Jenny's surreal 3D artwork blends dreamlike fantasy scenes with the elegance and grace of nature.
New York City, USA
Jenny was first introduced to the world of 3D artwork and design in 2016 during her final year of high school. She has worked in New Zealand and New York, and her work has been featured in Hypebae!
Why does 3D artwork/design interest you?
3D is exciting to me because it opens up endless possibilities for artists to create. The program itself (I use Cinema 4D) has so many interesting functions, and every day that I use the software it feels like I’m learning something new. I would say that the exploring/discovery aspect is what intrigues me the most.
The sense of control and freedom that comes with 3D design; you can create your own world in 3D and make it look as realistic or as fantasy-like as possible. When you start animating, you have to take into account situations that you would face in real life, such as physics - how will gravity affect the way your objects move, your models move, how will the lighting look at a certain time of day, how do you apply wind to the vegetation you decided to place in your world? There are so many things that I am endlessly intrigued about!
How did you learn to create 3D art/designs?
I was self-taught. I learned by watching a lot of tutorials online. At first, it’s challenging and can sometimes be a little boring but, a hundred percent, once you get over the learning curve and be consistent, you can start creating your own art without relying on tutorials and that’s when it gets really exciting!
I will say though that school has definitely taught me a lot about the principles of design that I now apply to my work. I’ve learned so much during school that might not be directly 3D related but has benefited me in the way that I see design and utilize these skills. It's opened up my perspective to the variety of ways we can use design to help better the world!
Have you done other creative work outside of the realm of 3D art?
Yes! I went to college for graphic design and product design. So in college, I was basically working on designing brand identities, packaging, and making furniture. When I graduated, I worked at a studio where we focused mostly on large-scale graphics such as designing wallpaper and signage for buildings. 3D art is what I learned outside of school and continued to learn outside of work, because it is what I’m most passionate about.
Most of your art is situated in colourful, natural scenes. Why are you drawn to creating these scenes the most?
I’m interested in how design can influence positive emotions. I think design, beauty, and emotion are related and nature is one of those things that are endlessly beautiful and simultaneously influence emotions of awe and serenity. I love exploring modern architecture and its relationship with nature, and I’m curious about conceptualizing how modern lifestyles can coexist peacefully within nature.
Colour, on the other hand, is a powerful tool to explore when it comes to designing with emotion. Color and lighting can totally change the mood of a piece and an environment. Since the values of my work revolve around transmuting positive, peaceful, joyous emotions, I try to use colours in a way that communicates these ideas when people look at my work.
Shades of green and pink are prominent throughout your nature scenes as well. Is your choice to use green and pink a subconscious decision (possibly influenced by a favourite colour) or are you aiming to create a visual style?
I LOVE PINK! I absolutely love pink. Always have, always will! I think a visual style comes naturally with the constant creation of work. The work I create is always what I’m interested in so I guess I’m most interested in pink (haha). And green is just the most contrasting color to pink!
Is there anything that influences the elements you add to your 3D designs?
I am a lover of the surrealist art movement. A definition of surrealism that really spoke to me is that the art “finds magic and beauty in the unexpected and the uncanny, the disregarded and the unconventional.” So it’s taking the mundane things in life and turning them into something magical. The closest example would be one of my favorite movies, Alice in Wonderland. Creating worlds that inhibit this joyful magic allows me to find play in my work.
How do you conceptualize your work before you begin to produce it?
I first imagine the feeling that I want the work to communicate. I sometimes sketch on paper or in 3D. I am horrible at sketching on paper so I don’t spend too much time refining it but it helps me gather my ideas and flush them out before I choose the one that I think best fits what I’m trying to accomplish.
Have you collaborated with clients or other creators? Or do you mostly create work for your own portfolio?
Yes! I take on collaborations if I find they offer a different perspective, are educational, or just really fun!
Do you have a specific vision for the work you create?
It depends on if it’s client work or personal work. Client work usually follows a brief that the client supplies, so I would say it is 70% the client’s vision and 30% my vision. Sometimes I will have a client who gives me full creative control of the work which is amazing but also comes with its disadvantages.
Before I begin any personal work, I think about the purpose behind the piece that I’m going to make. Whether that is a story that I’m trying to tell or a skill I’m trying to learn, I think a definite intention will influence the overall vision.
Of all the florals and plants you incorporate into your designs, are there any favourites?
I love grass. I know it's weird. But I think grass can really set the tone for your scene. If it’s wild grass, your scene becomes very soft, secretive, and fantasy-like but if it’s short, trimmed grass, you know that it’s lived in, it’s well-maintained - it’s one of those things I can go on about. I just love how different types of grass can indicate the sort of place that the scene lives in.
What was it like to create your first 3D render?
I don’t even remember! It was so long ago but probably very exciting. I think my first years of work were definitely questionable, to say the least, but at the time I probably thought it looked pretty good haha.
Do you have any preferred programs to use? And has this changed as you further develop your skills?
I use Cinema 4D, Octane Render, X-Particles, and the Adobe Creative Suite. I think as I develop my skills I will also try to learn new programs. Again that’s the beauty of all of this, there is always more to learn and I am always a student at heart.
You’ve created a few animations as well. What extra steps do you have to take in order to animate your 3D designs?
A lot of extra steps haha. Animating each element in the artwork takes a really long time, setting up different camera angles and shooting different scenes, rendering takes a million years, arranging the scenes together to make sure they look smooth, re-editing, re-shooting, adding sound, I can go on!
Have you encountered any challenges while designing?
Creative block is quite challenging, super tight deadlines are also very stressful.
When others come across your work is there anything you’d like them to notice or feel connected to?
I hope others can feel a sense of peace, joy, serenity, or relate to the story I’m trying to tell!
Out of the pieces you've created, do you have any favourites?
My favourite piece is the mushroom scene, I love that one so much because I had such a clear idea of making it come to life ever since the beginning and it is probably the first artwork that people “liked the most” and the one that defined my style moving forward.
If you could choose one artwork that you’ve designed and make it a reality, which one would you choose?
The mushroom scene! Or probably one of the architectural designs so I can live there LOL.
In the process of creating work, what have you learned about yourself?
I have learned that taking the extra time to refine the details goes a long way. I used to just put the main things down but I’ve learned that the smallest details go the longest way so I try to make sure that I spend that extra time to really zoom in on those things.
See more of Jenny's work on her official website: www.jennymjiang.com, and find her on social media at: