Wednesday, 30 March 2011

South Gent Studios and Emailing other artists

I got in contact with Beau, one of the people I worked with in 2009-2010, yesterday having a chat about how his project is going and if there are any other projects coming up.

The gentlemen has been in production a good while now. Started working in 2009, as ive said. When it comes to management, I was told they learned from their mistakes when making this game, as it was their first. I remember making about £3-£10 making various sheets like this:

I made tons of them over the summer, way over the hundreds. My work flow was brutal, but I was having so much fun making them. I remember not having to design concepts. The breif was pretty much " Make what ever you want, but like a 2D puppet". I even had to go back a year later and redraw their main character, and all the armors and weapons I had previously drawn. It was good because I was getting the first sort of pinch or reality. Id give my work in, get feed back, get my work back, work on it, give it back and eventualy get paied for it. When It came to monsters it was a little bit more relaxed. I think what they did was get me to produce a ton and than just cherry pick. Seems understandable.

Anyway, I asked about future projects and I was told that he would deffinatly use me for the next project. Hell, I am pretty cheep. I kind of whored myself saying I'll do any artwork again, it is a 2D game once more, more in the Zelda/ Alundra style. So im goign to have to up my game. I was than told about their current concept artist.
I've had no real contact with the others who have worked on that project, so I thought I would drop him an email and ask him what he thought of my portfolio so far, his experiance of the games industry and so on. As we've worked on a similar project and hes had more experiance, I thought it was a good idea. To be honest I think it was. I got some decent feedback.

Hi Tristan,

Thanks for taking your time to write me. I looked at your portfolio and your paintings are quite nice!
I can offer a few suggestions to improve upon. I think you need to keep in mind the reflected light cast by the sky or anything behind the object. For example in Nonobot, you already have the sense to use the blue of the sky as reflected light but I think you can push it more to turn the object a lil more. Another thing is texture in your paintings. the smoke/dust should have some texture so should the rocky cliffs. Last thing that would help any artist, including myself, is more research and reference. The man in the beetle inspired armor is a cool idea, but I think it falls a bit short because the beetle armor just looks kind of made up... For example, painting something like a door knob. Everyone thinks they know what a doorknob looks like, but without actual reference, you miss the details and lines that make the object so recognizable.

Oh one more thing is to work on your rendering of human skin... something I am horrible at, so I have no position to critize, but Im just saying this because I know its one of the hardest things to paint. Try to layer your colors for skin instead of just using a flesh tone and adding shadows/highlights. What I mean by layer is try to think about the skin translucency on diff parts of the body. The nose, cheeks, fingertips should have a red undertone. A male's face around the facial hair area should have a green undertone, even if shaved, there are bits of hair underneath the skin. The elbows and knuckles and knees should be a bit darker. etc.

Sorry if i wrote alot on what i think to improve on. Its easier to see what to improve on when the artwork is already good, so bits that are missing stick out. Meaning i think your artwork is good : )

As far as freelance goes, keep promoting yourself, right now you are first year, Id say concentrate on improving your craft for the next 2 years and dont worry about anything else. Build your portfolio in junior/senior year and also seek internships and networking. You should aim to finish your schoolwork 3months before grad, and use those 3 months to promote yourself like crazy... whoring yourself almost. Send out promos to potential clients, enter contests, books, submit your stuff to magazine showcase, attend conventions etc etc. Promotion goes a long way. and of course a proper website will right away make you look more like a pro.

Good luck!


James Ng
Freelance Concept Artist & Illustrator

I emailed him back saying thank's and Ill drop him an email again in my 3rd year. Either way. Handing my work to someone with more experiance, whos currently working freelance was a bit daunting, but now I've done it I feel alot more confidant I can do it again.
Ofcorse, first I need to improve my skills and make some stuning work.
He's right about me focusing on my work, but a little promotion here and there will help me in the long run I feel.
The goal for my summer is not to play games, but to make some top notch work for my portfolio.
Im going to whore my portfolio at EuroGamer.

1 comment:

  1. observation and research

    that's the success factor for visual design in a nutshell

    as no doubt Chris has said over and over again! nice to hear it from a neutral source though, eh?