Denise (SOA): Hi Cristina, please introduce yourself and tell us something about your job.
Cristina: Hello everyone! I would like to start by thanking the SOA family for giving me the special opportunity to share with you this interview. It is an honor for me!
Second, I am delighted to contribute to this project. I am young in the field of ArchViz and I still have so many things to learn.
My name is Cristina Patanè. I live in Catania, in the South of Italy and I am an engineer – architect. I’ve been doing Architectural Visualization since 2017 and currently, I’m the founder of Cristina Patanè Images, a visualization studio based in Catania.
Denise (SOA): You said your adventure in ArchViz started in 2017, what were your first steps in the field?
Cristina: I’m basically a newcomer in this field and my journey in the world of ArchViz began just three years ago. After Uni, I decided to resume my passion for 3D, so I attended the Masterclass in ArchViz at SOA. I was looking for a solid and professional training and the Academy was definitely the right choice.
After that I started to work hard on my portfolio as I wanted to have a work experience abroad. So, I started to send over my applications until I received a positive response from a studio in Vienna. I got my first job as a junior artist. After my experience in Austria, I strongly felt the need to grow professionally.
I was back to Sicily for no more than a couple of months when I got another big professional chance. It was finally the turn of Berlin and the studio was Bloomimages (editor’s note: they’ll also be with us at ADX). I spent 3 months there and I had the opportunity to learn a lot, especially from a behavioral and relational point of view.
Surely, this was the experience that totally changed the way I actually see the Archviz industry.
Denise (SOA): So you had some experiences abroad before going back to Italy. Why did you decide to enter the ArchViz world?
Cristina: I believe that my character drove me over the years to develop a visionary approach to things that surround me. Unfortunately, I’ve never been good at freehand drawing and as a young girl it was difficult to represent what was going on in my head. When I arrived at Uni, I met a very special guy: 3dsMax.
The world of 3D helped me because I was finally able to visualize what I could not draw before. I loved experimenting and representing architectural projects in 3D.
I’ve always thought that it could have been nice to tell architecture as if it was a painting. It remained only a beautiful idea in my heart for all Uni years, which were entirely dedicated to boring mathematical calculations. What I didn’t know, and discovered later, was that there actually was a fascinating world, called Archviz, in which this art really existed with its proper intents and purposes. It was the most beautiful discovery I’ve ever made.
Denise (SOA): Wow, this work looks amazing. There’s a lot of attention to details. When you began, which difficulties did you face?
Cristina: Initially it was difficult to find the first Archviz job opportunity as I used to present applications as a Junior, being a budding artist. Studios often hardly hire junior artists. That involves a certain desire and vocation in transmitting the skills acquired over the years. And it is not for everyone for several reasons related to the rhythms of the workflow in the studios, the deadlines to be met, the expectations that the studios have about you and you about them.
Furthermore, some studios ask candidates for a high technical-artistic standard, motivation, willingness to grow, but actually I think they are more interested in understanding if you are able to tell them how to solve problems. This also happens to Junior Artists, but I think it shouldn’t be up to young artists to solve matters they are not yet skilled for.
Denise (SOA): To meet companies’ expectations, people need to work hard. But surely first they need to have the right space to start. Are you satisfied with your work?
Cristina: What I’m doing every day makes me happy and proud. It’s always a brick in my knowledge. I’m learning a lot of things technically, artistically and humanly because I love what I do! Creativity takes courage, determination, perseverance and a lot of constant exercise to improve.
Denise (SOA): The topic about Women in ArchViz is now widely discussed and highlighted within the industry. What do you think about women in the field? Do they get enough support as Artists?
Cristina: I must confess that recently, more attention has been paid to the role of women in ArchViz. This gave me an extremely positive vibe and high hopes towards the future. However, I believe that we need to be more supported. As long as this support is not momentary or it can generate forms of speculation.
Personally, I love to follow conferences and events around the world and when I can, I’m very happy to attend as a hungry spectator. I noticed that the number of female speakers has slightly crank up. Most of the time the managerial aspect of the role in the industry emerges more than the artistic one. Flaunt your talent also means to show care and sensibility not only towards technical-managerial aspects that probably remain strongly linked to male imaginary! I also believe that to expand our role in this industry, we need more women that speak about their stylistic code and what and whom they are influenced by in their artistic choices.
I think it would be nice to know the passions and emotions of female artists and what drives them in daily life to do what they do. I think it would be nice to see more women teaching in the field of ArchViz, more women talking at events, more women hired in studios, more pregnant women or already mothers being encouraged and facilitated!
Women’s thoughts can make the difference in a male-dominated industry. That’s why the whole industry should listen more every day so that the brilliant figure of the woman is supported as an artist and seen as a reference guide for young artists of the future.