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Meet Maxim Kozhevnikov of graphmaximus in Pasadena

Today we’d like to introduce you to Maxim Kozhevnikov.

Maxim, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My story as an artist began almost 20 years ago, around that time I discovered colored pencils and started to draw for the first time in my life. I was around ten years old when my parents brought me to the art school where I studied classical methods of drawing, watercolor and oil paintings for six years.

During that period my passion for art turned into my life. Since then, I spent all my time drawing and participating in various contests where I won multiple awards at both state and national level. That passion and drive carried through high school when my professional career began with a small oil painting that was ordered to me when I was fifteen years old.

After finishing dozens of oil paintings, I discovered Photoshop and started to work as a freelancer. Traditional art was great, but digital art allowed me to work with clients around the world and I was not able to resist to that. Soon after finishing high school I started to work on my first original mobile game project.

All those years of experience in working for various clients and struggling through making personal project let me get my first job as a lead artist in a mobile and social game start-up company. To make story short, five years later I found myself being an art director with three worldwide best seller iPhone/Facebook games behind my back.

I have been continuously working in the field ever since. I also had a chance to visit and live in seven different countries and learn three languages. All of that influenced my work and formed my personality. When I turned twenty-three, I decided that it was a perfect time to make a new step in my life and get a degree, so – I moved to Los Angeles.

It was very challenging to start a new career at the new place and took me around three years to finish one of the best and prestigious art colleges in the world – Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. It was hard but nonetheless exciting and rewarding years. Catching up was difficult, especially because of the language barrier and extreme heavy workload, but with diligence.

I was able to receive invaluable experience and guidance from many amazing instructors who helped me realize my potential and made me into who I am now. After graduation, I finally was able to get a job I dreamed about for so many years, I started to work in Film industry as a concept artist.

Currently, I am working at Motion Picture Company as a concept designer, a division of Techicolor corporation, one of the oldest and most recognizable companies in the industry. For a living, I help visualize concept art for live action movies and feature animation. I am lucky enough to work with amazing artists that have had many years of experience.

On a daily basis, I do researching, sketching, developing rough concepts and completing full-color photo-real images for presentation or pitch purposes, I am also involved in brainstorm sessions and project meetings. I have been fortunate throughout my career to be able to continuously work as a concept artist for a variety of clients that include Honda, Ironklad Studios, Nuare Studios and was involved in production of feature animation project.

It has never been easy, but it is definitely rewarding. So for everyone, who is struggling at the moment, my recommendation would be to keep putting your work out there, keep reaching out to people and never give up. More of my work can be found on my Instagram account @graphmax, as well as my artstation page at https://www.artstation.com/graphmaximus.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I was surprised when I finally figured out that the biggest challenge for me all these years was self-realization. As an artist, many of us struggle to find our personal unique way in art, and I was not an exception. However, the hardest task was to recognize and admit it. I don’t think that there is one solution that will suit everyone.

But, if you would want to know mine, here it is. I think the greatest goal for an artist is to bring joy and happiness to other people and that’s what drives me and, I believe, many other artists around the globe every day. All the other obstacles are just small humps and bumps on the way to this greatest goal.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about graphmaximus – what should we know?
Concept artist based in Los Angeles.

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