The Furniture guy: Interview with Nikola Matkovic

Nikola Matkovic is great artist and as he said about himself "The Furniture guy". He' s 3D ArchViz designer, focused mostly on interior design. In fact, he's focused mostly on furniture modeling. Be sure to check out Nikola's portfolio on BlenderKit as well as his other social networks: Behance.

Beginnings

Hi Nikola, can you please tell us a bit about yourself? Where are you from? Where do you live?

I'm from the northeast part of Serbia. I live in a city called Subotica. It is big enough for you to hide in it and small enough for you to find everything.

How did your career in 3D design start? Did you go to university or are you a self-taught artist?

I studied engineering in high school and in college. I have a bachelor's degree but after finishing my studies, I realized that this profession is too boring for me. We were only calculating all the time.

Creative process and inspiration

Were you looking for a more creative profession?

Yes. But to explain it all, I first have to say that I'm a Christian. I asked Jesus Christ to lead me on this path. I knew that I wanted to do something on the internet but I didn’t know what. At the time, I was working in England, doing all sorts of jobs, mainly in factories. After I returned home, my friend introduced me to Blender. When I saw this 3D world, I was amazed. I knew immediately that this is what I want to do.

I asked my friend to give me classes and offered to pay him. I wanted it to be professional and precise because I am a bit of a perfectionist. My friend started doing videos for me and this is how I learned the basics of Blender. Afterwards, I watched tutorials on the Blender Guru Architecture Academy, which taught me about 80% of the tools I use nowadays. I finished the course and watched more YouTubes tutorials. And then I started to use my own head. Everyday I was searching for new ways to do things.

How long did the learning process take?

Approximately four and half years. Everyday after work, I would sit down and practice Blender for two or three hours. After doing it for about ten months, I told my boss that I can’t work for him anymore and want to invest all my time in 3D. Of course, he thought I was crazy. The older generation was teaching us that you have to work for a living. It was not about finding something that you enjoy doing. But I think that you get sick if you live this way. I was ready to risk everything for something I truly love. I opened a freelance business and a friend recommended me to model for BlenderKit.

The first 3D project I did was a renovation of a small church in Sweden. I did the complete architectural visualization. And I knew it wasn’t an accident. I looked at the sky and told Jesus Christ- this is your doing.

If I am bothering you with all this religious stuff, I can speak from a different view.

I think that this is your story and it is your right to tell it however you want.

So, do you know how old was Jesus when he was resurrected? Thirty three. And I started seeing this number everywhere. For example, on my phone it showed that the battery is 33% charged. Sometimes Jesus wanted to tell me something and sometimes he just wanted to show me that he is with me and everything will be okay.

What happened was that I shared my models on this Facebook group called Blender ArchViz. And this guy liked my work. The strange thing was that his last name was the same name as my village. I wrote to him and since then we have been connected.

He told me about an interior design studio he runs with his girlfriend. It is called Wizia Studio and it is in Croatia. To make a long story short, I started working for them. I model all the furniture in their designs. This was my dream. To work in a team and to not be alone in this 3D world. When I don’t work for them, I model for BlenderKit.

You have uploaded to BlenderKit a lot of furniture, mainly armchairs and sofas. Where do you find inspiration for your models?

Everything I model is based on reality. It is all real-life furniture that you can buy in shops across the world. I look at furniture websites to find inspiration.

I am interested in modeling whatever you can see in a room. This attracts me the most. I think that if you want to be successful in business, you should not do everything. You should concentrate on one or two things and become professional in these areas. So I chose to be the armchairs and sofas guy. My goal is to make a collection of a hundred sofas and a hundred armchairs. I currently have almost half of it.

After modeling so much furniture, do you still find it exciting?

Every model has its own story. This keeps me interested. I also have a passion to make other people satisfied. To help them find furniture they love and can actually buy. This is also the reason I am focused on real-life furniture.

Have you ever seen the furniture you model in real-life?

Not yet. Maybe one day it will happen. At the studio where I work, we are now designing a coffee shop. I hope that on my first visit to Croatia I will get to see it.

There is something very elegant and calm about your models and architectural visualizations. What draws you to this type of aesthetic?

I like the calm. It all comes from the heart. I don’t like ultra-modern stuff. I am more of an old school guy. My favorite style is Japandi, which is a combination of Japanese and Scandinavian styles. It is characterized by pastel colors, many plants in the interiors, natural materials and natural soft light. Maybe I like the calm so much because I love spending time in nature, in the woods

Tips for starting with 3D

Do you have any suggestions for starting 3D artists?

Maybe they won’t like my suggestions. Because I would say that you have to start from the beginning. Take it step by step. The first time you open Blender, you will not be able to do a realistic model. You have to practice every day. You also have to like it. If you do, you learn much faster.

Do you have any suggestions for starting 3D artists?

Maybe they won’t like my suggestions. Because I would say that you have to start from the beginning. Take it step by step. The first time you open Blender, you will not be able to do a realistic model. You have to practice every day. You also have to like it. If you do, you learn much faster.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I want to say that I think BlenderKit has an amazing approach and I am very thankful for it. On other platforms, you have to pay a lot for one model. In BlenderKit, you just pay for a subscription. I am also subscribed myself. I often use textures from other models. I think that this is a great system for people who are not rich but are creative and want to create beautiful visualizations. I see that there are more and more users and BlenderKit brings the community together.


If you want to support Nikola's work be sure to buy Full plan subscription

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