Simon Voelkl is a Munich based Motion Designer and 3D Generalist with a degree in media technology (B.Eng). He focuses on 3D visualization and 2D/3D animation within the digital fashion realm. Simon has a long list of software techniques he has accumulated over the years including Cinema 4D, Adobe CC, Vray, Octane, Redshift, Marvelous Designer and CLO 3D.
In the interview below, Simon shares how he got started in the digital fashion space, how he became a designer at CLO, where he finds inspiration for his work, and some tips for emerging digital fashion artists!
Hey Simon! Can you please tell us a bit about yourself and your work? When did you get started creating art, and how did you find your way into the Digital Fashion space?
I’m Simon Voelkl, a digital fashion artist at CLO Virtual Fashion. I started my career 10 years ago studying media technology and focusing on 3D during my spare time after work. 5 years ago, a colleague introduced me to Marvelous Designer from CLO Virtual Fashion and I fell in love with this new approach of 3D visualization. Basically, it works the same way as you would do it in real life. My personal works are digital fashion outfits, mostly based on movies, series and video games.
What is digital fashion, and how do you think it will be integrated into society in the future?
Digital fashion will be part of the digital era of art history and also a new standard for the fashion industry itself. Therefore, digital fashion will be integrated in the digital identity of our society, like social media, which becomes more and more important than the real one.
For your first ever NFT release, you have created a collection of digital designs recreating outfits from iconic pop culture characters. Can you please speak more on this collection and what inspired you to craft these pieces?
I’m a big movie and series enthusiast, but I never paid attention to the outfits before. Once I did, I really got fascinated by how much impact it has on the viewers. People can easily recognize movies just by the garment without seeing the face of the actor. This is why we also love to dress up like one of our movie heroes for costume parties, Halloween, cosplay or it can even influence our everyday clothing.
What messages are you trying to communicate with your art? What is the inspiration behind your creations? How do you want your audience to interpret your creations?
I want to pay tribute to movies and their original outfits and inspire people to think about the outfits of their idols or from favorite movies as well.
What tools and software do you use? How long does it take you to craft a piece? Do you start with a clear vision, or does a piece take shape as you work?
I always want to challenge myself by trying out something new. So basically, I have a clear vision of what to create but no clear standard approach. Usually it takes me around 16 hours for one project, because there is a lot of trial and error. Also, the level of details matters a lot. Besides CLO, I only use Photoshop and Lightroom for my current projects.
What are some of your observations about the emerging behaviors in the digital fashion space and what do you see as next opportunities for this industry? How do NFTs change things?
Real Time Rendering and Augmented Reality will become more important to fulfill the full potential of digital fashion. Connecting digital fashion to NFTs gives the artist and the buyer the chance to verify its originality. Just imagine purchasing a real garment, as well as a digital version as NFT. Once this catches the interest of the fashion industry, it will have a big impact on the current fashion market.
Do you have any advice for artists just getting started on their digital design journey?
Find artists you like and try to copy them. There is nothing bad about it if you want to learn and get better. Collect inspiration and ideas for your own creations and just keep on practicing.
As an in house designer and educator for Clo software, how has this software revolutionized digital fashion into what it is today?
The fashion industry is quite a conservative industry. By introducing this software, we found solutions for better sustainability, improving the workflow pipeline and agreeing onto a common language which is 3D. It's a perfect exchange format to work together with further opportunities in e-commerce and marketing!