Hello, my name is Jen. It’s good to meet you too, reader.
I’m from a small town in Bedfordshire, about an hour and a half’s drive from Leicester, although I’m currently living in student halls.
I’ve always had an interest in art, something I presume almost everyone on this course has in common. My interest in following it as a career was sparked from watching the ‘behind the scenes’ special features in movies, most notably the three Lord of the Rings movies. I was fascinated with the process that took simple sketches of an idea and brought them to life, whether it was through the extensive sets, the props, or characters and scenery made entirely with CGI. I also began scouring the Internet for articles, concept art and videos about the process behind some of my favourite games.
I actually looked at several animation courses while I was hunting through universities, and the idea of doing a course specifically in game art didn’t originally occur to me. It was pure chance that I was looking into the animation course next door, and wandered into the game art room for the afternoon presentation. In hindsight, I’m glad I chose this course rather than any of the animation courses I looked into; I have much more of an interest in games than in film.
I enjoy horror movies, particularly psychological thrillers. I also enjoy reading fantasy series, particularly ones that flesh out an entire alternative world, for instance the Lord of the Rings series, but also less conventional fantasy such as the Mortal Engines series by Phillip Reeve.
After two years of using traditional media during Art A-level, over this coming year I look forward to developing new skills specific to the course, such as using 3D software more effectively and learning how to texture my models, something which I have no experience with. With the help of constructive feedback and criticism I’ll continue improving my 2D art, refining the technical aspects of drawing such as composition and perspective.
Over the next few years, I hope to improve my artwork to the point where I’m at a sufficient standard to get a job in the games industry. My ideal job will always be something where I’m using my artistic skills. I’m not sure yet whether I’ll find a specific part of the industry I’ll decide to specialise in, but hopefully the practical work I’ll do during the course will help me discover what I’m good at, and which aspects I enjoy the most.
I looked at a few different job specifications, and no matter what the specific description of the job – character artist, environment artist, etc, - they all emphasise the importance of the same skills; familiarity with Photoshop, a 3D program (usually 3Ds Max) and the ability to produce photorealism in both 2D and 3D. These are all skills I hope to develop over the next three years.