By Thomas Bradley

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In this series we will look deeper into a work that was especially admired in our community: Critters, created by Teodoru Badiu. The Austrian 3D artist’s fantastic, colorful, yet slightly twisted 3D character designs have gained Badiu an impressive following on Behance. Critters is a perfect encapsulation of Badiu’s unique style, so we asked the artist a few questions about the creative process behind his latest work.

What was your inspiration for this project?
I needed some small characters for a story that I developed based on my “Forest Folk” and “Pets and Monsters” characters. I thought that it would be a good idea to use worms, snakes and bugs as inspirations for the characters.

Can you describe your process in creating this project?
Once the idea was born, I began to search for references that would help me create the characters. For some of them, like the snakes, I used some old vector illustration that I had created a few years ago; for others I used photographs. My goal was to get them to look like worms, bugs or snakes but with a distinct look and personality.
Did you expect it to be as popular as it’s been on The Behance Network?
I use Behance to share my work with the world; I never have any great expectations when I publish a new project. To see that the people do like them is a kind of confirmation for me. It gives me the feeling that I have reached what I wanted with the character designs, but I never expect that the project will be popular.

Did you go through many versions and iterations before coming up with these final pieces?
Actually, I did not. I know what I need from the beginning when I start with a sketch, and I know how to reach that using the 3D software of my choice (which is Modo). Sometimes, I try different color approaches, like doing full color illustration or restricting myself to using black, white, red and gold. These choices are always deliberate.

Do you feel that this project is “done,” or is there anything you’d like to improve on or change in the future?

I do not consider any of my projects to be done. It may be that they are ready in term of character numbers or illustration needs, but never finished. It could be that another project will begin from the point where the other one ends like in this case. It could also be that some projects are part of the same idea or world that I have created, and characters from one project supplement other characters or worlds from other projects.

Did anything interesting happen as a result of the success of this project (fans contacting you, job opportunities, blogs picking it up, etc)? 
Yes, it actually did help me get some job contacts. Plus, for the first time I got a direct request from an Argentinian fan to send over some fan stuff like prints and postcards.

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Read more here:: Behind the Project: Critters