CG Artist’s Story: 3 Words that Changed my Life

Here’s how I get started with making digital art

gleb alexandrov

Hello, I’m Gleb. I’m an 26 year old CG artist doing weird digital pictures and I want to tell you about 3 words that, literally, changed my life.

Before we start, let me say it: I believe that every artist can make a living doing what she or he actually wants. What I mean is the projects that inspire us the most.

How many times you was inspired by something, but then abandoned your passion just because you was scared to take a leap of faith and do things, that would be considered stupid by your parents or friends?

I thought the same way about my ideas.

But now I think: Weird projects? Being self-employed? Taking a leap of faith? Fine, let’s f#cking do it!

I was introduced to computer graphics when I was 16. Like many of us, I started with 3ds max and was spending very small amount of time learning how to do stuff and connecting with people.

My first renders were so crappy that I thought I would never make a single AWESOME image.

And this perspective scared the hell out of me.

Several years later, the mechanism was launched that would led to a big change in my life. I’ve stumbled across the TUTORIAL on the internet. If I remember, it was about ‘How to render an interior’ using Vray.

You can say, ‘tutorial, what a discovery, dude!’ I know that sounds stupid, but that’s how things worked for me. Something clicked in my mind and what was merely a hobby started to transform into something bigger.

When I was 22, I got a CG Artist job and started to make the models for computer games. You guess it wasn’t too hard, because I was able to render a cube rather efficiently at the time.

In the free time I was also learning Blender (free open source software which has an awesome community) by watching Andrew Price and CG Cookie tutorials. Now I was using internet to my advantage by absorbing every bit of knowledge, because I knew it will pay off in the future.

So, this is the word number 1: Learn

Learn CG

When a big CG competition called ‘Her Majesty’s Zeppelins’ was about to start, I’ve jumped in this boat because I knew I can learn how to do stuff.

Nevertheless, the possibility of winning was completely out of my reach, I thought.

In fact, I was so afraid to fail in public that I concentrated on doing the best render possible. The risk of public failure motivated me so much that I persisted for a month, doing nothing but zeppelins.

Huge zeppelins, tiny zeppelins, her majesty’s air fleet steampunk zeppelins.

I crushed the competition by winning the 1-st place.

That’s when I learned the second word: Dare

Overcome the fear of making art

Several hours later I created my personal blog using service by Google and posted there my first tutorial: Making-of Zeppelins.

Imagine, after years of devouring knowledge I was about to SHARE THE EXPERIENCE, that I absorbed earlier.

You can say: the tutorial, not a big deal. And you’re probably right. But for me, it was the game changer. Hugely positive feedback from you, folks, motivated me to develop my own skills further. To delve into crazy experiments, to explore uncharted territories of computer graphics, to make stupid things.

As I byproduct of recording tutorials I started to develop my English, which is still far from being good, but at least you wouldn’t want to shoot me. Or would you?.

So I bought a condenser microphone, recorded a crappy tutorial with the voice-over and posted it to the new WordPress self-hosted blog and also uploaded it to Youtube.

Then another one.

For me, sharing things online made the difference.

After discovering the passion for blogging and doing my own projects, I’ve left the full-time job to concentrate on what I love to do. Ironically, now this decision makes sense from the financial point of view too.

That’s how the things work: when you share your knowledge, your passion and your vision with others, impossible becomes possible. The question is, will you listen to your inner Van Gogh-esque voice that tells you to stop scaring the world with your personality?

Tell it to SHUT UP, because people can fly when they want to.

That’s the word number 3: Share

Today, CG artist has to share her art online to be successful

Now it’s your turn. Share my story and thank you for being awesome and reading this article.


  1. Simple yet quite inspiring. Congratulations on coming such a long way

  2. kropaman2


  3. Inspiring. Love the short autobiography Gleb!

  4. Joey Bennett

    Liked and shared…. Even if I don’t approve of the F*** word being used. 🙁

  5. Warren D. M. Reed

    It’s pretty amazing, unless I am stuck in some weird timewarp, I had the impression you have been around a long time at this. We understand you, don’t worry the accent is cool and adds fun to the tutorials, especially the “Lonely bear- teddy bear add-on”. awesome and tons of imagination! well done!

    • Perception of time, yeah. 2 days ago, Twitter surprised me with ‘Twitterversary’ congrats. Didn’t think that I’m tweeting for a year already.

  6. bdiscus

    Oh the lonely bear, my only grudge I held against you gleb 😛 I was so excited that I made sure I had the latest version of Blender and everything, you got me good lol. Dude, you’re awesome, and I thank you very much for being awesome!

    • That bear is something that I wan’t to repeat, not waiting till april 1’st. 🙂

      • bdiscus

        Cool, I won’t be fooled next time 😀 (I hope so…)

  7. Michel Rochette

    Thx Gleb. We all have to go trough those 3 stages of mind by learning from the Blender community and tossing away all obstacles. Keep your good spirit!

  8. Dale Forbes

    Gleb, love the inspirational story. I’m discovering this passion late in life so I struggle with the reality of whether i can really turn this into a full-time way of life. But your words keep the hope alive. Thanks for “sharing”.

  9. Peter Haigh

    amazing well done when you work hard for what you want it all pays off in the end

  10. I am following your tutorials from the very first video, and I always jump start your new videos no matter where I am.

    Thank you for sharing your journey.

  11. Thank you for this post Gleb, Its very recognizable.
    I completely understand what you mean with Learn, Dare, Share.
    6 months ago after a long long time being afraid to show my work I reset myself and start doing something completely new.
    I dare to show my work online and now since the feedback is very positive I’m willing to do more to grow even better.

    Very inspiring 🙂

  12. Awesome article……Thanks A Lot Gleb.

  13. Nils Hagner

    Thank you very much, Gleb! When I first started watching your tutorials I got a big boost. To see what is possible in CG, if you just learn it, is awesome.

  14. Nice story! Just like mine, but i am not so famous, of course (For now. Mua-ha-ha-ha! *evil_smiley*).
    I always was interested in your story, because you appeared just… “out of nothing” with just spectacular renders ))
    Did not watched your tutorials, but surely will later!
    Thank you for your renders, they are very inspiring!

  15. Charles D. Ardian

    good words Gleb, its inspires me.

  16. Pingback: 2015 - Some Words and A Hug • Creative Shrimp

  17. Carolyn Roberts


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