Jeff Mottle, founder and CEO of CGarchitect.com, talks to 3D Artist about a decade in business, and shares his thoughts on the future of the arch-vis industry
3D Artist: Can you sum up CGarchitect’s decade-long journey?
Jeff Mottle: I started CGarchitect back in 2001. Not many people know this, but I had never originally intended for CGarchitect to grow as big as it has, or for it to even be a business.
Back in 2001, I had been working as a visualisation artist for about 6 years, and was looking for new opportunities. The industry was nowhere near the size it is today, and I honestly did not know where to find my next adventure.
I did, however, know a lot of people in the Lightscape community, so I decided I’d start a website where I would interview some of my friends and post industry news every now and then. Most importantly, however, the site would have a job board! That way I would see the job opportunities before anyone else and apply first.
In the end, I did not get a job directly from the job board, but every opportunity I’ve had since was a direct result of the exposure the site provided. The site itself has evolved a lot over the years; our traffic has grown exponentially, we developed industry awards, sponsored a tonne of competitions, and have done a lot to advocate for the industry and perform market research.
A lot of careers in the industry have been honed and companies grown as a result of the exposure the site provided and the interaction it facilitated with everyone in the community. Every time I am on the road at industry events, I learn of the ways the site has helped people, which is really one of the most rewarding parts of all the hard work. The one thing that had unfortunately lagged behind was the look and feel of the site. Earlier this year, we decided it was time to do something about that. We hired Ballistiq, a development company out of Montreal, run by one of the individuals who was responsible for many of the major CG websites in the industry.
Over the course of six months and around 1,000 development hours they helped us put together the new site we just launched. It’s been exceptionally well received and our traffic has literally increased 5-6 fold!
3D Artist: What are you looking forward to in the next ten years of the arch vis industry?
Jeff Mottle: That’s a tough question! The industry has really taken a beating the last few years with the economic challenges around the world, but it’s showing really strong signs of rebounding.
We’ll be launching our new industry survey shortly to take a more accurate reading of what is going on in the industry. This information will really help everyone in the industry decide how best to develop their own companies.
From a more personal standpoint, I look forward to seeing how the technology develops, and how companies leverage those tools to be more creative and artistic.
The direction we’re heading is going to remove the technical aspects of visualisation, and really put the power back in the hands of the artist!
Check out the brand new CGarchitect website, which aims to increase community involvement and facilitate greater exposure for the artists and companies in the arch-vis industry.