There is something endlessly engrossing about the work of Abel Emmanuel, a 3D artist based in South Africa. His work is part-saccharine, part-experimental and part-punk. Take, for example, his rendering of a beautiful bunny in the clouds marked by the distinct techno-metallic spike collar around its neck.
Although only at the start of his career, Abel’s portfolio could be mistaken for that of an experienced veteran. Every concept is fully realised, with a clear point of view. By using the software Blender (particularly with Octane Render Engine), he conjures shiny 3D art that’s originally sculpted and textured in Zbrush and Substance Painter. “As a transgender man I use art as an escape from my gender dysphoria,” Abel tells us. “For the appreciation of art, no uniformity is necessary, so I cannot say that my work is a form of self-expression these days.”
While Abel has his favourite motifs (“fluffy animals, beautiful women of colour, H R Geiger-inspired sculptures”), he’s pivoting into new territory. “I really want to work with creative directors in the K-Pop industry, especially with Aespa, EXO and NewJeans,” he says. With a portfolio like this, we’re sure any of those bands would be lucky to have him.
Abel Emmanuel: ditto (Copyright © Abel Emmanuel, 2023)
About the Author
Joey is a freelance design, arts and culture writer based in London. They were part of the It’s Nice That team as editorial assistant in 2021, after graduating from King’s College, London. Previously, Joey worked as a writer for numerous fashion and art publications, such as HERO Magazine, Dazed, and Candy Transversal.