski and Adrian Wise

Welcome back!

Can you guess what this week’s blog is about? If you guessed an interview with Steve Talkowski and Adrian Wise, the artists who modelled the props featured in Mkali’s Mission, then you’re right (or maybe you’re just good at reading titles)! We are so lucky to have these two crazy-talented artists on the team, and I’m excited for you to learn more about them. Let’s get into it!

Joining us for the first time?
We’re producing an epic 3D sequence called Mkali’s Mission using each of the tools in the Media & Entertainment Collection and sharing the whole journey right here on AREA. Take a look back at earlier blog posts in this series to learn more. 

Steve Talkowski

Steve was responsible for modeling Mkali’s gadgets, including her crossbow. His extensive 3D experience shined through when he delivered the uber-detailed models.


Tell us about yourself.  
I have been working in the field of 3D computer graphics for over 30 years. I studied figure drawing and painting in art school, while also seeking out various computer systems on campus, and shooting frame-by-frame animation with an old Super 8 camera.

I landed my first gig as a 3D artist at Rhonda Graphics in Phoenix for 7 years, then as a senior animator at Blue Sky Studios for 7 years, followed by stints as an animation director at Hornet Inc. and Guava NYC.

Becoming disillusioned from the daily grind, I switched to freelancing in 2008. This provided me with the time and opportunity to create, produce, self-finance, and release my first designer art toy, Sketchbot, in 2010. I currently reside in Los Angeles with my wife and daughter, continuing as a freelance art and animation director, 3D modeler and animator, while further working on the development of my original robot IP.

Image courtesy of Steve Talkowski.

Image courtesy of Steve Talkowski.

What drove you to become a 3D artist? 
I’ve always been intrigued by computers. It seemed a natural progression to find ways to add technology to my artist tool palette. Wanting to further explore the human figure in motion was the driving force in pursuing animation and 3d computer graphics. My love of model-kit building was a natural progression to 3d modeling, being able to control every aspect of the process.

Tells u about your work on Mkali’s Mission.
The modeling approach for Mkali’s weapons was pretty straightforward to how I typically model similar assets, so no hurdles there. I’ve been using Maya since version 1.0. It ticks all the boxes for my modeling and animation needs and is one of the few pieces of software that I use on a daily basis. Plus, I’m ultra-comfortable using it. Utilizing Maya’s excellent UV layout tools also helped greatly.

Image courtesy of Steve Talkowski.

Image courtesy of Steve Talkowski.

Do you have any tips for people looking to start their own company? Has the pandemic affected the way you work?
I’m just a one-man shop but have worked hard on building the Sketchbot brand. Passion and perseverance are key. As a freelancer who already worked primarily from home, the pandemic didn’t affect me that much. Keeping to a daily routine helped me cope the best.

What is the weirdest thing you’ve modeled?
Hmm, perhaps a sculpture of female legs crossed with a handgun for a graffiti artist. It turned out wicked cool though.


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