If you’ve missed either of the first two articles in the series you can find them here (first one) and here (the one about Ease of Use). Go ahead and read those first.

The second component of 3D Art Mastery is Emotion. Feeling. That tingling sensation you get on the back of your neck and along your spine when you’re watching something meaningful.

Arguably this is the more important part and its certainly the hardest to define. Or it would be if I were talking to robots; humans all understand on some level what it is to feel. What this means for your art is creating pieces that make you feel something when they’re viewed.

Why is it Important to Exude Emotion?

Have a think back to your first experiences with art. I don’t mean just 3D Art either, this can be a book, a painting, music, a photograph, whatever it was that first made you stop and stare. Remember what it felt like to connect with something created by another human being on a level that challenged or confirmed a belief you held at the time.

At the risk of sounding Woo-woo and airy fairy, this is what Fantastic art should feel like, no matter the medium. It should, at some point or another, for at least some of the people experiencing it, feel.

Without fail, of all the artistic creations that have been made over the course of hundreds of years only the ones that made a group of people feel something in their core are still revered and talked about today. Only the ones with story, essence, soul.

Having this thing that I’m going to call Emotion from now on in your work is the only way you really contribute to the world as a whole and to other people. Otherwise? You’re not really creating. You’re making a product and hoping that someone further down the line will attach meaning to it. There is no more important task than causing to feel, for any kind of artist.

Basic Overview of Adding Emotion to Your Work

As with last week’s article on Ease of Use we’re not going to get too mired down in specific ways to add emotion to your pieces right now. What we are going to do is look at some broad ways you can start thinking about it and incorporating it into your artwork.

1. Devote Time and Thought to the Idea

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, you’re not going to spend time and effort on anything without actually setting aside time for it. When starting a new project you need to make sure you have some time in there at the start to really think about what you’re making and why, and how you can make it meaningful for other people too.

2. Flesh out Your Work

Say you’ve been asked to create a character and you’ve been given some instructions as to what they should look like and what they’ll be doing. You have the opportunity here to spend a little longer thinking about that character, trying out ideas, and extrapolating their range of emotions. Their story. Once you’ve figured that out (and it works for all projects and pieces) it becomes easier to convey that story and those emotions through your implementation.

3. Share it with the world

Imagine that you’ve spent some extra time making sure that your piece has the potential for an emotional connection. Or some story beyond the surface ‘what it is’. At this point, all you can tell is that you tried to infuse it with Emotion. What you need to do is take it out into the world, or, for many of us, share it online in our portfolios and on forums, and gain feedback from other people. Only from that feedback will you know if you’ve succeeded and what you need to change in future.


If you manage to create a strong enough story / reaction in your viewers they’ll be talking about that and what your art means to them. This means they’re less likely to talk about any technical ability or small mistakes you’ve overlooked. Second bonus; They talk about your art.

Now that I know the pillars, what’s next?

Now that we’ve covered both pillars of mastery, is that all there is to know? Not a chance. I’m going to be covering each pillar in more depth in future articles, along with discussing how to get to ‘Good’ in the first place and all sorts of other useful pieces of information to help make it happen. To make sure you don’t miss out, sign up for my newsletter if you haven’t already.

If you have (and believe me, I love you for it) then have a think about your favourite pieces of artwork and why you like them. Go ahead and share them in the comments and write our your reason why – putting it into words might surprise and delight you.

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