From Racing on the Weekends to Building Worlds in 3D

From Racing on the Weekends to Building Worlds in 3D

If you’ve kept up with KitBash3D at any time in the last year, you’ve seen the work of Emily Amick, the designer helping us put our best foot forward! As you’ll see, she’s an integral part of the team and is helping define our future together, so it’s a pleasure to shine a spotlight on her fascinating background, her experience with 3D, and her sources of inspiration! Read below for more.

liveries by emily amick

KitBash3D: Hey, Emily, thanks for taking the time to chat! Could you introduce yourself and your artistic journey up until this point?

Emily Amick: Hi, I’m Emily Amick! I’m a graphic designer and painter from Nashville, TN. For the past few years, before I started at KitBash3D, I’ve been designing branding for various companies, designing and illustrating liveries in the automotive industry, and creating commissioned oil paintings. I’m super excited to be here at KitBash3D now, pursuing the industry that I’ve always wanted to break into. Since I came on at KitBash, I have been working in UI/UX design, web design, style-framing for motion graphics, making virtual signage for our many worlds, doing more logo design and learning 3D!

wrap designs by emily amick

KitBash3D: For those who don’t know, in motorsports, a livery is the paint scheme and sticker design for a vehicle - which is not something you see every day! What's the story behind you designing liveries?

Emily: When I was 15 my dad introduced me to autocross, and I started racing my '98 Integra Type R every weekend at Nashville SuperSpeedway. From there, I got super obsessed with cars and got really into customizing and upgrading vehicles. 

After getting my degree for graphic design, I sought out a job where I could kick off my design career specializing in something I was really interested in. I found an amazing branding and wrap design studio in Franklin, TN, called Label Graphics Co and learned how to design and make production files for just about every vehicle you could imagine. Lots of race cars went in and out of that building, so designing liveries was definitely a big part of the job and a favorite task of mine!

livery designs by emily amick

KitBash3D: That’s super cool! Not many graphic designers have such a high-octane origin story. So glad your versatile design ability led you to pursuing your other passion with us! What is your experience with 3D so far?

Emily: Extremely minimal! Haha, so far I’m just doing my best to use everything at my disposal to leverage myself in the 3D world. I started my 3D journey earlier this year with Adobe Dimension, trying to use their simplified interface to grasp an understanding about how everything works and, of course, using our assets, I was able to achieve some pretty good results with VERY minimal 3D knowledge, so that was very motivational. The recent Cyber Month promo however, was my first render in Blender, and I gained a whole lot of knowledge through trial and error of trying to bring these ideas I had to life.

blender render

KitBash3D: We’re biased of course, but we hope our readers agree the campaign came out beautifully. What inspired or influenced your aesthetic/design for the Cyber Month campaign? 

Emily: My first thoughts were actually from before the Summer Sale with its all-white renders, so we’ve been thinking about this approach for awhile now! 

I took a lot of inspiration from the black-on-black product shots that I was seeing everyday for tangible products like sunglasses and water bottles and thought it would be great to apply this to our 3D products. This way we could display a variety of models in a cohesive way that matched our brand style. The only downside being that we wouldn’t be showcasing one of our greatest attributes, our textures. That being said, I hope that it also shines a light on all the great modeling done by our team! The strong monochromatic palette worked super well with the cyber motifs and inspired us to lean even more into the cyber genre with Matrix references.

cyber month matrix style frame

KitBash3D: Are there any practical insights from the process that you can share?

Emily: Most of what I learned was from the 3D side - how to keep a steady workflow in Blender while trying to learn all of the features, and how to navigate my scene with so many assets. I tried to focus first on building each scene in a modular way, working with scale and trying to build up focal areas with enough character to look lived-in but still get that isometric, modular feel I wanted from certain views. 

blender project view

KitBash3D: Now that you have this experience under your belt, is there anything you’d like to try next?

Emily: I’d love to learn more about working with our textures to create concept art and some crazy scenes! Our texture artists are some of the best in the world and I’d love to learn more about lighting so I can create scenes that will do them justice. Following along with the concept behind KitBash3D, I’d love to start kitbashing our models in a way that shows the versatility and the originality you can achieve by thinking outside the box and pushing the limits of what the models were created for.

KitBash3D: What has been the most fun and most challenging part of learning to use 3D?

Emily: The learning curve that comes with picking up any new 3D software has by far been the most challenging, but on that same note, figuring out new features and learning the possibilities of working in 3D has also been the most fun. Lighting has also been a huge challenge for me. Thankfully our amazing video editor and 3D artist, Alex Shyp, was able to take the renders to a new level in the video. Seeing these ideas come to life through his work was by far the most fun aspect of the campaign.

KitBash3D: If you could give any kit to another artist, one outside the company, who would it be?

Emily: I would love to give one to Matthew Stone. He’s an awesome contemporary artist who takes traditional painting techniques to the z-axis. As NFT’s become increasingly more popular, I’m most excited about brilliant traditional painters moving into the 3D space to create some seriously insane works that help move us into the digital age of fine art. 

The Way We Saw Ourselves by Matthew Stone

"The Way We Saw Ourselves" by Matthew Stone

KitBash3D: Very cool! Thank you for sharing. Are there any other artists that inspire you who you can share with our readers?

Emily: In no particular order, I look up to Chloe Zhao, Matthew Stone, Peter Mohrbacher, Lisa Yuskavage, Felipe Pantone, JAW Cooper, Susannah Martin, and Christian Van Minnen.

KitBash3D: As inspiration ebbs and flows, what drives you to keep creating?

Emily: For me, creating is the most powerful and genuine form of communication. There’s a lot of things I can’t find words for that visual art makes up for. 

divinely disgraced oil painting by emily amick

"Divinely Disgraced" by Emily Amick

KitBash3D: Love that! Any final thoughts for us or the KitBash3D community?

Emily: To our community - Keep making amazing art!! The biggest inspiration for me, and probably everyone else at KitBash is seeing all of the amazing creativity and positivity throughout the community. Everyone is on a different journey, but the continued support from everyone at every level of this industry is inspiring to see, and I’m super grateful to be on this journey with all of the talented people I get to work with everyday.

About Emily Amick

Emily Amick

Emily Amick is a Graphic Designer and Freelance Painter from Nashville, TN with a Bachelor’s in Fine Art. She’s an avid painter, car enthusiast, hiker, and is passionate about creating work in the traditional and digital art space. Specializing in branding, print design, wrap design, and painting, she is hoping to break into the 3D industry and continue to expand her skills in UI/UX, web design, matte painting, and motion graphics with the KitBash3D team.

You can learn more about here at her website and follow her work on Instagram.

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