Name: Jose Mª Lazaro
Member: ballo
Location: London, UK
Email: ballobello -
Website: Facebook
2014 Entry: Brianiac

Favourite Software?
None, there is always something wrong in them.

Books, comic books, tv shows, Hans Zimmer, other artists.

Favourite Games?
The Last of Us.

Favourite Movies?
Moonrise Kingdom.

Favourite Music?
I love all kind of music except reggaeton.

Dog or Cat Person?

Future Goals?
Travel more

Bad Habits?
buy expensive/gourmet food

Good Habits?
buy expensive/gourmet food

Recover from a bad day?
Water, good food and a sunny day.

What is a good day?
Smile and smile more while doing your best

Tell us a bit about yourself. When did you begin creating art? Any Schooling? How are you spending your time these days?

As a kid, my dream was to be a comic book artist, but all that changed when one day, in a magazine store, I saw some spectacular art created in 3d. Since that moment, I began playing with CG. Future inspiration that strengthened my choice in direction occurred when Toy Story came out - An awesome movie!

During the course of my studies in art, I took some formal training in fine arts. To date, I still wonder if it was useful decision. These days I work as a freelance artist and during my spare time I enjoy working on personal art and participating in art challenges online in order to stay highly creative.

How did you come up with the idea for your entry? Was there a specific reason for the design? Any doubts along the way?

In online challenges, I never choose a character simply to win. I think it's the character that chooses me. In Comicon Challenge 2014, I just wanted to have fun and practice some hard surface sculpting in zbrush, so selecting Brainiac sounded like a good idea for the exercise. In the beginning of the challenge, I will admit. I had my doubts. In fact, I had to completely redo the character after 3 weeks into the challenge because I was not convinced. Something was off. After listening to feedback, the next version came out looking much better - more personality and a stronger design.

Why did you enter Comicon Challenge?

Comicon Challenge 2014 was not my first time. It was actually the third time I joined the series. Even though it's been 3 year's since the previous chapter, I remember that back in 2009 and 2010, I enjoyed each challenge immensely. We always had the option to break the rules and style of a character and then re-envision it with our very own design. Plus, I love comics! I spent my entire childhood reading them. I remember some comics called Creepy, and also of many others from classic American and European authors. Therefor, making a CG version of a comic book character.... I love it!

Making exceptional art is not easy. How did you keep focused and motivated during the challenge? Hid the bed? Disabled facebook? Said goodbye to friends? What was your secret?

I prioritized. What is better to do? Paid freelance work or exercise your creativity in a once a year event. Of course Comicon Challenge!!! If I had one wish for how things could have been better for my entry - disable Facebook. Unfortunately, to date, Facebook remains my best source for relaxation after a long day of work. Some people smoke to have a break, me, I facebook. Fortunately, I know how to be very productive, so I only facebook a bit in the morning when I wake up, and then at night right before I go to bed. The rest of the day... I enjoy.

What would be your advice for aspiring artists out there? What type of training do you think
would be helpful in becoming a successful artist?

Here are some tips, taken from Stephen King about how to be a writer, and modified for art.

  • 1. Everything begins with rejection. Rejection is essential for improving skills.
  • 2. Study classic and new sculptors and sculpt a lot.
  • 3. Master the fundamentals of anatomy.
  • 4. Sculpting/CG is hard work, so be prepared to do it.
  • 5. Good ideas or characters can be found anywhere and at any moment. So keep your mind open.
  • 6. Always be honest to yourself. Do whatever you want and enjoy it.

With Comicon Challenge now behind you, what are your future plans?

First and foremost, I will enjoy Spanish spring time. At the same time, I will of course watch Game of Thrones and prepare myself for the next big challenge on I would also like to find a job, since life as a freelance artist is a bit lonely at times.

Any final thoughts? Thank yous? Motivational speeches? Evil monologues? etc.

Special thanks to everyone who voted for my entry. It was a great challenge and I was extremely happy to share my ideas and knowledge with fellow passionate artists across the world.

Thank you Ballo. You created a truly fantastic piece. I wish you the best with all your future endeavors.