August 29, 2011

Abandoned, but not forgotten . . .

You may remember this image from several months ago. I left it in a semi-finished state -until I decided to try a different technique. Now it doesn't look half bad.

August 16, 2011

696 Words

A newly hired co-worker asked us for advice (to share with her college friends) about our careers. I thought I'd also post my response here. Maybe it will help you.

How was I introduced into video game production / how did I managed my entry into the field:
  • I think this question has several answers in part. To boil it down, it really helped me to know people in the industry and keep in contact with employees from previous jobs (or students from previous colleges/universities). Every job since college has been acquired due to the people I've known from previous acquaintances, whether in school or other work. I might even add that jobs and opportunities I had while in college worked the same way. I was the student newspaper staff artist while at Ricks (now BYUI) and my associations with the editors there helped me land a cartoonist position with the editor or the student newspaper at USU –which helped me land a position with the local paper as a Sunday editorial cartoonist. My association with a teacher at USU helped me land a position with my first job out of college, and work associations with friends there have helped me with every job since.
  • That said, people skills and relations are a vital part of any job. Never, never burn bridges and treat people with respect, even when you disagree with them.
What did I do in college to prepare me for my current role:
  • I might start this answer by telling you what I did outside of college to prepare me for my current role. I think I put three times as much work into my art assignments outside of class than what I did in class. It pained me to see students around me only use the class time to work on things. I researched, and sketched, and painted, and treated every assignment as if I was working professionally for a client. Instead of looking and comparing myself to the students around me, I was looking and comparing my progress to people’s work already in the field. I also assigned myself additional tasks and projects independent of school to improve my skills.
What do I think helped me succeed in this field:
  • I think people skills have a lot to do with this part. It might seem funny that I’m speaking about people skills, but it’s really the core of any successful relationship, whether working or otherwise. Learning how to work as a team and put a project before my own wants and agenda –to see the bigger picture is very important. Sure, there are times I feel differently about how something is done, and sometimes I don’t like it at all. It’s okay to voice my opinion, that’s part of being on a team -to give each person an equal chance to voice an opinion and to respond to it in a respectful way.
  • Hard work comes second and I’ll refer you to the previous answers I listed above.
  • Because of the number of jobs and different positions I've had in the last 10 years, I think a variety of skills and the willingness to continually learn new skills, workflows, programs, etc has been a major plus to my success.
How would I go about it if I had a second chance:
  • You might as well ask me how I would live my life previous to today if I had a second chance. :) I think I would have worked better on people skills and honing my art talent. I still strive to work on both, and recognize how important both are. Maybe that’s why I say that.
  • I really wish colleges and universities had business classes for artists. I think business skill is one thing artists are lacking once they get into the work force after college –especially in regards to freelance/self employment. I probably would have attended more of those classes.
What an entrant into this field cannot do without:
  • -A thriving desire to push one’s personal skills, willingness to be flexible, great personal skills, being able to see the big picture, and respect for those around us.

August 10, 2011

Each one of these took about a 1/2 hour to an hour to do. I just found some images off the web to study and restricted myself to a messy brush so I wouldn't get caught up in the details.
I found this to be really refreshing for a change. My favorite is the guy with the red shield. He was the last one I did of the four, and already I could see greater confidence in my strokes of paint and choice of color.