What’s your current job title, and what path did you take to get there?
I am currently a Jr Concept Artist at Industrial Light and Magic in London. I initially worked at Sony Music UK in social media marketing, but finally took the leap to make my career change into VFX!
I had NO idea of how to get into it or what it would really entail day to day, but I was willing and ready to put in the work to get there, so for me, the right path was to go back to university for a year to study. There was a great course I found in Dundee, Scotland which did a Masters in Animation and Visual Effects. Still one of the best decisions I've ever made.
Throughout my animation career I’ve found that there are some things I like animating more than others, for instance I love animating morphs making something really fluid and fun, where as I find realistic walk cycles less exciting as they’re so technical. I was interested to know what it is you like and how that relates to your work?
I've always loved creating, designing and drawing people. It's where my interest in art started when I was young. Watching lots of anime and other animated shows growing up I naturally started trying to create my own characters – its where I naturally gravitate to – my comfort zone so to speak! But as i've grown in my career i've worked on environment and experimented with other things and all of those have helped me grow as an artist over all.
What’s something unexpected you’ve learned as your career has progressed? This may be something that you’ve experienced in your personal pieces or within studios life.
Learning to let 'failure' be your friend – put that way it can sound really scary but it's really not!
Part of growing as an artist, at anything really is experiencing not getting it right each and every time, and through that you're able to learn so many new amazing things and you're able to grow too. The sooner you're able to become comfortable with it the easier your experience becomes growing within that field or skill.
Everyone has low points on jobs, and I feel it’s important to turn those low points into something we can learn from and grow with. Have you learnt something from a low point on a job that changed the way you worked?
I think this ties it with question 3 for me – especially when I first started out – I was terrified of getting something wrong, or not 'getting it right' the first couple of times – but that's part of the development process of what you're creating as growing as an artist. Also critique is to help the work and therefore the overall project. Also people are really really helpful especially in my department – we're always sharing ideas or tips especially with software or visual notes.
Tip of the month
Do you have a software tip that changed your world?
Photoshop is my best friend, and it was only last year that a colleague showed me that ALT + Right Click drag increases and decreases your Brush size (if you have Brush selected). For me, my mind was blown and it really helped with my painting workflow ha! It meant I wasn't stopping every second or so to click [ or ] to change the brush size! I bet everyone else knew about this already.
A few years back I was also given 2 amazing book recommendations which REALLY helped with my understanding of art fundamentals (colour, light, composition etc) and I still always refer back to them:
- Colour and Light by James Gurney
- Framed Ink by Marcos Mateu-Mestre (as an illustrator / comic artist, this one was especially amazing)