Katt Phatt is a 3D artist based in Johannesburg, South Africa, specialized in 3D typography, and he likes to create dense and detailed compositions, where letters and shapes can shine together. This kind of work requires many skills, but one is crucial: patience.
That’s what strikes me the most (even more than the number of works this 27 years old artist already has on his portfolio): he achieves for each work a massive quantity of details. Katt Phatt is a phenomenon 3d artist. Lucky South Africa!
I discovered him with his Steam Deck project, some amazing creative cards, and I wanted to know more about him, definitely.
So let’s ask him some questions now!
Katt Phatt – Digital portrait of a young phenomenon 3D artist
Hello Katt! Very happy to have you here! Can you please describe yourself to the readers ?
My name is Katlego, but everyone calls me Katt. I’m based in Sunny South Africa in the City of Johannesburg.
Currently, I work as a digital artist and art director at Joe Public united. I’m 27 years old, I love typography and 3D, and very influenced by the Rococo, Steampunk and Victorian aesthetics.
I’m very happy, because you’re my first artist that works mainly with fonts. Why did you want to dedicate your works to this particular field ?
Typography is a basis for communication, and fonts can express a lot of different ideas very quickly. Having studied Visual Communication I had to find interesting ways to communicate, I became drawn to typefaces very early on and have been hooked ever since.
Your Steam Deck is amazing. Full of 3D and intricate forms that look gorgeous. Where does this idea came from ?
The Steam Deck was inspired by an earlier card I had designed for Playing Arts. Which was also steam inspired. I love steampunk, so after that first card I decided to create a whole deck. Being led by the style, I just dedicate time when I can to add to the deck.
” Once I have a fully realized idea on paper/illustrator
then I jump into 3D “
Will you produce at the end a full deck that people can buy ?
I am currently busy with the King, Queen, Jack and Joker cards. Once those are complete I will to find avenues to realize a full printed deck.
Can you describe the typical process of your projects ? (Sketch ? Illustrator ? 3D directly ?)
I spend a lot of time in my head. I am constantly applying a steampunk lens on most things I see on a daily basis. Words I hear, objects I see, I’m always trying to find ways the style can elevate them and bring them to life in my style. So mainly ideas stay in my head until my fingers itch to create them. As soon as I have a solid thought I start sketching.
Sketches don’t take too long. I mainly sketch when I’m unsure about layout or even final style choice. But once I have sketched, then I do a bit of research on the topic, add to the idea and then jump into digital. I never start in 3D, as it’s very easy to get lost, or to lose the passion for a specific project because I get stuck. So once I have a fully realized idea on paper/illustrator then I jump into 3D.
How did you learn to do those incredible compositions?
Compositions are an art I’ve been learning inadvertently over the past four years. Sometimes different ideas come from clients who change the way you look at your own work. Sometimes feedback from people around the studio, inspiration from different blogs etc. Each project I do evolves as it progresses. The composition changes depending on whether the 3D doesn’t work as well as the flat sketch. So flexibility allows me to find different ideas as I go along, as well as problem solving.
You have ton of works on your Behance. That’s really impressive. How do you manage personal and commercial works together ?
I am in love with what I do, I am constantly trying to improve, and Behance is a great tool to use for this. It challenges you by showing amazing work on a daily basis and helps you get feedback on work.
I am always trying different things with my style, interpreting it in ways which I find to be beautiful. So when I do personal work and commercial work, there isn’t really a big difference. Loving what you do makes it easy too.
” If you’re new to 3D, learn the software
before trying to create amazing work “
Where does your inspiration come from ? Do you have any tips to stay inspired ?
It’s quite difficult to say where I get inspiration from. There are things I like looking at, which are directly related to my style. I love looking at things.
I also have a bunch of projects which I haven’t completed, that I sometimes go back to, just to see whether my problem solving has improved.
I also go through my work a lot, seeing what can be improved, and when I create new projects, I keep these things in mind.
What cool tricks could you share for 3D beginners ?
3D is a fun tool, but without ideas, then it isn’t really that exciting. There are some many different avenues to 3D. From characters to automotive to architectural, you need to know why you’re going into 3D.
It’s also very frustrating at first, getting into 3D. Mainly that you tend to look at the final images of very high end projects and never the reason they got there, the inner workings of the software.
So if you’re new to 3D, learn the software before trying to create amazing work. Once you know the tool, it will be much easier when you’re comfortable and creating your visions in the future.
Are there any great references of artists you love that you could share with us ?
- I love Aleksandr Kuskov’s work – Very inspiring and a really high quality finish to his highly detailed works.
- Andrew Footit – Was my mentor and another reason I fell in love with typography, his craft and his attention to detail is insane.
- Billy Bogiatzoglo (Billelis) [Billelis portrait on Better Digital Artist here] – very inspiring 3D artist with an incredible style and polish to his work.
- Samuel Gomez – Amazing style with a lot of steampunk inspiration
Do you have anything else you want to add ? To share ?
I would love to collaborate on projects with people, for fun. If anyone wants to create some cool work, my e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s mix up styles and see what comes out :).
Thanks for your time again Katt Phatt for this great interview! 🙂
See more of Katt Phatt works here: