What is it like to work in the game industry? In my opinion, it’s simply awesome! I cannot image a better job for myself right now. How I got it? Pure luck!… And some months of hard work, lots of tears of desperation.
THOUGHTS ON ENVIRONMENT
I spent 6 months learning stuff by myself, like anatomy, composition, textures, lighting and so on. I used to go to a traditional drawing course once a week during that time and besides those few hours spent there socializing with young artists (way younger than me, it was a drawing course for high school students and younger kids), I spent the days alone at home, struggling with my useless hands and empty head. The course helped me a great deal, I cannot deny it. It put me in the right environment with young ambitious people who want to learn and develop, share and grow their skills. In a way the artist’s talent is like a seed: it has everything needed to become this beautiful blooming flower within itself, but it needs the right environment to allow it to grow. You can leave the seed on the counter to dry up and eventually die. This happens to a lot of young talented people who choose to take different path from drawing. Or you could put the seed in a glass of water, it’s okay, but it’s not the right environment for this seed to grow. Or you could plant it in a pot of fertile soil, water it and take care of it 🙂
I was looking for a job not particularly in the game industry, just as an illustrator of digital stuff (not designer, I know nothing about design), characters, people, chicks… I saw a job ad in one of those sites and I got so motivated, I drew for 3 days straight all day long (that was quite an achievement by then). I managed to put some okay drawings together in something like portfolio, edited my CV and sent them right after the job offer had expired 😀 I didn’t expect any calls or mails. After all look at what was in my portfolio :S It might look amazingly beautiful to some of you, but you have to see what REAL artists do… Totally unexpected, I got a call, lucky me.
THE REAL WORK
When I started, all I could do was girls and portraits (mostly of girls and old people). All I got to do there was houses and environments :D. Things I know nothing of. Sure we all see houses every day! And city environments, well, we live in them. But can you draw them if you have never tried before? Unless you are some genius with photographic memory, you can’t. I neither could I! I struggled a great deal those first months there, drawing only houses and environments with houses, they were all so ugly and I hated myself for not being able to do anything better and I started to hate getting up in the morning and going to the office to fail at my work for the rest of the day. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what I mean when I say “love/hate relationship” with my job. I didn’t hate the job itself. Oh, Throne, no! I LOVE my job! But I hated not being able to do it well.
Eventually I got the hang of it. And I’ve been drawing houses ever since September last year. I still suck at environments and fortunately people around me got this, so I don’t get to do them any more ^^. I made a handful of cartoony characters at some point (man, I hate cartoony! It’s ugly and most of the things actually creep me out with their disproportionate features), but that’s the closest I got to character design… Only this week the producers of the game I work on now asked me to draw some realistic female character and I’ve been living in a dream since then ^^. Now I am paid not only to draw all day long, I am paid to draw sexy chicks ^^ I love sexy chicks! I love my job even more now!
Tip of the day: always do some warm-up sketches before starting the actual work. It would save you a great deal of frustration.
See the first face? I didn’t so any warm up. At some point I cover it up so I won’t see it. That’s how much unhappy I am with it 😀 I decided to give each face not more than 10 minutes, but they each got around 15 and the last got 20 because time was up before I felt it was finished. If you want to see bigger resolutions of the images below, here is an imgur album.
Oh, and this is my “on vacation” set up. I won’t be at home for the weekend and I already miss my tablet :C