Ep.93: Marc Brunet on how to be in charge of your own life

Iva Mikles
Ep.93: Marc Brunet on how to be in charge of your own life

Hey, guys! In this episode, I am chatting with Marc Brunet, a Character, Concept and 3D artist and founder of Cube Brush, a platform for tutorials, tools, game & design assets. Before Cube Brush, Marc has worked for 7 years with Blizzard Entertainment.

Get in touch with Marc

Key Takeaways

“If you really enjoy art, don’t look at the timeline, don’t get impatient, just enjoy the process and you will get somewhere!”

  • Marc grew up with the common misconception of artists being ‘losers’. His parents worried about him, but when they saw that he is actually doing money by coloring comics and more money than working in a coffee shop, they understood.
  • Marc wishes he got better career direction and counseling on options when he was deciding to be better able to set his goals
  • Marc says that many artists don’t like working on commercial projects, but if you want to entertain people, you have to know this. Have a bunch of interesting studios you would like to work with and work on art that can be used by them so when it comes down to hiring you, they have an easier job to choose you!
  • When Marc was part of hiring process at Blizzard, the first condition was obviously art, but second, equally important was personality. You need to be an amazing artist and likable/fittable person to work at Blizzard.

Resources mentioned

Special thanks to Marc for joining me today. See you next time!

All artworks by Marc Brunet, used with permission

Click Here For The Episode Transcript

Announcer 0:03



That’s you.

There are endless possibilities for living a creative life. So let’s inspire each other.

art side of life interviews with Iva

Iva 0:32
Hello everyone and welcome to the next episode of art side of life where I chat with inspiring artists five days a week. My name is Iva and my guest today is marc brunet and you will learn about this artistic journey in video gaming industry and why you should be in charge of your own life,

Marc Brunet 0:49
especially the art part the five that I worked so hard for five years and I will never be able to show anything of that good stuff in the face. It ended up being for the better.

Iva 0:58
Marc is a character concept and 3d artist and the founder of Q brush, a platform for tutorials, tools, games and design and said before cubers Mark has worked for seven years with Blizzard Entertainment. So please welcome Mark brunette and let’s get to the interview. So welcome everyone to the next episode of art side of life. And I’m super happy to have mark here. Hi, welcome.

Marc Brunet 1:25
Hi, nice to meet you.

Iva 1:27
Nice to meet you. And let’s start directly with your background then maybe you can share some of your stories from your childhood, how you were created for just running around and then joing maybe.

Marc Brunet 1:39
Yeah, I mean, a lot of my love how it’s it all started, I guess very similar to to most artists been joining my entire life ever since I could remember. You know, I’m sure you’ve heard that many times. But it’s that’s that’s what it was. You know, back in back in elementary school. I remember my favorite class was always the art classes. I was always on top of the class because I love it so much. And yeah, that’s kind of where it started I used to I used to create like small stories with my with my brothers would draw each, each our own characters, and then needed my entire childhood and then when it started to be a little bit more concrete, what I was going to do with my life was probably around the end of high school, throughout high school had still no idea what I was going to do, I knew it was going to be art related, but I was just I was just painting and drawing and painting and drawing. Discovering was back in the day. So I was I was discovering Photoshop to to color my my drawing. So that was that was something new. And and then forums started to be to be kind of a thing. So I started to post on forums and I was about in when I was about 1516. And then yeah, I started to to to to play Online a little bit more with the with the forums and undiscovered Deviant Art back then was like a really young platform and had just started and started to post on that and then started to understand that Oh, there’s a lot of people out there that actually do the same thing. And the you know, start to kind of build this community I can, I can give feedback and I can get feedback. So yeah, just started to do a lot, a lot more of it, because it was suddenly a lot more interactive. That was more rewarding to see kind of Yeah, the reaction from people. And basically, it’s just started with small small like requests like a commissions on Deviant Art. Pretty, pretty classic. And then and then I realized that, oh, I can actually make money doing this. I had no idea and that was never, that had never really been the the goal for me. So as I was kind of finishing up high school had been recommended. I would, I would probably want to start doing something like y’all From was it Computer Engineering, and then eventually go into art. I was really, really badly recommended. But so that was kind of like what I thought I was going to do go into engineering. And then so yeah, but then I started to do more and more and more art, and then getting smaller, and bigger and bigger gigs. And then, at some point, magazine started to reach out for me to do tutorials or interviews and things like that. And then that’s kind of where I thought that oh, maybe, yeah, maybe this is actually like a more possible viable career path for me. And, yeah, not too long after that. godsey I was in I was in college, and then I got a job offer to work at a game company. And at that point, you know, I was I was in college, so it was pretty, pretty much like, Okay, this is what I want to do with my life. You know, I was I was, I started. I did one year in science and then I realized this is gonna happen and it was all the other stuff, you know, all the other like, interview requests and then tutorials for the magazine, all this stuff. So I realized, okay, at that point, let’s go focused on art and then not sure. Shortly after that I got the first job offer that I took right away. And yeah, I didn’t know that it was going to be in video games, but it happened to be so on. You know, I was kind of working, I was kind of studying for something art related. And that was the best offer I’ve ever had. So I quit school and started working in game industry and that’s kind of how it all started.

Iva 5:35
Yeah, but did you work also as a freelance right before you joined the studio and then when you joined the studio, you kind of dropped the freelance right at the time. Well, not so Yeah,

Marc Brunet 5:47
I did. I did freelance all throughout my artist’s career. So up until recently ish. So yeah, before I start before I got my first my first job interview Again the street I was doing

comic book coloring

color artists.


I did also a lot of lot of conditioning a lot of private life freelance work for different different individuals and couple of companies that did some promotional work for welcome. And yeah, like tutorials kind of throughout my career be I would say it stopped. It stopped around the time maybe like, six, seven years ago 556 years ago. So that pretty much throughout my career Yeah.

Iva 6:43
And did you have like kind of the discussion maybe with your family or friends before you like took this seriously like, Okay, this will be my profession, or there was never really like a discussion that everyone knew already.

Marc Brunet 6:55
Oh, well, no, there was a discussion.

So they, they knew, obviously, you know that that art was my thing. And that had always been the case. When I was whenever I was home I was I was I was drawing or painting. But for them, it was really important that I finished high school and I focused on science and then only use art kind of like as a backup plan. And then that was kind of okay, like, I went along with it for for for for high school and then up to the my first year, but my first year of college, and then that’s when I kind of broke away from that. I’m like, okay, that’s not gonna happen anymore. And I know that you want to finish something to get some sort of degree, but this is I want to focus with art now. But yeah, I mean, they, they were a little bit worried, obviously, you know, their parents and for them back in the days. artists were kind of losers. So I mean, it was it’s kind of normal for them to to have this reaction, but, you know, they they saw kind of Yeah, exactly, but they saw the same time, you know, the small gigs that I started to have. And then I was I was, you know, instead of, instead of working coffee shops, I had others, you know, coloring comics, so they start to see and to understand kind of, okay, maybe this is actually, you know, a thing now that that people can survive off of So, yeah, it was kind of a transition. But yeah, there was no like, they weren’t, you know, blocking me for a mentor or anything like that.

Iva 8:26
That’s really nice. And how was the transition when you decided that you want to leave the gaming industry and start your own thing, which was what was like your thinking or going on in your head?

Marc Brunet 8:38
Yeah. So to get a little bit of situation there, I so I worked in game industry from from 19 years old to to 29. So 10 years, and I started in Montreal. So I did I did two years at a small kind of not really small company, but a like a moment. game company so not really well known. And then the following eight years were done at Blizzard Entertainment. And then it’s the way it kind of happened was mostly kids. So that was kinda like a big drive for me as soon as I had kids have two kids as soon as the my my daughter came out there was Yeah, I don’t know like something clicked inside of me I’m like, okay, you know the job that I have right now Blizzard is really nice. It’s comfortable but it’s demanding time wise especially. So there was a lot of crunching its video games so there’s always you know, you do over time and things like that. And then that sorry to be less than less okay with me as time went on. And I as I started to to see my kids grow. So that’s kind of where Yeah, the idea for starting something else starting something on my own, became more and more enticing and also That the kind of shift master time where the the big project I working on that I was working on the time Titan, which is not Overwatch, but there was kind of like a big reset in the company. So I had spent five years of my life on that project that was kind of like the big thing I was already on the next big thing, which ended up actually being the next big thing, but back then we didn’t know and then when that got kind of reset, they split everybody from that team, which was pretty big at the time, and to all the other teams until they could like refocus and eventually find what Overwatch was, and is today, but that time when we kind of Yeah, got got spread out in the company and kind of lost you know, our little family that we had built. That’s kind of one yeah, I’m like, okay, so no, my my time here is is running out, actually, you know, anything can happen. Now I have kids especially. So it’s a little bit more dangerous than I thought it’s not as stable job. You know, as I thought initially, so that’s kind of where the Yeah, the idea for the company came about.

Iva 11:06
And why did you choose the thing what you’re doing now, why 3d platform and why this format? It was a

Marc Brunet 11:15
kind of it changed over time. So it wasn’t it wasn’t set in stone from the beginning. So the way the way it all started is when I decided to shift to do to do something else. I just started with a YouTube channel. So I started posting tutorial videos on YouTube. And then that kind of grew pretty quickly. And that’s when I realized that Okay, and now I have all these people that are commenting and asking questions, did not expect that. And I don’t have time for this. I wish but I just this the time that isn’t there. There’s too many meetings. Yeah, exactly like I am. I’m going to be replying to comments all day. And I decided to, to kind of create a website around that. So a small personal website, you know, nothing to be but the idea was to Have a forums with, with other artists on there that could help me answer questions. So, you know, like more senior artists going to answer more beginner questions, so that I wouldn’t have to do it all the time, of course, and I was very, very active on the forums and everything. And that’s kind of how the business started to to, to come to get a little bit more concrete. I started to create longer tutorial. So up until then, and had been mostly like YouTube, like short YouTube tutorials. And then I realized that there was a need for something a little bit longer, a little bit more in depth. And so that’s what I started to do, and then selling those and then that worked out well. And so the way the transition into the bigger kind of like, marketplace platform that it is today was I was starting to reach out to other artists to produce content for the work for my personal website. So I would ask, you know, my friends in the industry, hey, do you want to do a tutorial I’ll pay you this much. Blah, blah. But then, and that worked out for, you know, for a little bit, but it was really hard. So it’s really hard to get artists, especially established artists to, to do anything for you for anyone, you know, they’re, they’re free, they can do whatever they want. So why would the help they spend time doing something like that. And that’s kind of where I realized that maybe a different platform was going to be a little bit more successful from that point of view, from that point of view, where every artists would be kind of in control of their own store. So whatever they create is their own you know, they’re managing everything and then the income is also all there so there’s no like a fixed price you know, that they that they work for, for me, and then it’s over. All the the other share everything that the revenues is all there is to keep, you know, minus some transaction fees, but that’s kind of how it started. Now I was I was having a hard time finding new artists. So I decided I’m not going to find anybody now. I’m just going to open it up to everybody else. Everybody can have their own store, kind of like what my personal store was at the beginning my personal website, and then everybody can have one, and then they can just both own stuff. And then we’ll see how that goes. And yeah, that’s kind of job rush today. And I guess it was the right decision, the right decision, because it’s been working out really well.

So yeah,

Iva 14:20
hundred thousand members, or more actually than that. So that’s amazing. So this is your main income right now? The your business, correct? Yes. And then how it works, you can set up a store, and then the platform takes certain percentage from your revenues, I guess.

Marc Brunet 14:38
Correct. So there’s for let’s say, you know, we have a little over 1800 sellers right now on the platform. And the The way it works is a little bit different than most platforms out there. Actually. very different than all other platforms out there is you have kind of the regular You know, you’re probably familiar with like Etsy and you know, things like that. So, you know, People on there will set up their store and then you can sell your you know your own thing and then Etsy or in case us q brush will take a share on that. But we also have that’s when people would like buy stuff on our websites. But let’s say you’re an artist and you’re really good at promoting yourself like a lot of artists are, you can also instead promote your own things like do your own marketing send share your links with with your audience. And when you do that, we don’t take any cut we take the kind of just the, the payment processing fees, which is we don’t have you know, we don’t have a say on it’s just that’s how it is that’s how them how much they charge. And then that’s all we take on the on the transaction. So essentially, you’re you can be running your own store for pretty much for free. You think your brush which a lot of artists really really like and you know, they might not like the the 30% that is taken out of the of the sale that we generate. But then they also have the opportunity to generate their own sales with their own efforts. And then we reward them with that by not taking any other money pretty much so

Iva 16:11
nice nice. So we will put the link to the show notes so everyone can take it out and sign up and open their store because it’s great to have more options so you can choose what fits you exactly Yeah, definitely. And is there something you wish you know, like before you started the whole art business or or the art career actually?

Marc Brunet 16:32
Oh, yes.

Yeah, I mean, a lot of a lot of what I end up doing today is a reflection on that. So I’m a lot of what I do today is for other artists, things that I wish were done to me back then. So you know, when I was when I was growing as an artist, selling but when I was a younger artist, I those internet was kind of just starting Not that old but internet 31 but you know, internet was still starting when I was in high school so, so yeah, like I said, like a lot of the things that I’m doing now is things that I wish were done to me back then. And so some of those things, obviously better career direction. So better counseling because it was very very bad I mean, to I guess it’s normal You know, it was it was a it was a school in Montreal and the person that I was doing that job then know all the jobs out there especially not you know, new new internet based jobs are like video game things. So I wish I had a better kind of idea of what my goal was going to be or at least you know, had different options but I had none of those. I kind of had to figure all of those those things out. But I mean, aside from that, I never went into It maybe it’s kinda like a curse and a blessing at the same time that the know. But so I wasted some time here and there but I never really had high expectations for my career. Well, at least not in the near future. So I knew that you know, I wanted I wanted to build something from for myself of course everybody does, but I didn’t. Yeah, like I really didn’t have any any plan for the short term like, like I said, like I didn’t know that was going to work in video game until I had the job offer. So I really I was just going along kind of like working on my stuff, enjoying the process getting better over time. And, like, things one things led to another and then that’s how it ended up. But yeah, I mean, a lot of the things I wish I had video tutorials that didn’t exist by then, and I wish I had better a better direction a better knowledge of where what my options were. Yeah, that would have helped notice. Save me a couple years. Probably But

Iva 19:02
if someone would want to do what they do now or work with video games or create their own video game what would you kind of advise young starting artists you know to have maybe in portfolio or what to create?

Marc Brunet 19:15
Yeah And so a lot of a lot of the i’ve you know, with with the business and then before that YouTube and all this stuff, I’ve I’ve reviewed a lot of a lot of a lot of artists portfolio, the love, critique a lot of art. And what seems to come back most of the time is kind of the not the skill really, of the artists it’s mostly what they what they decide to draw or paint so or sculpt in 3d. A lot of it is just knowing and being aware of what people want. If you’re going to be working in a in the entertainment industry, because essentially you’re you know, you’re going to be entertaining people, and then what’s entertaining to you might not be to them. So it’s really important early on when you’re working on your art when you’re developing when you’re building your portfolio is to, to know what’s interesting to the majority of people to get the biggest audience possible. So that’s a lot of people don’t like that don’t like to have to think of that to know the thing, I’ll just do my own thing, and we’ll see how that works out. And I’ll probably be able to be okay. But if you’re gonna, if you want to be working, entertaining people, essentially, in your life, it’s very, very important to, to be self aware of the things that you draw the ideas that you think are cool, might not be cool for everybody else. So that’s one of the biggest things for portfolios, you know, wherever you want to work. And now, it’s pretty easy to have this more direct, you know, goal, as opposed to me when I was younger. So now you know, what artists really do is know where you’re going to end up or at least you know, have a bunch of different options that you’re interested in. So if it’s a studio, for example, if it’s video games, no couple of different studios that you’re that you’re interested in and do work on art that would work for them. So you know, they’re not gonna hire you if if your if your style is super realistic and then doing cartoony stuff, you know, and it’s kind of common sense but a lot of people don’t don’t realize until they’re faced with that reality. So it’s like to to pop that bubble as soon as possible you know, in your in your development and be aware of where you might end up and kind of work towards that. That’s super important. And I would say people a lot of time if they did that from the very beginning Yeah, that’s kind of my biggest

Iva 21:37
how many kind of pieces or pages will do you think it’s a it’s a good amount because you know, there is always like the discussion like, Oh, this is too little or this is too many and, like, how would you choose that?

Marc Brunet 21:49
Yeah. What you know, when we were interviewing and kind of when I was in position to interview people and I Blizzard, what we saw the best the best kind of range was between 20 to 30 pieces in your portfolio least when you’re applying for a job interview so you know if you’re I mean you might have different portfolio I don’t know but the the perfect amount is the sweet spots between 20 to 30 really really nice polished pieces. And then you know, you can have maybe like sub sections on your on your portfolio we have like a bunch of sketches and things like that, but are not as visible as the core comic. A part of your work, but yeah, between 20 and 30 is good amount for anybody that’s reviewing your portfolio to not waste too much time and get a really good glimpse at what you can do. Because if it’s too long, and for example, you know, art recruiters and just artists looking for for other artists to hire, you get you get bored you know, especially if you have to filter out kind of like the the not so great ones. With with the good ones. How defined you know what you wants to see? And then if it’s too little then you just don’t know what the artists can do really you know, maybe those were like lucky shots or maybe just you know, you don’t know you never know so it’s yeah 20 to 30 years ago now.

Iva 23:13
Yeah and whatever people you work with how do you choose your you know, like closest circle to work with your startup or just you know, when you want to hire someone

Marc Brunet 23:25
a lot of the so the hiring process as something that’s something else because it’s you know, as a as a founder, you’re I’m trying to hire people that are much better now I am a things I need to get done. So it’s a little bit harder to hire in those circumstances because I don’t have the same kind of gauge of quality that I would normally have if I’m hiring artists, for example. So yeah, hiring for coffees, different topic, but when it comes to hiring, or like just yeah, hiring People when I was at Blizzard, I actually ended up hiring a lot of a lot of people that ended up being not my best friends. And the criteria was first, the art, of course, very important. And I would say that almost all the portfolios that were reviewed, had those, I had kind of like those, those guidelines really nailed. So between between 20 and 30, and really, really good quality art. And then the other part is just personality, really, and it’s kind of important. And so I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t be able to say like a clear percentage, but it’s close to 5050 how important personality versus your your work is. You’re going to work with other people in a studio environment. So if you’re a freelancer, you know, who cares? But if you’re going to work with other people, that’s something that we really looked at. might not be the case for every company of course, but like bigger companies like like, like blue is like Riot Games like, we always look for a personality match. So on top of being an amazing artists, you have to be an amazing person or not necessarily amazing but you have to be able to interact well with people and you know, fit in essentially. So yeah, those are things that you really don’t think about when you were working on your art but it’s actually very important so you know, get out there talk to people go to like, you know, workshops, meetups and things like that. We’ve turned away a lot of artists that were amazing, technically, but personality wise there was just kind of like something off you know about them. And, yeah, it’s kind of a bummer because as a company, you want to hire that, that people are those people for their skills, but they’re just not fit, personality wise, and then you have to turn them away. So

Iva 25:54
and also when you are building a team, you want to have like, different personalities as well. So you don’t want everyone To be like talking all the time, so like, like, yeah, I am the best one. So you also want to have like, all the time so they fit together. Well,

Marc Brunet 26:08
those people we never hired. If you’re cocky, it’s game over. Yeah, no, yeah, we take it we tried to have, I think I’m not really so we take whatever comes our way, right? We can’t really, you know, choose just the right personality to create the perfect the perfect recipe. It’s kind of hard to predict. But yeah, it’s just, you know, the interview process, kind of how it goes is to bring people in, and then normally the interview with the entire team. So it’s a little bit daunting as as an artist, you know, if you’re going into this, like it was for me when I first when I first got my interview at Blizzard, for example, where I was, I think six or seven people in front of me on the other side of the table, and I’m this young artist, I’m Oh god, I’m shaking and I’m in a different country. I can I can barely speak English and then you have like this panel in front of you, like you know, asking you questions and trying to see if you’d be Fit. But that’s how that’s what it takes. And yeah, it’s a little bit a little bit daunting. But

Iva 27:07
did you did you have to draw as well on the interview or not really? No,

Unknown Speaker 27:12

Marc Brunet 27:15
At least at least that’s true. But some companies some companies do ask for it. So

Iva 27:18
yeah, I hit the three the Lego I felt I almost like I will fade like, they were standing and I had to throw it I’m like,

Marc Brunet 27:26
yeah, that’s, that’s brutal.

Iva 27:29
And how do you do your networking now? Or, you know, do you go for events? Or what are the places people can? Just meeting new people or finding jobs?

Marc Brunet 27:39
Yeah, so what? Yeah, for, for networking, there’s always what we have at least around here is as called, like, different events, but some popular ones are called beer, beer Wednesdays. So it’s, you know, people meet up at a pub and it’s normally the majority of People from different video games that meet up there. And then you know, anybody can comment says the public public place public events. So we have a lot of a lot of students that come as well. And then yeah, it’s a good way to interact to network, especially for them. And Mike, in my case, now, I don’t really network that much. A lot of it is done on on social media, and on you know, LinkedIn and things like that. So it’s mostly email networking now, but yeah, before you know, before used to be a lot of a lot of events like this, or like GDC game developer conference, we’d go there and it’s like, a big conference about about games where everybody’s there for the same purpose. So it’s really easy to meet your people and then yeah, to to to increase your your network.

Iva 28:48
Yeah. And if you think about maybe also the the worst scarier moment or a bad time of your artistic career was there something like that and if you can share, maybe like a takeaway or what you learn from this

Marc Brunet 29:02
yes um so

I think that would go back to kind of my time and not my I was gonna say my time at Blizzard is not the case it’s not my first career moment my best one but one time I Blizzard when the the team disbanded kind of when we got moved to different teams oh that was probably kind of like the big my biggest shock in my career where it made me realize okay, like nothing is forever right and you have to have to be you have to have a backup plan because even the most the most stable in appearance the most, the most stable job is not not stable after all, and then anything can happen. So when that happened, yeah, and you know, I had I had spent five years of my life working working with with these guys on that project doing a lot of art during those five years. And then the second is a reboot like this. All that art is gone forever. No, it’s I’ll never be able to show it because they keep it just in case. You know, they really said, but it’s, uh Yeah, that was especially the art part, the defy that I worked so hard for five years, and I will never be able to show anything of that. As an artist, that’s brilliant. I mean, five years is a long time back then. Still is. That was that was most of my career and then most of my career suddenly I won’t be able to show anyone this. So yeah, that was that sucked. And also the fact that they now I have to start again start over because you know, because of poor management, it wasn’t even our fault. Right. So yeah, and they just good good. Good slap in the face to to remind me that you’re, you’re you’re in charge of your own life, you know, you can count on anybody else. But and then it ended up being for the better. So, you know, everything happens for a reason. So yeah, I’m glad it happened. But that was that was the toughest part. For sure.

Iva 30:59
It may be you need the the Push to just start thinking about their own thing, right? Yeah, I

Marc Brunet 31:03
think so because I was I was so comfortable. I was like this whole family was Yeah, it was very very comfortable. Everybody was friends was it was kind of like a kind of like a dream. But then yeah, it was it was a dream because then the ends and then you have to get back to reality and actually moving forward. So

Iva 31:19
yeah, definitely I totally understand as well because all the years I did the concept art as well I can show anything. They just like you know, the secret that’s like well, okay. Anyway, and so do you still have time to create your own characters maybe in your free time or just draw or mainly everything is like managing the

Marc Brunet 31:42
project I have. I have very little time for myself. I do. I still create tutorials because I really enjoyed the process and I enjoy you know, helping other artists kind of like speed up their process on process. So obviously, I do a lot of art. For those but personal art, it’s nowhere near what I used to be able to do. I still do, I don’t know, every every couple days, I’ll scribble something. And it’s not going to be like a big big piece like I used to be able to do all the time. But yeah, there’s still a little bit of time. It’s just Yeah, when you when you have when you run a business time is

not as available.

Iva 32:27
Definitely. And when you are creating your own character, if you can share maybe like what do you learn what is the best thing or something like, you should always think about these when you’re creating a character.

Marc Brunet 32:43
A lot of the A lot of what I what I always recommend is to think of a bigger think of not only think of the character but think of the world the character isn’t. So you know, when you’re tasked to, in video game, it’s a little bit easier from that point of view because You’re already working on a game you know, it has a bigger context. So your The world is already established. So creating characters for that for that game has a lot of things that kind of you can you can use for your character so let’s say you know, that particular world has, has no random things it has no metal or has no it’s very primitive or they have some alien technology, whatever. Those are all things, all elements that you can incorporate in your design and incorporate in your design and you don’t really have a choice anyways, but to have those guidelines kind of like guiding the design of your characters super important, because otherwise it just looks like it doesn’t make as much sense and then most people pick up on that even if you’re not an artist, you’ll you’ll look at a character that was created designed in the context of a like a bigger, bigger world. And then when I was kind of just, you know, drawn on the spot without Any context, and the design is always better, always more interesting, it’s always something a little bit more that you’ll find in the one that was in the, you know, in the context of the bigger world. So I’d say on top of obviously focusing on you know, cool design and knowing, like, having a big, big visual library to, to build a world around your character or something, it doesn’t have to be like super detailed, but build some sort of a world. And you’ll see it helps a lot with with designing your actual characters have to think they don’t face you don’t fit this kind of like, you know, blank blank page in front of you. And then you don’t know like, what, where am I going to start? If you actually start with the world and you have something you have things that you have things to inspire yourself from you have things that like, just laws of physics that you’ll have to have your character work work for. So yeah,

Iva 34:54
so and then you also can think about the personality of the character like if he is shy, then you do a shy pause. Then if you’d like water or whatever, then it’s connected

Marc Brunet 35:03
somehow and exactly, but then that also, it’s also kind of related to that big world, right? So you go down from there so you start big. It doesn’t have to be super super detailed, but you start big and then you shrink kind of like the bubble around a character, the environment bubble around your character. And then it can be you know, can be all the way down to what the family of the character is, what what kind of job she or he has. And then those are all things that you can imagine like the relationships between character and then the other ones. And then yeah, then then from there, you kind of you’re able to create different personalities for them something that’s that is interesting. That works with other ones too. Yeah, there’s so many so many things that you can match can get from having like a bigger story like this.

Iva 35:49
Perfect. And did you have like a favorite character you ever created? At some point? Not really.

Marc Brunet 35:59
Not really. Not really.

I mean what I always create there’s always some some woman next to a robot that’s cut my hair I don’t know why. But so yeah whenever it’s something kind of like sci fi that yeah and it’s a pilots we have to pilot something bigger than you I don’t know why that’s always kind of like driven me so a lot of my a lot of my characters are like similar to that but I don’t have one particular character you know like some artists do but I really don’t there’s no not one kind of character or not one character that keeps coming back. Yeah, I always try to draw something different. To me that’s more interesting, but yeah, it’s just personal.

Iva 36:43
And where do you take your inspiration mostly Is it like nature or stories around you or

Marc Brunet 36:51
so a lot of a lot of it is most of it is from movies

or anime


But that’s it’s just a really good source of inspiration for me. So, you know, they present you in a really short time, like a really complex world that they’ve created. And those are all like, like, incredible source of inspiration. And of course, you know, I’ll just browse the internet for images from all the artists. I’d say like the biggest my biggest inspirations are other artists first.

And then yeah, and then movies and anime.

Yeah, that’s, that’s all I need.

Iva 37:30
You have like a big inspiration when you were just starting out or some mentor.

Marc Brunet 37:36
I didn’t have a mentor. I never really never had one. But I did have

some, my biggest inspiration was Dragon Ball. And when I was younger, that was you know, I was right at the time, like the books were coming out. So that was kinda like my first big love for art. Because it was all hand drawn, and then you read the books and then you had all these different poses and these these cool stories happening in these cool characters. So that was a huge, huge source of inspiration for me. And then in a video games a little bit too, so like World of Warcraft, world Warcraft, but Warcraft, one Warcraft to Diablo so all those early Blizzard games that’s pretty much all I was playing. And that in a good way drove kind of what I was interested in as far as draw and then it led me to, to that company. So you’re always you know, it goes back to whatever you draw is actually very, very important. For where you want to end up but yeah, it was uh, yeah, Dragon Ball was probably the biggest one.

Iva 38:44
And did you have some books or something you learn from because then there were no so many YouTube videos, right? And we talked about

Marc Brunet 38:52
no books and well actually, no, there were there were some books yet. I don’t remember any of the names though unfortunately. But it was Yeah, it would go back in the days you would go to the library and then you know look at things and buy buy books. So yeah, I did a lot of I bought like some some books on how to draw an MA on how to draw characters and how to draw anatomy. I don’t remember It’s been too long I don’t remember exactly you know what books it was but uh, but right now, right now just everything is so accessible you know, if you need if you need a book on not a book, but if you need some sort of a anatomy knowledge whatsoever, just Google it and then you’ll have infinite amount of pages there to to learn from so. We had books before, but mostly, it was learning from other artists. I was looking at art and kind of like picking up things here and there from this artist and that artists and kind of like mashing it together. And then that’s kind of what my art became.

Iva 39:47
And you work with Photoshop and like Intuos or Cintiq at the time, or also now.

Marc Brunet 39:53
Yes. So, when I started obviously Photoshop wasn’t like really, really a thing for all Artists but yeah throughout high school that starting to be more and more the case and when that when when I discovered Photoshop it was that that was it you know like those I used to draw my my characters and then scan them and then bring them in Photoshop and paint them and so at some point I guard screw that I’ll just do everything in Photoshop but that was after I got an Intuos so that was my first so I did for a long time painting using my mouse and I got some you know, I got pretty good. It was very painful to do and painful process but you know get used to your tools and then yeah when I I knew that there were there were those those magical tools that were called tablets that at some point and probably want to to get so I saved I saved a lot of money and then I bought an Intuos wood which back in the days was kind of like the the top you can get I don’t recommend anybody that do that, by the way, I get the cheaper one, the same thing. But yeah, so I spend like $500 on that. And I was you know, I was really young so for me that was like, a lot of money is like a million dollars. And, and then I brought that home and then that’s that’s kind of where I’m like okay, I really suck at this but I see the potential and that’s that’s when my my work started to explode. So yeah, walk them and then now I have have the syntax to draw on screen. And yeah, that’s the best water

Iva 41:34
and do you have something which simplifies your life now like, it can be also like a software or other tool.

Marc Brunet 41:42
The the the one that’s the biggest time saver for me that simplifies everything is having the Cintiq. So whenever as soon as I as soon as they release those, or not soon because I didn’t have the money, but as soon as I could get it, that’s kind of the first the first real tool that direct Really, really, really want as an artist? And it’s been Yeah, it’s, it’s it’s magical. It’s like It’s like real traditional media but it’s digital. There’s no you don’t have to get used to tablet, you know, being being somewhere else where that is some other plays in your cursor. So there’s no learning curve or anything like that just feels natural. It’s, yeah, by far this is the best will have.

Iva 42:27
And what about your like daily process or just how you plan your your days? And do you have do something daily, which contributes to your success, like meditation or sport or

Marc Brunet 42:38
something like that the word working out is a big, big stress relief for me. If I stopped doing it, I start, I don’t know, nothing goes well anymore. So I have to keep doing it. But that’s pretty much the only ritual that I have. Other than that, not coffee before I start anything. So if I’m gonna work on a Painting I have my cup of coffee. And then yeah, then some some good music that will fit the mood of what I’m trying to create. Yeah, then that’s all. Perfect. Yeah.

Iva 43:12
And I have some last questions and they are about future and I would like to know where would you see yourself in like, five to 10 years you can have failure, no the afraid of anything and everything goes according to plan. So, what’s happening?

Marc Brunet 43:26
All right, well, the, the obvious answer for me is I want the company to be a massive success. So to be able to, to be able to reach as many of you as many people as possible help as many artists as possible to, either to to learn new things or help, you know, game developers create their game faster or create or help artists just make a living by selling their own content. So if I can get to like, you know, get this company like to a point where it’s it’s really big and it’s helping a lot of people. Then I’ll have a really achieved my goal. So for the next five years, that’s pretty much it after that, I mean, I really don’t have any I don’t have an idea. If it’s still that’s great. Could be something else? I don’t know. But I’m really planning on working on this for know, the, the future. Um, and then yeah, hopefully not get too rusty as an artist the same time. So keep working on my art. Yeah, for 10 years. I mean, I can’t even imagine 10 years. So I don’t know, as too far,

Iva 44:34
because you need to keep creating art because your art is amazing. So yes, time to time, you still have to keep it up. And my last question would be about like Far, far future even though you mentioned that’s a difficult thing, but what would you like to be remembered for in like, hundred years? Oh, boy.

Marc Brunet 44:53
Well, for sure I won’t be remembered in 100 years. But if there was one thing That I would like to be remembered for is, let’s say all those people that you know that got their dream Dream jobs because of what I did directly or help do indirectly with the business.

That would be that would be the one thing so if they can

yeah having having those people that I know succeeded because of something that I help with.

I would love to be remembered for that.

Iva 45:29
That’s perfect. That’s amazing. And before we say goodbye, maybe you can share last piece of advice or guidance and then we will finish.

Marc Brunet 45:38
Yeah, though, now, especially with with social media and with having, like such easy access to to, to all kind of art and artists of all kinds of levels is very easy to to get impatient and to get to want everything right Now just like you know, in social media, you get everything right now it’s so quick so fast. Even with everything else in life, Amazon, you get you get your groceries The next day, you know, it’s everything is so quick now. But art is not quick art takes a long time. And everybody everybody was was an amateur at some point. And it took them a long time many years of hard work to get to where they were to get to where they are. So I would say the the one thing to remember and to really focus on is that you know, if you if you really enjoy art, don’t look at the timeline. Just work on your work on your art, enjoy the process. And you’ll get somewhere. But yeah, if you’re impatient, if you’re if you really want to get somewhere and you’re looking at it from the perspective that time is running out or something like that. You’re almost like, guaranteed to fail. You really have to enjoy the process. No, it’s like you can’t You can be authentic, that’s probably not gonna resonate with anybody that’s watching this but if you if you want to be a bodybuilder, you know you can’t just love the result you have to love the process as well. You know, you have to love being in the gym and like lifting weights. You have to love like that painful growth time. And it’s the same for artists. It’s the same for pretty much everything that’s Yeah, for any skill, you know, any the human The human body is not it’s not the miracle, you have to work for things you have to work to get better. And it’s the same for art. And it’s just good to remember that. Because a lot of people forget Now that everything is so easily accessible. So it takes time. Everybody was a newbie at first, but you get better by by keeping at it.

Iva 47:46
Yeah, perfect. I love it. Then also the bodybuilding thing because then I heard as well many times when you have like, you know, like when the muscles heard that it means they’re glowing.

Marc Brunet 47:57
It’s a good it’s a good feeling. I feel bad physically but mentally feels good.

Iva 48:02
Yeah, because you’re getting somewhere. So progressing. always comparing with yourself how you get somewhere. So yeah. So thank you so much again for being here. It was great. Thank you for having me. And thanks, everyone for joining and see you in the next episode. Hope you guys enjoyed this interview. You can find all the resources mentioned in this episode at art side of life.com just type a guest name in the search bar. There is also a little freebie waiting for you so go check it out. If you enjoyed this episode, please leave a review on iTunes, hopefully five stars so I can reach and inspire more people like you. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our side of life podcast because I post new interview every single word big. If you want to watch the interviews, head over to art side of life.com slash YouTube. Thank you so much for listening. Don’t forget to inspire each other. And I will talk to you guys in the next episode. Bye

Announcer 49:00
Thanks for listening to the art side of life podcast at WWW dot art side of life.com.


Hi, I am Iva (rhymes with “viva”). I am a full-time self-taught artist behind Art Side of Life® and a Top Teacher on Skillshare. I have 15 years of experience in the creative field as a concept designer, illustrator, art director, and now freelance artist, content creator, and art instructor. My goal is to help you get your creative groove on with Procreate and make awesome art through practical classes, tutorials, Procreate brushes, and guides on art tools, supplies and resources. About me »

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Hey there!

I am Iva (rhymes with viva), and I'm the artist behind Art Side of Life. I'm all about helping you get your creative groove on with Procreate and make awesome art! So on my website, I share Procreate classes, tutorials, brushes, and guides on art tools, supplies, and resources such as these interviews. Ready to create and make amazing art? Then explore, join and have fun ♡

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