Artist Spotlight – Garry Cortez: Filipino 3D Artist and Art Director in Dubai

Tell us about yourself. What kind of art do you make?

I’m Garry Cortez, a 3D artist/Art director based in Dubai. I moved here in 2018 to work for NineSeven1 Creative. Before that, I’ve also worked for different advertising and video production agencies back in the Philippines.

My art is mainly CGI-driven. I combine my skills in sculpture, animation, painting, graphic design, photography, visual effects, and film into one artistic medium. I create illustrations and animation using a 3D software called Cinema 4D. It gives me endless possibilities in creating virtual worlds and characters that I can use in creating advertisements, music videos, and short films.


How did you become passionate about art? What inspires you? What is the philosophy behind it?

My first awareness of 3D animation was by watching the Toy Story movie when I was a kid.

I couldn’t forget how amazed I was when I saw it for the very first time. It’s like a seed sown on me which gradually grew when I took Fine Arts major in Advertising in the University of Santo Tomas. From there, I learned a lot about art — its history, fundamentals, and techniques.

I am inspired when I learn new things and when I am able to integrate it with my current skills set. Sometimes when I encounter an interesting technique, I try my best to reverse engineer it and recreate my own version. With this, I’m like storing fragments in my mind then use it as a part of a bigger picture when needed.


What makes your art unique from the rest? Are there any defining characteristics? Or is there a definitive approach to your work that you’ve made your own?

My style differs from project to project. If there is a constant defining characteristic from my work, I guess that would be the quality. I always make sure that in whatever work I do, the quality is never compromised.



Have you had any significant events through your artistic career? Exhibitions, showcases, etc.

Majority of my work is for advertising and events. I recently had an opportunity through NineSeven1, to create an animation for a collaboration with Harper’s Bazaar Arabia and Vacheron Constantin which was projected on the Burj Khalifa a few months ago. Seeing your work play on the tallest building and screen in the world was truly amazing.

Other notable works that I’ve collaborated with recently was when I directed and animated a full CGI music video for a recording artist in the Philippines (Astral Bodies by Manic Mundane) which got nominated in Motion Design Awards. I am also the 3D animator for another music video for a local alternative-rock band (Broken Glass by She’s Only Sixteen).

Back when I was still in the Philippines, I’ve also participated in Bloom Arts Festival 2018 as one of the exhibitors and I have also worked on several TV commercials for various brands.

View Garry’s showreel on Vimeo


What can you say about the art community in your country? What are the good parts and the bad parts (if any)? 

The art community in the Philippines is very diverse in a sense that it is not bound to one style or idea. It is ever evolving. Filipino artists are very creative, that is why we excel in our craft wherever we are in the world.

Kat – Original Piece


What are some of the challenges that you face as an artist? How do you get past them?

The challenging part of creating CGI is it requires a lot of time to do it. There’s a lot of manual work needed but thanks to the technology we have now, computer softwares and hardwares are constantly improving to help 3D/CGI artists like myself have more efficient and faster workflows.


Do you see any future for artists such as yourself? Is art essential to the development of your community?

 I can definitely envision a positive future for 3D artists like me. I believe that there are more opportunities now than there were 10 years ago. Plus many of the media & movies we consume nowadays are heavily relying on CGI and Visual Effects.

Given that, yes, art is essential to the development of our community. Imagine a world without art, everything will just be plain and boring. 


What’s your message to artists around the world? 

Choose progress over perfection. Perfection can sometimes cripple but progress allows you to get somewhere. It might be quite slow sometimes but it is better than being stuck. Just get out there and create.


View more of his works: 


#STAYSAFE from NineSeven1 on Vimeo

Manic Mundane – Astral Bodies (Official Music Video) on Vimeo


Del Monte Quality – 100% Freshly Squeezed Orange on Vimeo


She’s Only Sixteen – Broken Glass (Official Video) – YouTube