Friday, 30 April 2010

J'ai fini

So here we are!  All done and dusted.

What an experience! This course has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. I have learned so much in the space of a  year that I can barely recognise myself.

I think the thing that has made this course so successful is the passion. Both the tutors and the students are just bursting with ambition, it really begins to rub off on you. I have enjoyed visual design the most. What I have learned has helped  me endlessly in improve my technique and speed. Just having the constant pressure to draw more has been a pleasure. I love to draw! I never realised how rewarding sketching thumbnails could be!

Product design has been a battle, but oh boy was it worth it. The bin was a nightmare, it took me days and days to work out how to texture the bugger. Now I have the ability to build a gladiator… and a house… anything I want really. I can honestly say I am looking forward to creating my own projects over the summer. I still have a very long way to go, but I am up for the challenge. Bring it on!

Critical studies have been a welcome break. I have learnt a lot about self discipline, motivation and inspiration from those little Wednesday sessions. Each one has left me feeling invigorated, and filled with a new passion to get on with it. The blogs (in the end) have become a joy to write. I can feel my self easing into them more now, they are no longer a chore.

So what would I change? I am happy with the balance of traditional and digital art - it is up to the student which path they take for any given project. I wouldn't mind seeing some more tutorials for both though. I am still a complete novice at digi painting and I intend on doing online tutorials over the summer. My traditional painting will always need improvement, all of it is self taught and I have no idea if I am using the stuff correctly.

I would love to see more game production tutorials on Blackboard. When I get stuck, it is a pain to have to spend hours looking up tips on the internet, or having to wait to go into uni to talk to a fellow student. But that could just be me being lazy and impatient. I think in the future I may record Heathers tutorials on my phone, so I can refer back to them at any time. When I tried taking written notes, it just confused me even more!

I LOVE the idea of more sculpting. That has been one of the highlights of my year, I never would have though I would enjoy it so much! I feel like it is a graceful balance between VD and PD – it helped me get my head around the 3D space in max. I enjoyed it thoroughly, and would love to get my hands stuck in even more :D

Overall it has been a fantastic year. I have grown in leaps and bounds; both with my work, and personally. I have met inspiring people, and look forward to another year surrounded by them again.


Thank you to all of those who have supported me when things got rough…

You will probably never realise how much impact those kind words had on me. They meant an awful lot.

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Week off? Lets look up at the sky.

This cosmic beauty is the constellation Cassiopeia. The striking colours you see are glowing gas and dark dust clouds.

According to the source, this picture would span about 70 light-years across. Mind blowing don’t ya think?


Game Developers Conference


Designing for Co-Operative Play in an Open World

Speaker: David Bowring (Designer, Volition)

I have always been intrigued about this concept. I can imagine trying to incorporate co-op in a sandbox game must be pretty difficult. The potential is very exciting though…

The Psychology of Game Design (Everything You Know Is Wrong)

Speaker: Sid Meier (Director of Creative Development, Firaxis Games)

I find gaming psychology ever so interesting. I want games to mess with my head, they need to be more clever and creative!

Rising to the Top: How to Land a Triple-A Job

Speaker: Tim Johnson (Recruiter/HR Generalist, Epic Games), TJ Summers(Senior Partner, Digital Artist Managment), Kevin Fanning (Manager of Strategic Staffing, Harmonix), Jeanette Ercila (Manager, Recruitment & Programs, Disney Interactive Media Group)

For obvious reasons…

Five Ways a Video Game Can Make You Cry

Speaker: Richard Rouse III (Narrative Director, Ubisoft Montreal)

Another fascinating topic. Games have so much potential to create intense emotion, especially in the realm of characters. I get easily attached to characters though, so getting a little misty eyed is a common occurrence for me. Not recently though… I haven't been attached to a character since ICO.

A peek into the future…


So what do I want to get out of university?


When I was doing my A-levels, and then my foundation, all of my friends had plans to go on to university. I was the only one who hated the idea. I was terrified of leaving home, I couldn't imagine living away from my parents and friends and did not want to share my kitchen with dirty students. So now I sound all snooty  and spoilt, but hey, I’m just telling the truth.

I sat down and looked at job prospects… in Dunstable. Oh boy, did my mind do a U-turn. The thought of working in Asda for the rest of my life made me feel sick to the stomach and to be frank, Dunstable is a dump. So I want a better future. How can I make that happen? By being as employable as I possibly can be. Which leads on to my next point…

I want to be in an industry where I can be creative. To be honest, I just want to draw. I picked a game art course because it had the most potential to make my portfolio accessible for a range of employers. I haven’t got my heart set on the games industry, as of yet. Don't get me wrong, the games industry sounds like an incredible place to work. The creativity needed is just astounding, and I love the thought of working with like minded individuals… But at the moment I am happy trying to be the best I can be. If that leads me into another creative job, you won’t hear me complaining.

tumblr_kyxfjxkZv51qzdeblo1_400To do this, I know I need to put my all in. I want to take this opportunity and run with it. I want to build my confidence in both my work, and myself. I want to be able to work efficiently, and create my own distinctive style.

So many wants…

I feel like I have so much potential. I am really excited tbh.


Hoo hum, hello again; you diverse unspecific topic.

Last Autumn/Winter, I visited the wood’s near my house. I became utterly inspired by the Autumnal leaves, playing around in the piles made me feel like a child again. I scrambled around, fussily choosing my favourite leaves from the fallen. When I took them back home I got all messy making a collage. The whole process of that adventure felt spontaneous and creative, but in the end I was left with a picture much like the ones I used to bring back from nursery.

(I realised whilst typing the last paragraph that rolling around in leaves is pretty childish and probably shouldn’t be mentioned, but bare with me… I have a point)

I recognise that creative routine in a lot of games. The whole process of creating a game must involve a huge amount of ambition and creativity, but often the end result is disappointing. In my previous, I moaned about the lack of creativity in modern games. But I take that back. I now think they just lack individuality… or at least a decent dose of fairy dust.

I have a little bee under my bonnet. Why are we creative? Why are others uncreative? Is there such a thing as being uncreative? These questions create a rather large temptation to peer into the depths of our past; and then to point the finger at our education.

I have heard others question why we are taught science and maths in school. Often these people have a more creative flare then most… and at a wild guess may not be too hot on their sciences. I can see where this is all coming from. We need something/someone to blame for trouble we had learning in school. But in terms of that altering our creativity… well I couldn’t disagree more.

Science opens up the world. Without maths we would have no science. If we are only taught artistic subjects from day dot, how overwhelmed would our tiny brains be by a simple phenomenon. To be educated in only art would be ridiculous. Think how limited our imagination would be if we knew nothing about the world we lived in, had no understanding about how something works. I feel thankful for all of the little snippets of information I learnt from school. I just wish I had paid more attention at the time.

As Einstein once said “The true purpose of education is to train  the mind to think.” And game artist’s will always need to think.


Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Molehill Mountain

Had a great mini lecture from Chris today about the importance of creating relationships in art. All too often I just draw what I see, which is great for observational studies, but lacks creativity and spark. In order to draw a viewer in, and to really stand out, a picture needs to tickle all the senses. Lighting, colour and positioning are all really important - not just getting the shapes down on paper.

I have been struggling with my VD vehicle design project. I am not a big fan of vehicle design, and as I keep at it, the more the reluctance  is revealing itself. It feels like I am just churning out the same stagnant shapes, which is becoming rather uninspiring. It’s very tempting to think ‘blast it!’ and just spew out a half arsed drawing…

This is a good time to display perseverance and self discipline…


The Chris talk helped me feel a little more motivated. I have decided to re-do the whole project, perhaps stealing some shapes from some of my very first thumbnails. This seems daunting, as we have little time left, but I want to create a final for this project that I am at least a little proud of…

So now to put the plan in to action!

Monday, 12 April 2010

Saturday, 10 April 2010


I love feeling the sun warming my neck as I work. I have the door open beside me, the smell of cut grass is heavenly.

Hello again, Summer. I sure have missed you...


Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Kuroshio Sea

This chills me out every time. I love aquariums.


Recently, I’ve been a-thinkin’…

I treated my first term very seriously. Everything that was asked of me I took on. My work was in on time, blogs up to date, and I had a high attendance. I had a brilliant balance of work and play, managed to make friends and kept in touch with my family too. I felt like university, and this course, was the best choice I have ever made.

The term just been however, went frightfully wrong. I slipped in to a massive bout of depression, and shrugged off everyone who tried to consol me. I had a rough time at home, fell out with my flatmates and my uni life was put on hold whilst I spent masses of time at home, trying to fix things that were out of my grasp. My weekends no longer became relaxing, as I rushed down the motorway trying to ease the guilt I suddenly felt about not being available. I took on a lot of pressure that was not my responsibility and felt all the worse for it.

I lost my creative flare. I think I lost myself for a while.

As the term drew to a close, I felt sick of all aspects of my life. I could see nothing bright for the future and felt like a useless ball of anxiety. After a lecture, I found myself alone with time to kill. I went to town, and sat in a coffee shop with a hot chocolate for an hour, just thinking. I couldn’t believe I was letting something I could not change ruin my future. So what if the world is giving me hell right now, I can show strength just by getting on with it. I can’t bear people who moan about something in their life, but are unwilling to change anything. So it was there, alone, that I decided to fuck the world, and live for myself. I walked home literally beaming.

Since that day I have felt a new lease of energy. It’s like I reached my limit break and am now releasing all of my pent up emotions through my work.

It feels kind of… fantastic.