The Art of Brick series turns the spotlight on Chief Creative Director Márton Zoltán Tóth. With a background in architecture and a passion for visualization, Márton joined Brick in 2013 as a 3D artist. Owing to his artistic and professional abilities, he quickly became a Senior 3D artist, Creative Director in 2018, and Chief Creative Director this year. Not only is he responsible for developing and upholding Brick’s cohesive style, but everything he does is intertwined with digital art and archviz. With this article, we zoom in on his inspirations and art created in his free time while sharing his personal anecdotes.
A still from the animation titled re[ ]naissance
Márton had been introduced to modes of creative expression and the importance of art and technology in early childhood. His mother, an economist who holds a degree in maths and physics, gave him his first computer at the age of six. This allowed him to start experimenting with ASCII characters (a data-transmission code), which he used to form simple images. His father, a well-known historian and painter, taught him how to draw and took him to museums, creative workshops, and get-togethers where he could connect with artists and absorb visual culture. He has particularly fond memories of an atelier located in the attic of the Hungarian National Gallery where he attended drawing and painting workshops. He reminisces:
Back in the day, it used to be quite a surrealistic space with a breathtaking view of Budapest. I am very grateful for all those artists whom I met here for helping me develop my artistic skills. Also, I am indebted to DLA Ferenc Repás, who was my mentor during my years at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics. He led the advanced drawing course where I learned approaches that help me in my work.’
A still from the animation titled re[ ]naissance
To date, Márton continuously seeks inspiration, primarily from the office. Brick has an active community where images, music, videos, articles are shared on the company intranet on a daily basis. Márton finds this platform valuable, not only to gain ideas but to provide his peers with intriguing content himself. Apart from exchanging inspirational materials with Brickers, he uses Instagram and Artstation to follow professional content – archviz, CG, and digital art.
Friends From Above, taking place at Kolosy Square, Budapest
Márton created the image titled Friends From Above (above) for his 11-month-old daughter, based on a semi-imaginary experience. One day while sitting in a traffic jam on his way to work, he pictured how funny it would have been if the traffic congestion had been caused by gigantic toys falling from the sky. The photo he took of the foggy scene later became a part of his story, which he crafted by digital painting.
Marie & Robot, Act I., set in the inner city of Budapest
Marie & Robot (above & below) is again an illustration designed for his daughter, in an attempt to tell her a classical story in a fun and engaging way once she gets older.
When I was a child, my parents took me to see Tchaikovsky’s ‘The Nutcracker’. I enjoyed it as much as any six-year-old boy would enjoy ballet. Not at all : ) As a grown-up, I started appreciating the original story of E.T.A. Hoffmann’s ‘The Nutcracker and the Mouse King’ and the music of Tchaikovsky much-much more. So I was determined to create a more contemporary take on the story.
Marie & Robot, Act II. – The Battle, final painting and close-ups, set near Nyugati Railway Station, Budapest
Márton is fascinated with vintage tin toy robots, as in his view they try to look futuristic while having an old-school appeal. These traits, paired with the funny painted details and clumsy way of walking made the robot perfect for recasting the Nutcracker. For his digital painting, he used some of the photos he had taken in Budapest and a tin toy robot he found at home as a reference.
Painting goes 3D
Márton’s childhood museum experiences also had an effect on his digital work. The Hungarian painter he truly admires is László Mednyánszky, who is well-known for his mastery in depicting vast landscapes and the poor working in nature. Márton’s personal favorite is the work titled Watering, which visualizes the life of shepherds living on the lowlands taking care of cattle. The atmosphere of the painting is what had captivated him the most, which urged him to recreate the painting in 3D.
The story of Watering 2084 continued, culminating in an ominous scene
In his remake, the scene takes place in 2084, by the time our planet becomes overpopulated. People spread out, live in the rural regions, and have to use all the remaining gadgets of the former technological era, like drones and satellites, to get in touch with each other. Márton’s dystopian bucolic scene also got covered in depth by Chaos Group which you can read here.
Mednyánszky’s original on the left and a work in progress render on the right
Singularity and questions related to AI have always been trending topics at the Brick office. Not only does our team discuss how this would affect architecture, but a few years ago we had interviewed some of the most famous architects around the world about how they see the future.
re[ ]naissance was based on an earlier animation of Márton, which can be viewed on his Artstation profile
According to Márton’s prognosis, AI will be used for designing buildings. He adds that at one point, AI would gain consciousness, taking control over the built environment. Teaming up with Creative Director József Brózsely, they created an animation titled re[ ]naissance (above) that shows this dystopia. Under the name ‘Team JM’, they had submitted the animation for CG Architect’s 3D Awards in the Non-Commissioned Film category. Their originality in approaching cinematography and quality of editing was acknowledged by the jury, as Team JM is among the 5 final nominees in their category to compete for the first prize.
Márton adding a funny note to one of our images
At Brick, we see Márton as an inspirational figure and a great communicator who is always positive and ready to give valuable, artistic feedback. He lives and breathes archviz and digital art, which boils down to creating concepts and designs around the clock. Currently, he is working on the ending of Marie Robot while creating a new animation on the side. What can be revealed about this new piece is that it revolves around a post-human theme as well – the birth of angels. To see the preview, head to his Artstation profile or Instagram account.