Andrei Riabovitchev and the birth of a new world — Metaverse

Step into the creative mind of digital illustrator and concept artist Andrei Riabovitchev. In this special interview, Andrei will walk you through his impressive career track, filled with big-screen names such as Wolfman, Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows, Wrath of the Titans, and more.

We will also be given a glimpse of his vision for the Metaverse — an alternate world that exists beyond this world. His vivid visualization of the very metaverse that we know of can be described as the perfect depiction of what Spores had envisioned for the space:

Andrei Riabovitchev is among the headliners for Spores marketplace launch, coming in Q3–2021.

Spores (S): Your extensive career goes back all the way to 2006. 15 years later and you’re still actively working with projects lined up to 2022, can you walk us through your most memorable projects throughout your career?

(A): Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to talk about myself and my journey as an artist and how I developed my own artistic style. As a professional artist, I started to work 30 years ago in 1991, so way before 2006.

Andrei Riabovitchev Career Highlights

🔷 1991 — Graduating from Forest University, I went to 2D Animation studio “Classica” based in Moscow. I have to say that I’ve been drawing all my life, for as long as I can remember, but I never learned how to draw. I am a self-tough artist.

At the studio, my first assignment was the short film The Snow Queen dubbing by starring Sigourney Weaver. Those days, we haven’t had computers yet and my daily job was pencil drawing on the special transparent animation paper.

2D animation is painstakingly time-consuming work. For example, in one second, there can be up to 24 frames — 24 drawings. Imagine how many pictures you need to draw for the whole film!

While I worked in the animation industry, I went through all the stages of development as a professional artist. I started as an inbetweener then I became the clean-up artist, then animator, character designer, and in the end, production designer. I even worked as a director on a couple of commercials. I have really enjoyed all of my experience in the animation industry.

🔷 2006 — Perhaps the most striking project of that period was Prince Vladimir, where I was a production designer. I worked on this film for 6 years!

After Prince Vladimir, I worked on the first Feature Finnish 2D Animated film, Rollin Sydan.

🔷 2008 — My family and I decided to move to the UK. At that time, we had a 5-year-old son and my wife was pregnant, so we were expecting a second child.

The first few months in England, I worked on commercials for Uli Meyer Studio. Then, Uli recommended me to VFX company MPC. Finally, MPC helped to open the door for me into the Film industry.

My first film as a concept artist was Wolfman. I worked on transformation sequences when the main characters transform into werewolves. Everything was new for me but again, it was fun! I remember at the end of my first week, my VFX supervisor came to my desk to check my work and said:

It was the first successful concept that I’ve done for live-action movies!

Voldemort’s Death

One of my favorite movies to work on in that period was Harry Potter. I was fortunate to be able to work on the last two Harry Potter films. One of the concepts I was proud of was Voldemort’s death. Yes! I was the person responsible for creating visuals of how Voldemort die :)

Then there was Wrath of The Titans where I helped to design creatures. For example, one creature I worked on was Makhai. Makhai originated from hell, so we decided to make him look burned.

Makhai with his burnt skin from Hell — Wrath of The Titans

Usually, creature designers when they do concepts for movies, they try to make creatures look real as much as possible. We were using a lot of photos to create a realistic effect. For instance, for Makhai’s burned skin, we hired some people to roast a whole pig and then took pictures of the roasted pigskin for the texture of the creature’s burned skin.

I worked on many interesting projects as a Concept Artist, including Edge of Tomorrow, BFG, Aladdin, Alien Covenant, X-Men First Class, Jurassic World, Aquaman 2, Andor, and many more. I can go on and on about it!

However, every time I started working on a new film, I would always get to meet new people: Concept artists, production designers, VFX supervisors, Directors, Producers, etc.

It is very important to understand that the film industry is always teamwork!. Sometimes, 10–20 people can work on a single design!

(S): What can be said about your creature and character design evolution?

(A): Over the years of my artistic career, I learned new tools and acquired new knowledge, such as the understanding of light or composition, etc. I also gained a lot of experience. In the early days, there were no computers, so we just used the traditional approach. Now, I can draw or create something using a computer. It gives me more opportunities. That’s probably the main thing!

(S): You now work as a freelance concept artist, is this career decision a pave way for you to explore artistic freedom in your work? If so, what is your source of inspiration?

(A): In the film industry, all designers, directors preferred to have the artists as close as possible. Some designers will grant you creative freedom, some would prefer control. You could be a freelance artist but at the same time, you can seat in an office from 8 am to 6 pm and have no extra time for your personal art. But years of experience have helped me to learn how to work fast.

For me, the most important thing is to have an idea. Producing images are much easier than finding a unique idea. To find these ideas, I usually try to find something that inspires me or has been tickling my mind.

I look for inspiration from almost anywhere. It could be the internet, book, nature, people, art, music, anything!

(S): In your most recent , you covered the metaverse extensively. However, it appears that you don’t just perceive the ‘metaverse’ as a medium, but more as a world beyond our “real world.” Can you share with us your thought process?

Metaverse — Angel of Metaverse

(A): Creating for me is like meditation. I can think about new creations for hours and hours. When I draw/paint some pictures, I always create a story behind them. It should have some sort of meaning, something you can talk about it. For me, this is very important. Otherwise, it’s just a beautiful image.

I started creating my own worlds when I developed my personal project The Hunter. When I found the idea of The Hunter, I wrote the whole story. With multiple characters, a lot of adventures, and infinite worlds! Shortly after, I realized the world I created was so big that I can potentially write infinite numbers of stories!

When I found out about NFTs, I decided to start developing a new world- Metaverse. I am still developing my Metaverse but my universe is growing fast! I have Angels and Demons, Gods and Gatekeepers, humans, and nonhumans. My metaverse is gritty as Hell. It’s not only for fun and pleasure. In my story of Metaverse, you can die!

Transition to Metaverse from the real world should be something that is almost invisible, so when you step into Metaverse you still think you are in the real world.

Imagine movie or TV series with an infinite number of stories!

(S): Now let’s talk about your upcoming partnership with Spores Network? Why did you decide to partner with Spores to release your NFTs?

(A): Well, I am so happy to be part of the Spores community! It’s a great opportunity for myself and for my Art! I had to take the chance to be here at Spores. I’m excited and eager to start working with a very professional and ambitious team!

Special thanks to Jeff Lee who convinced me to join Spores.

With Spores’ help, I am looking forward to exploring the Asian NFT market!

(S): What will be your inspiration behind this upcoming drop with Spores Network?

(A): Imagine an infinite number of worlds spinning in an infinite spiral. The main idea of my Metaverse is a birth of a new world…

Falling Gods of the Metaverse

That’s why I have artifacts of previous ancient civilizations, the remains of Gigantic statues built a long time ago, maybe a thousand years before, maybe even more. We don’t know! Because this world doesn’t exist.

Stay tuned for the official reveal of Andrei’s metaverse, coming to Spores Network marketplace!

Spores Network founders believe that crypto will lead to decentralization of ownership and frictionless redistribution of capital. Their mission is to create an NFT ecosystem that is creator-centric, community-driven, frictionless, and borderless. To that end, Spores has built a cross-chain DeFi-powered NFT marketplace defining decentralized pop culture, sharing NFT content across gaming, esports, animation/anime, digital fine arts, music, and film/TV. Spores co-founders include Duc Luu (Nasdaq IPOed serial entrepreneur ), Eric Hung Nguyen (former senior investment analyst at a top-10-worldwide hedge fund), and a diverse team of advisors across blockchain and entertainment.

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