I got my first professional job at 17 in 2016 for the now defunct Bosskey productions, a year later after just finishing high school I started at DNEG and have been there since.
Concept artist at DNEG from Oxfordshire, currently base in United Kingdom with 3 years of industry experience.
My main working tools are Photoshop, Maya, Zbrush, Keyshot, Moi3d and Marvelous designer
What led you intto the CGI/3D? Tell us your story.
When I was 6, Halo 2 had just come out and I stumbled across some concept art in an old xbox magazine, ever since that day I had a fascination with the art side of development, but obviously at the age I had no idea about the industry behind it. Fast forward 8 years and I stumbled across an FZD youtube video which really kickstarted me into religiously painting/drawing everyday, learning all the softwares I could get my hands on and finding all the information I required on the internet.
Where do you go to get inspired? What/Who inspires you?
I tend to get inspired by the people I surround myself with. At the start of my journey I was lucky enough to meet people like Edon Guraziu, Efflam mercier, Leon Tukker and Tyler Thull. Everyday we’d be in google hangouts for hours working and critiquing each other’s designs. It inspired me to watch them all go from unknown artist to working on the absolute top AAA game productions and movies, so of course I had to follow suit and work as hard they did so I wouldn’t get left behind in terms of skill.
How does a typical working day look like?
A typical working day starts with the journey into central London, sometimes I’ll be doing some sketching or whatever I please on the train to mentally warm up for the day. I work the usual 9-6 so it’s a fairly structured routine of making sure everything I need to do on the day is prepped the day before so I’m always ready to take on the days brief. I then jump in, turn on the music/podcasts and execute the day.
What does your workplace look like?
My workplace is fairly modern/clean in terms of design, nothing too cluttered. The occasional bit of rustic stone work furnishes some of the building.
How do you stay motivated in this industry?
I personally find staying motivated is fairly easy if you love what you do, however motivation is fleeting and sometimes it’s more important to have discipline in what you’re doing. As discipline never fails you. The industry may be tough but it’s not impossible to make it. I also view the industry as more of an uphill journey, sure sometimes it’s tough and perhaps in your early development you may want to give up, but as long as you keep moving one foot at a time you will reach the peak.
What is your passion beside CGI/3D
Beside CG and Concept art, I’m also in the British army reserves (I’m a Rifleman for 7RIFLES/London Regiment) being in the Army is the diametric opposite to the sedentary lifestyle of a Concept artist. You have to be passionate and disciplined about the fitness side of life, I personally LOVE weight lifting, however having to do a full work day and then 2-3 hours of weights/Cardio almost everyday does get a bit grating after a while. But the rewards outweigh the negatives for sure.
How do you keep your portfolio up to date? Any tips?
I make sure to just keep an eye on the trends of the industry, make sure your work is always improving with the direction the industry is headed (I.E you should learn 3D as it’s a must these days) now this isn’t to say just copy and regurgitate the top artists setting these trends, just be aware of the quality and ideas they’re pushing. Also most importantly do what you enjoy doing, do it well and people will come looking for you and your work.
What Software do you use to create your artwork?
All the software I listed earlier haha.
I really need to learn Octane, keyshot is ok but it really lacks the realism that Octane offers, keyshot is great for products/industrial design. But it really lacks the features needed for environment rendering. So that’s definitely next on my list.
Which books would you recommend to the read?
I’d recommend sci-fi/dystopian classics like 1984 or Perdido street station by China mieville if you’re looking for good Novella. Basically just head to any bookstore and look at everything sci-fi as they’ll probably only have the greats of the genre anyway. But design books id say Scott Robertson has a great range of work. He has all the knowledge a beginner-intermediate artist needs.
What music do you listen to while working?
The music I listen to tends to change based on the projects I’m working on, ill use music to set the mood while i’m working on the project. That being said the majority of the time I listen an assortment of genres, at the moment I’m on a rap binge so that’s a lot of SCARLXRD, ski mask the slump god, BROCKHAMPTON, Bones and all the underground stuff I can find.
Any advice for new Artists?
My best advice I can offer is start your journey now, work smart more than hard, find a side passion so you don’t burnout and surround yourself with people that are happy to tell you when your work sucks, get involved in the community.