Meet-the-Member, Shawn: "I used to suffer from endless Blender WIPs, now I am completing projects"

Oct 18th 2022

Shawn Blanch is a CG Cookie lifetime member and has newly joined the ranks of our Instructor Assistants, supporting our crew in course production and community stewardship. In addition to an outstanding work ethic, Shawn constantly impresses us with his commitment to learning Blender and personal growth.

Let's get to know him better! 

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Shawn and his family

What should the world know about Shawn?

I'm from Dallas, Texas. I'm a south paw and my favorite cookie is the chocolate no-bake type.

What brought you to Blender?

A lack of art and creativity in my life is probably at the root of it all though, mixed with a passion to create what I used to only be able to dream about.

That and a fixed budget for 3D modeling: Hello, Google search "Best FREE 3D modeling software."

Art was my favorite subject in school - besides math and science. I had a decent drawing and coloring ability and I was extremely creative in making stop-motion claymation art with my best friend.

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Shawn's work for CG Cookie collab project 'The Spice Vendor's House'

I almost went to Full Sail University, but seeing the price of tuition and coming from a poor home I opted to stay local and take university studies in Mechanical Engineering to make the most out of my degree.

I lost a lot of hair over that decision...

Countless hours of homework and coursework landed me a well-paying degree but not one that catered to my budding artistic ability, which unfortunately was shelved during those years and beyond.

Shawn Blanch - Chair in Blender

I came across Blender in 2015 while trying to reignite that flame while also on a tight budget, but I ran away after not being able to left-click-Select the default cube. That darn 3D cursor moving around sent me running!

I tried again the next year, and again the next year after seeing a guy on YouTube use Blender to make a Minion.

I followed this tutorial and fell in love with Blender after that...well, that - and learning how to change over to left-click Select.

After consuming everything BlenderForNoobs had to teach, I came across CG Cookie tutorials, played the freebie game for a bit and got hooked after doing several free lessons.

I decided to get a membership and.......the rest is history.

I've been blendin' in my free time after work ever since!

What are your future plans with Blender?

Blender is actually a therapeutic de-stress time for me, but I have a dream plan of things I want to pursue as well.

Coding - yes, I love to code in Blender and make do-hicky tools that make my life easier.

I use an addon called Serpens that allows me to code and use nodes to generate code as well. It's the best of both worlds, in my opinion!

I also make Blender tutorials on my YouTube channel teaching others how to code in Blender.

I'm currently working with CG Cookie members Phil (phoenix4690) and Omar (dostovel) on a rigged character that we named "Bucky" who comes bundled with a rigging addon, color-changing theme algorithm, and a fun pose library.

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At CG Cookie, I am also signed up for the next collab and looking forward to rocking the CG world yet again with what our team will make. 

(Editor's note: "Collab's" are CG Cookie community projects in Blender under the leadership of our instructors. See what our Collab team create in 2021.)

Additionally, I am actually lending a hand as an Instructor Assistant at CG Cookie on nights and weekends, and I'm loving every minute of it!

What is your favorite thing about CG Cookie?

If you know me, you know I am a huge fan of the Blender community, challenges, workshops, and collaborations.

I've been a contributor on both of the two recent collabs and the CG Cookie workshops before that.

It's actually what has been bringing me back to CG Cookie over other websites; I used to suffer from endless WIPs and only a few completed projects.

When I joined a workshop that required submitting my art for feedback within a deadline, I suddenly saw myself completing tasks!

My favorite moment was seeing my work show up in the Heavy Equipment animation from the first official CG Cookie collaboration.

I'm pretty sure I rode that high for an entire year. I had the same feeling after finishing the second collaboration and seeing my entire team's work showcased in the Spice Vendor Diorama.

Shawn, thank you for being with us!

For more Blender gems from Shawn's, follow his channel on YouTube and his CG Cookie member profile.


Pavla Karon
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