Hi! I don’t know if my life is interesting enough to warrant adding yet another blog to the Internet over it, but time will tell.
I’m a 24-year-old artist – I’ve been drawing and making a mess of fingerpaint since I was a toddler. Aside from keeping myself fed and warm, finding a way to make a career out of art is my biggest goal in life! I graduated in 2006 with a BFA in Game Art & Design from the Illinois Institute of Art in Schaumburg, IL. Looking back, I wish I’d started this blog when I was a student, because then at least I’d have a steady stream of weird stuff to mention in every entry! In any case, my schooling was enjoyable. I made many good friends and learned an incredible amount of art-related skills.
Shortly after graduating I found myself gainfully employed at a small game company that creates DS, PC, and Flash-based games. Within a few weeks of being hired, word got out that I could not only pump out art, but write game script as well, and for the last 2 years now I’ve been balancing a number of game-creating responsibilities, ranging from writing design documents to creating game script to building menus and interfaces. I even met the love of my life, Jim, at this company, and to whom I’m getting married in October.
I’ve learned some nifty things at this job, like ActionScript and event scripting, and I’ve seen a lot of “game industry” action. I’m very proud of the games I’ve worked on: I was lead designer and lead scripter (well, only scripter) on Julie Finds a Way. I was lead artist and co-lead designer for Kit Mystery Challenge! (no, I don’t get to name these things. Sigh.) I even got called in to rapidly replace as much of the art as I could in the final weeks of Homie Rollerz. I painted maps, I recreated level art, I retextured everything in sight – it was an amazing 2 weeks! I’ve also worked on Tonka: On the Job PC (scripting, art assets), My Little Pony Pinkie Pie’s Party (design), My Little Pony – The Runaway Rainbow (scripting).
But here’s the catch! In covering so many different roles, I seem to have fallen off the path towards becoming a full-time artist. I haven’t done art much lately: it’s not that there hasn’t been any to go around, it’s just that other tasks have been more pressing. It’s easy to outsource art, not so easy to outsource asset management and development organization. It’s a small company, and if you have a wide range of skills, you get to use them all (even at the expense of not doing tasks you might enjoy more). We have full-time artists who come and go (I’ve outlasted 4 of them now!), and their speciality tends to be art, and only art.
So… I’ve decided that it’s time to try something new. The goal of this blog is to write about my experiences in becoming a professional artist. I’m always doodling or painting something in my spare time, but I want to take it even further and make it my full-time job at some point in my life. In the next few months I intend to update my print portfolio, assemble a new demo reel, and do whatever it takes to find a promising new job. I’ll post WIPs, stories from work, and general updates on how the job search is going. I hope you find this blog enjoyable to read, and maybe even find it inspirational. Enjoy!