Ezequiel Pini has been announced as the talented winner of Fotolia’s TEN S2 contest – congratulations, Ezequiel!

We caught up with the Buenos Aires -based artist to ask about himself, the contest, his entry, and more…

Fotolia: Hi, Ezequiel – and congratulations! Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Ezequiel Pini: My name is Ezequiel Pini, I’m from Buenos Aires in Argentina, and I am a 2012 graphic design graduate from the University of Buenos Aires.

I first began working as a programmer, then moved into a Web Design, and then I moved into animation and motion graphics, but at the moment I’m working as a graphic designer and art director, developing images for digital and print. 3D is just one of my primary resources.

Ezequiel Pini

Ezequiel Pini

Fo: What caught your interest about Fotolia’s TEN Season 2 contest?

EP: Participating in the TEN Collection contest was a natural decision. I’ve followed the artists of TEN for months, mainly because I admired their careers and been so close to their work. I downloaded their PSDs and followed all their tips – they’ve been a great resource for learning and improvement. My first and only thought was, “if these renowned artists have chosen to be part of this project, then I want to be part of it, too!”

Fo: What inspires your work?

EP: I really like design in all its forms! For my work, I get inspired by many things: art, photography, product design, and the fashion world.

Personally, my Argentinian background and everything that happens in Latin America has helped to develop and refine my work: here one has to try to be better every day, to fight and row against the flow; also, to experiment with jobs that do not necessarily bring money, but generate experience and strengthen my resume. This is definitely a way to become more competitive and excel.

Fo: Why did you decide to challenge this particular artist, and this theme?

I love sports! But Peter Jaworowski’s style and his incredible designs, are the main reason I decided to choose this category.

Besides, I’ve practiced Taekwondo since I was just four years old, so martial arts have been part of my life. I chose Kendo, because unlike Taekwondo, it uses very ornamental weapons and protection: different types of swords, helmet, and lots of graphic visuals from Oriental culture.

Fo: Can you tell us about your project – how it was realized, the techniques and software used…?

EP: After choosing Kendo as my theme, I searched for a picture of my main character on the Fotolia site, but my very first step was to draw a sketch in pencil, with all the elements that I had in mind.

Then I created a CGI background to unify the elements, I used Cinema 4D software, with V-Ray as the rendering engine, and then just three steps for modeling, lighting, and texturing.

The rest of the piece was all done in Photoshop, where I worked on the overall details: adding the 2D elements and extra photos, the integral color of the piece, adding lights, shadows and particles, environmental smoke, light bulbs, and integrating all the elements into a single scene.

Ezequiel's artwork draft

Ezequiel’s artwork draft

Fo: Before the contest, were you already using Fotolia to download images?

EP: Yes, of course! I knew Fotolia and I’ve used their images before, in my job at design studios and as a freelancer. Fotolia has been super effective, with a variety of images, styles and sizes – and the quality is always optimal.

Fo: What was your feeling at the announcement of the result?

EP: I was very happy! When I heard the news I didn’t believe it for a few seconds. My coworkers were the first to actually hear the news because of my excitement! I actually invited all of them to a coffee shop as part of the celebration, so it was good to take a break from the office. Then, I called my family, and the news flew out to my friends and colleagues who supported me in the competition.

Fo: Before this competition, had you ever worked on large projects, or with major brands? If so, can you name a few?

EP: Yes, I’ve worked on big projects with big brands as part of some design studios that shaped my career. I’ve done projects for Nike, Discovery Channel, MTV, Fox, Disney, Nickelodeon, Turner, IKEA, Vodafone, and HSBC. I’m currently starting a new career, a new and more personal venture, with one of my colleagues. This award is a great incentive and driving force for this new phase

Fo: How do you see the rest of your career, having won first prize?

EP: The award feels like such a blast – a boost to move further and continue exploring to bringing out new ideas, new designs and new processes. I also feel much closer to those artists I admire. This will definitely allow me to continue on my path of constant learning and growth, I’m sure about that!

Thanks again to Fotolia, the sponsors, and the people who chose my piece; also, thanks for the ongoing support, and for the tools provided to all of us designers who want to share some of our imagination.

Fo: Ezequiel, congratulations again on winning the contest, and thank you so much for talking to us today.

Ezequiel's Winning Entry

Ezequiel’s Winning Entry