We’re glad to introduce the interview with Rakan Jandali, a SOA student from the Masterclass#10.
Could you present yourself to our readers and tell them the position you currently hold?
My name is Rakan Jandali a 3D visual artist and interior designer from Homs Syria, and I have been living in Dubai, UAE for 11 years now.
I am currently a Design Associate at KCA International Ltd. KCA is an international Design firm based in London and have offices in Dubai and Hong Kong. We specialize in hospitality design of 5 Star hotels and resorts.
We are around 45 Interior Architects/Designers, and we have a dedicated Visualization department which consists of 5 talented visual artists/designers from different backgrounds (Philippines – Syria – Ukraine & Russia).
Back in 2014 I have attended the State of Art Academy Masterclass #10, which helped me in Developing my Artistic skills as well as setting up a successful team at KCA International. I am also a V-Ray certified professional, after I managed passed the V-Ray exam at Sate of Art Academy .
Why have you chosen to become an Arch-Viz Artist?
My interest in the Arch-Viz world started at an early age, and I owe that to My Uncle “Hani Kichi” who introduced me to the field back when I was 16 years old. I remember the challenge in the old days to achieve realistic results, I was using Scanline render and 3ds Max 4!
After that, at the age of 18, I attended a course at my home country Syria for 3ds Max and V-Ray and this is what really got me interested in making beautiful pictures. I remember how I was blown away with the quality of light and shadow once I started to use V-Ray as a rendering engine.
So, after I started my architecture school, I kept pursuing Arch-Viz to the point I wanted it to be an important part of my career, and this is something I really love to do and couldn’t be more happier with my decision.
You attended the Masterclass#10, how was your experience at SOA?
It was a very interesting experience, having a chance to study for a month along with 11 different artists from all over the world is something special. Added to that, meeting the great people of the Academy; the likes of Gianpiero, Roberto, Manuela and Riccardo, which I was fortunate to have as mentors, was really inspiring.
The focus of the Masterclass was to improve each individual skills as well as learning new ways that could help achieving more advanced artistic & realistic images. There are lots of information to grab and nurture, which to me was the challenging and rewarding part during the 4 weeks at the Academy.
I would recommend the Masterclass to everyone who is after improving his career. You don’t only get to meet and learn from great individuals, but also you get to live in San Donà for a whole month and enjoy the beautiful nature there……added to that, you are half an hour away from Venice, how cool is that!
Why did you decide to attend a SOA course?
I was searching for an institution which offers unique ways of learning, to help me stand out from others at work and as a freelance Arch-Viz artist.
Unfortunately, in Dubai there aren’t any strong schools in the Arch-Viz field. So, my only option was to look abroad in Europe for a place that could offer the best teaching quality with a reasonable price. I came across a couple of options before I saw SOA website, I was immediately taken by the quality the images that the Academy’s students produced and it led me to attend the Masterclass eventually.
How did the course help you improve your skillset and quality of images?
The Masterclass changed the way I used to approach an image, I started to put a lot of thinking in choosing the right mood for the image as well as the camera angle, lighting and how to try to tell a story through an image I produced. This was all possible after learning all the new techniques from the Masterclass teachers using various softwares, such as making a use of my photoshop skills to create a rough sketch of how I want the image to look like before I hit the render button.
Is there any moment during your experience at SOA that you remember with a smile?
There are many beautiful and fun memories to remember, the one that stands out the most was when everyone had to stay late, almost till midnight at the Academy to be able to finish their images to meet the deadline. And on top of that we had the most amazing pizza!
Masterclass#10: from left Florian, Rakan and Sebastian
You also participated to the Academy Day. What do you think about the event?
I am a big fan of the AcademyDay event, it’s a great way to meet lots of talented artist from different parts of the world who shares the same passion and way of thinking. The perfect place to learn and share. For example, I have always wanted to start my own business which is a step that requires lots of thinking and it is for sure a risk to take. but when you meet those individuals who already started their own company and you get to hear their stories and share their advice with you on how you could plan and start your own company, it will make the thought of starting your own business, a lot easier. Added to that you get to listen to speakers who shares their knowledge and experience in the field of Arch-Viz. I mean, what else do you need once you get a chance to meet your idol/s? Meeting the likes of Bertrand Benoit, Pixela, Ronen Beckerman, MIR and many more! It’s something I will never forget.
Did the SOA experience helped you with your career? How?
Yes, indeed it did, I was able to combine the knowledge I gained from both the Masterclass and AcademyDay to create a successful team set-up and process at work. Also one of my team members was able to attend the SOA Academy’s Masterclass#16, which helped us to streamline the way we work at the office nowadays.
What were the biggest difficulties you faced at the beginning of your working experience? How did you handle and overcome them?
In the early days of my career it was very difficult to find a proper school or academy to learn Architectural Visualization, I used to struggle to find tutorials online or books to read and learn from, but I kept searching and practicing on daily basis until I reached a decent level of renders.
On the other hand, my biggest challenge once I started my professional career was meeting the client’s deadline. As everyone in our field may know, most of the clients expect me to deliver their project in a very short time, sometimes they would expect me to send them a preview after on day of work!
And this is where the Masterclass helped me to deal with such situations, learning how to produce the initial sketch preview images so I can send it to clients and agree on the style, and the mood of the image was the best way to get the client become familiar with what to expect as an end result, which helped in speeding up the process as well.
Is there a work/ an image/ a project that you created which is most valuable to you? Why?
There is this image of a dining room from my design school project of a modern apartment I did back in 2013 where I got asked by CG Record to write a making of, and also the whole project was posted on Chaos group Facebook page plus it got featured on two design magazines.
This project helped me get recognized at work and gave me the tools to grow and achieve more on a personal and career level.
What do you do in your free time after work? Can you balance your working life and your private one?
I have an interest in Art & Music which I am pursuing through professional courses. So, when I get some free time to acquire some knew skills I tend to join some local or online courses to learn something new. Last year I managed to finish an online course in Digital Matte Painting which is something I wanted to do for a long time.
I also love to spend time with my Family and Friends, added to that I’m a big fan of Sci-Fi TV series, Football and Gaming “Battle Field 1” in particular.
However, it is important for me to find the right balance between work and my private life to maintain a healthy life style, to increase my productivity at work…… and to be honest, you only get one life, so live it to the fullest.
You guys are like family to me. Beautiful people very creative, talented and yet down to earth. SOA is “THE PLACE” to learn and get inspired as well as making new friends who share the same interests & passions.
I wish you guys all the best in the future and will definitely see you all at the AcademyDay this year in October.
Keep on inspiring us!