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Fabian Aerts: The only real competition is the one you have against yourself

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Fabian Aerts: The only real competition is the one you have against yourself

Photo: Fabian Aerts

Dec.07 2022

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Fabian Aerts  is a belgian 3D Artist, Motion Designer who creates unique visual stories raising burning questions of fundamental notions through exceptional forms.

How did your path in the field of 3D art start?

It is been exactly 21 years. I started working in the web industry in 2000 and my desire to move towards animation came very early.
First with the arrival of the .gif format and later Flash (Macromedia) and After Effects. I really started 3D in 2001 completely self-taught.
There were no courses at the time and tutorials on the internet were relatively rare.
I have always been passionate about audio visual, since my adolescence. If I hadn’t worked in the image field, I probably would have done it in the sound. I was also a big consumer of films and series of all kinds.

Do you consider yourself as a pioneer in this field?

A pioneer ? No, I wouldn’t pretend to say that. We are all followers of someone else who paved the way for us, aren’t we?
But it’s true that I got into the field very early. Motion design was still in an early stage.

What is the difference between your work now and 21 years ago? Have technologies become more convenient?

Today when I see the dazzling evolution of new tools, and mainly real-time iteration, I think that I should have been born 20 years later.
So yes, my work has necessarily benefited from his developments as well. Where a few years ago we had to wait and drink 2 coffees after modifying the settings of a render, today it is instantaneous, it allows us to try many more things and therefore to choose the most interesting option.

Do you feel that the competition has become more intense during last years?t?

The only real competition is the one you have against yourself, right? If you start comparing yourself to others, it’s a never-ending struggle.
I think it’s very important to challenge yourself, set goals and strive to achieve them. There will always be someone stronger than you, faster and more technically gifted. The important thing is to go at your own pace. The idea of comparing yourself to others can be a brake on any creative impulse and it is absolutely necessary to get rid of it.
The characteristic of the artist is precisely to be different from the others and I think that it is necessary to cultivate its particularity.

Your 3D world is unique. Would you like to make a movie with your characters and ,if yes, which theme would be at its core?

The short format is the one that suits me the best, quite honestly. I am someone who gets tired very quickly and new ideas constantly come to supplant the previous ones. I could not work for more than 3 or 4 months on the same project, I would constantly want to start all over again. In addition, I need to constantly change my universe.
Telling a story with characters is extremely complex. I did it on my very first film “WRONG” and when I see it today, I realize all the narrative baggage that I still lack in order to tell a coherent story understood by as many people as possible.

I see that the theme of love and death is one of the fundamental ones in your works. What love and death mean for you?

I think those are the two most important things in life, right? Death is unfortunately inevitable and we will all go through it.
But if the life that leads to that certain point isn’t filled with love, then what’s the point of all this? As an artist, the subjects that fascinate me are those on which I wonder and therefore those for which I seek answers.

You present a lot a surrealistic circle in your works. Is there any symbolism for you in it?

The CYKLE series has been made around the idea that nature is able to generate new organic forms and patterns which are not regulated by our physical world. I think the round shape came to me quite naturally. The circle represents life and its perpetual movement. The events that revolve around us and through which we pass

You said that nature taught you that "nothing is permanent and things change". Does this idea help you to overcome your difficulties in life?

Yes, I sincerely think that we all go through more difficult times than others. Artists having a generally more developed sensitivity, they are even more inclined to navigate between periods of intense euphoria alternated by more chaotic and dark ones.

It is therefore reassuring to tell yourself that things are evolving, changing, at least when you are in the trough of the wave. The fact of going through its trials naturally makes you mature.

Fortunately, over time, you get used to living with it.

If your 3D world became real, would you agree to give up on your today's life to be completely a part of a new reality with all your heroes?

No, I’m probably too Cartesian for that. I think that I create those unreal worlds to be able to immerse myself in them at precise moments that I choose and define. If I was completely absorbed in it I would undoubtedly lose all sense of reality.

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