The world through the eyes of 3D digital artist Alexis Christodoulou
Based in Cape Town, South Africa, Alexis Christodoulou is creating imaginary architectural spaces inviting his followers to dive into a dream-like world of pastel colors and soothing environments.
Alexis Christodoulou started his journey as a 3D artist when he first became interested in rendering. Taking it as just a hobby, he taught himself 3D rendering through YouTube tutorials while working as a copywriter in an advertising agency.
It is through his lifelong fascination of digital worlds and 3D video game graphics that he started to reimagine our world through fantastic spaces that echo a more modern and clean aesthetic, hence establishing his unique style.
With his inviting, detailed, mesmerizing environments, and with a following of over 140k on Instagram, Alexis has created an incredible world for viewers to step into. Looking at his successful journey, It is difficult to believe the Cape Town-based artist once considered 3D design as just a hobby.
Who is Alexis Christodoulou? How did your journey in design begin?
Alexis Christodoulou: “I’m a 3D artist living and working in Cape Town, South Africa. I also enjoy making wine with my Dad.
I started by designing these 3D ideas while working in my old 9-to-5 job in advertising about 8 years ago. I’ve always had a creative outlet. This one came at a time when I was getting a bit frustrated with writing. I started teaching myself from YouTube and Vimeo videos (shoutout to greyscalegorilla.com). Not that I’ve stopped or anything, I still watch at least 3 tutorials a week because, like with everything, the more you know, the less you know.”
Why focus on digital worlds and imaginary architecture?
Alexis Christodoulou: “It wasn’t my first inclination. I started by making imaginary mini-golf courses that were impossible to finish. I got to about the 16th hole and then they started morphing into actual worlds. There was a small bridge and then all my latent architectural fantasies could come to life.
I stuck with it because it makes me feel really good when I look at one and realise it came from my head. It’s a 20-second dopamine rush that keeps me in the game.”
You present most of your work through your Instagram page, what is your relationship with social media? What is the impact of social media on your work as compared to the “real” world?
Alexis Christodoulou: “It’s a bit difficult for me to say. I’ve been so inextricably intertwined with social media from the beginning of this 3D journey that I’m not sure if it’s a helping hand or my main marketing. My first use of Instagram was just to be able to post an image and be done with it so I could move onto the next one and practice a new technique or aspect of 3D. So it really helped my momentum at the beginning of my journey with 3D. I think it’s changed a bit now. I think I work on images for Instagram now, instead of working on images and then using Instagram as the motivation to continue.
I’m not even sure where people see my images anymore. Some images have gone complete diaspora and clients tell me they’ve discovered me in some faraway places.
Personally, I have a tentative relationship with social media. I wouldn’t be where I am without it, and I don’t take it for granted, but I’m also aware that it’s fickle. It is a double-edged sword. I think you need to understand that to make it work for you.”
Who do you think is a good example of successful use of social media?
Alexis Christodoulou: “Good in a promotional sense? Anyone who has managed to commit to it in a focused manner and make it work for them. I see so many talented designers getting recognition from it, it makes my heart really warm.
Good for humans? I don’t know, there’s one at the moment that’s spreading good news instead of bad news, like not just coronavirus deaths. I like that. More good news people.”
What are some of the Instagram pages you follow and why?
Alexis Christodoulou: “I mostly follow the people who inspire me and have inspired me from the start. Six n Five, a design studio in Barcelona who I look up to a lot. They’re like my guiding light for 3D design. Wang and Soderstrom, Jack Sachs, Ignant, Charlotte Taylor, Studio Brasch, Andrés Reisinger. Those are all accounts that I look to for inspiration for what I do specifically. There are a ton of architectural accounts I follow though which also help.
But to be honest, I barely cope with the amount of information on Instagram as it is to be actively following other accounts. My brain is gonna explode.”
Based on your experience, which social media channels do you recommend for designers and artists?
Alexis Christodoulou: “Based on my experience, I would say Instagram because it’s the only one that I actually use frequently. I have a deserted western town of a Behance account. I have a long-forgotten Tumblr (RIP greatest platform ever), and I haven’t bothered to explore any others really. I should probably do that at some point. I’m a really bad example of using all my available resources lol.
I also have a website that needs serious attention, that I lie awake at night thinking about a lot. Maybe during this downtime due to the virus I’ll work on it. But I probably won’t. I’ll probably just play video games like everyone else 🙂