We have many talented freelancers working on Upwork from Serbia and I've decided to start featuring those who achieved great success on Upwork, and agreed to share their story with the Community. I'm happy to introduce Danila L., a 3D modeler with a passion for reconstructing historical architecture and bringing history to life.
Here's a brief conversation I had with Danila, who will be speaking about and presenting his work in an upcoming local meet-up. Check out the interview and feel free to follow up on this thread if you have any questions for the talented artist.
What was your initial introduction to 3D modeling and when did you decide to go pro?
I got interested in 3D modelling for the 1st time 7 years ago, when I saw a set of beautiful ancient reconstructions which have been made in Sketchup. I have contacted to the author of these models, and he was my first teacher in 3D modelling. During the first six moths I progressed from a little fountain to one of the biggest ancient thermes with all interiors. Even now it is one of my biggest projects (baths of Caracalla).
Seeing your passion for reconstructing historical sites, what is the main driving force behind your work?
I think the main driving force behind historical reconstruction is (as I imagine) to bring ancient heritage to our time and to have a possibility to walk along that streets, squares etc. There are some projects, which I have started working on my own initiative, such as ancient Rome, where I am planning to reconstruct the whole center and integrate it into a game engine.
Where do you find inspiration for both your personal and professional work?
Similar to previous question, I can say that I find inspiration it the fact that it is fantastic to create numerous architectural objects and even ensembles from our own imagination and view.
Could you give us an insight into one of the projects you're currently working on?
I am currently working on several projects. Besides Rome, which I already spoke about, there are reconstructions of ancient Greek sites, palace of Diocletian in Split and also first reconstructions which I am making in Serbia, some sites in Arandjelovac, which I hope you will be able to see soon.
Do you have any hobbies or other personal interests?
Sure, there are travelling, most of all along the places which I have already reconstructed in 3D, or plans to do in the near future. Also there are history books and some sports, such as cycling and hiking.
On a personal note, what was the motivation for moving to Serbia?
Besides the general level of life and stability, which I am realizing is quite high in Serbia, there is an important thing for me that there are a lot of interesting historical objects over here and in the vicinity.
What are some of the main differences between acquiring and working with clients directly, and on Upwork?
I am pleased with the fact that Upwork provides a good guarantee for all sides of the contract, in the sense that they protect their interests. Also, a good thing is the opportunity to work with clients from a number of countries all over the world
As a freelancer, what was the one thing that you found most difficult and also what is the biggest benefit of
working through Upwork?
As I remember, the most difficult thing was at the very beginning, when I had to win my first contract, when I had to compete with numerous other freelancers in order to obtain a contract, just to receive the first good feedback. The payments for that contract was quite low, but it did not matter. As for the biggest benefit of Upwork, I think it is the fact that after some time, after working for your portfolio, your portfolio starts to work for you .
I want to ask you about your Upwork experience. Do you generate most of your work from existing clients and referrals, or spend more time looking for new jobs in order to have a constant flow of work?
I think here I can answer as well as most of top rated freelancers: the longer I’m working on Upwork, a bigger portion of my contracts belong to existing long-term clients. I think the most remarkable jump was when I have received my first working hours via an hourly contract. Before it I spent most of my time looking for contracts, after it I began to receive invitations from clients, so I could feel the effect of working in Upwork upon my skills, reputation, which are both a reason and a result of a number of successful contracts.
What is the advice you’d share with freelancers starting out in your niche on Upwork?
I think the common and main thing which I can share with beginners is to look for any skill in which they would be unique and/or best of all. This field can be quite narrow, doesn’t matter. But in any case the presence of some unique and interesting skills is quite remarkable for our potential clients. The second thing, very close to the previous one is a continuous self-development. It is also important to fill your portfolio with examples of your new skills from time to time. And maybe third – to work hard, of course . Nothing comes without it. As for me, I have spent years before I achieved stable and good reputation, and income. Work hard, love your work and be the best!