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Meet the 3D artist rendering all of your favorite rappers

“I just wanted to try some character design as I had never done it before,” Carlos Antón Varó, a visual designer and 3D artist based in Madrid, Spain, wrote in an email to Kulture Hub. 

One of the designer’s latest projects, “Rappers,” is a study in character design, simplification, and innovation. 

“It’s not a project done in the industry traditional standards,” Varó said.

“I just used the tools I know and chose some people I admire. Rappers are top genius artists for me.”

Carlos Antón Varó

Carlos Antón Varó and making a living in 3D renderings

The project consists of nine frames: eight portraits of rappers and one with the chains worn in said portraits. 

Varó, whose main know-how’s are 3D renderings, illustrations, and art direction, hasn’t always been focused on a career in the arts.

“I always thought I couldn’t make a living of it, so I ended studying economics,” he said. “Gradually, I specialized in marketing, then graphic design, and then Art Direction and 3D, where creative and artistic possibilities are unlimited.”

In “Rappers,” Varó included Kanye, Kendrick, Lil Wayne, Eminem, Drake, Mac Miller (with halo), Jay-Z, and J. Cole.

“All these eight are absolute goats for me, but I think the one the most [sic] I listened recently is between Cole and Mac (RIP),” Varó wrote.

The details of the 3D renderings of GOAT rappers

The 3D renderings of these iconic rappers are both bold and highly stylized. Closeups on Varó’s Instagram show the rendering of shirts, brand logos, and hair, which are detailed and more realistic while the skin is kept play-doh smooth.

The result is cartoon-like characterizations that could star in a hip-hop-version of Wallace and Gromit. 

Don’t let the smooth rendering and simple set-up fool you; this project did not come without difficulties. 

“The biggest problem was that I wasn’t making hyper-realistic portraits, so it was kind of hard to find the balance between illustration and some realism in details and still have recognizable faces for most people,” Varó explained. “I remember I had to start Drizzy four times.”

Personal CGI work opening up the possibility for commercial work

As Varó continues to delve deeper into 3D renderings (of rappers and anything else), and creative design, he hopes to do more commercial work as well. Additional CGI work should follow consequently too.

“Most of what I do is design and illustration, but I also want to do some animation projects as I also did for studios [like Kutuko and Serial Cut],” he said.

“You have to show your skills with personal projects to get commercial ones.”

Carlos Antón Varó

Future projects, Varó imagines could be inspired by anything. 

“If you have a critic eye you can see the beauty in many places and everyday objects apart from pop culture and internet,” he wrote.

“A good tip is having always a notebook to write down ideas or making a quick sketch.”

Carlos Antón Varó

You can check out the rest of “Rappers” and Varó’s other work on his website and Instagram.