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employee experience 3D lookdev grooming artist

For today’s employee highlight, we have Alvin Arevalo-Zamora telling us about his job and his experience at Stim Studio as a character lookdev and grooming artist.

Like many others of his generation, Alvin was amazed by the first Toy Story. This film instilled in him the desire to work in the 3D industry when he was just a kid. Growing up, Alvin was always drawn to art and design. More than a regular hobby, drawing quickly became a real passion for him.

But after high school, he took a different path and explored another career before attending art school and joining Stim Studio.

“I have quite an atypical profile. I had my own cleaning company for 7 years and I was managing 15 employees. It was a great experience but art, design and animation were always on the back of my mind. I was fascinated by animated movies but I though studying 3D animation was not possible in France.

One day, a friend of mine told me about ESMA school and that’s how I ended up leaving my company to pursue my dream. I paid for my studies and graduated in lookdev and grooming. I have been working at Stim Studio for a year and a half.”

employee experience 3D lookdev grooming artist

Alvin works in our lookdev and grooming department under the supervision of Jordan Soler. The first project he worked on was the feature film The Amazing Maurice, which will be in theaters this year. While he learned a lot on this project, he also enjoyed it because it reminded him of one of his favorite Pixar movies, Ratatouille. Ratatouille tells the story of Remy, a rat who wants to run after his dreams, just like Alvin did when he started his career in 3D animation. Perseverance, hard work and being a team player are the qualities Alvin believes in.

“One thing I’ve learned in my working life, is humility. Being humble is important in our line of work because nothing can be perfect on the first try. It’s important to accept criticism, to be open to feedback from your supervisors or clients but also from fellow artists.”

Alvin enjoys working at Stim Studio where, even if he is a junior, he can work on exciting and challenging projects.

“At Stim Studio, I was able to learn something new on every project I have worked on. But I’m particularly excited about the project I’m currently working on as I’m in charge of all the R&D aspect for our client. I get to make visual propositions to fit the client’s vision. It’s very rewarding to work on this kind of project where I receive constructive feedback to improve my craft while having the freedom to conduct research.”

Even if his supervisor is located in Vancouver, Alvin feels supported and enjoys having responsibilities in his work. It’s a great way to learn discipline and to instill trust between the employees.

“We all get along, there’s no competition between colleagues. There’s a great team spirit, a lot of solidarity.”

Before Stim Studio, Alvin received offers to work for big animation studios. But today, he doesn’t regret whatsoever his choice because he feels like he is playing an integral part at Stim Studio. Having responsibilities, working in a friendly and safe environment, getting along with both his colleagues and bosses are the reasons he sees himself staying at Stim Studio.

“At Stim Studio, we are all in the same boat, aiming to be the best at what we do. It’s something rare to be able to do what you love every day. And I truly believe, as Steve Jobs said, that the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”