Game Art BFA

Game Art BFA

Faculty & alumni

Faculty

Alumni

Gavin Rich

Chair of Game Art

Gavin was born and raised in an artsy little Victorian village hidden away in the redwoods of northern California. After taking some sculpture and drawing classes there was a strong pull to interactivity in art. With sculpture it forces the viewer to pace around the piece and view it from all angles but that wasn’t enough. This is when the idea to make games really solidified, absorbing a viewer into a whole world you have created is the ultimate interactive sculpture.
Gavin went to art school in San Diego to learn the basics of the craft and sought out any extra input, workshops and lectures he could get his hands on. Since then Gavin has interned at an offshoot of Rockstar, Done contract work on Rockband, and worked on many shipped, but even more unshipped titles at InXile Entertainment. During all of this, helping train those around him and sharing what he has learned, has been a constant theme.
Contact: grich@lcad.edu

Sandy Appleoff

Game Art faculty

MFA University of Kansas

I have always had an affinity for the creative process in every aspect from research to engineering the idea. Currently I am engaging the creative process in respect to curriculum development and designing the new Game Art major. This is undoubtedly the most humbling and yet the most rewarding work I have done thus far in my career. My background pretty much covers the gamut of visual communication. After completing my undergrad at Iowa State University I was hired by Hallmark Cards and from there I went headlong into advertising, both illustrating and designing for clients that ranged from small publishers to Fortune 500 companies. As an educator my career includes the Kansas City Art Institute Illustration Department, the University of Kansas Design Department and the Colorado Mountain College, Aspen Campus. It was late in the journey that I completed my MFA at the University of Kansas in Scenography. When possible I travel back to my studio on my family’s third generation farm in Nebraska as a part of my personal artistic process. My personal work is in watercolor. I would also have to say that one of my greatest joys is painting with my watercolor students out on the beach by the Montage here in Laguna. I believe every time our art steps forward, we as artists, in our own way, impress values and opinions and reflect the world as it sees itself through our work.

Contact: sAppleoff@lcad.edu

Lou Police

Full Time Instructor
Art Center College of Design

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maurice Noble once said: “All art is so connected that I do not see why one cannot
work in more than one line. Would it be selfish for me to go ahead and develop this
gift, a divine gift?.”
I graduated Art Center College of Design LA/Pasadena in 1978 with a BFA in
Illustration. Most influential instructors: Harry Carmean, Gregory Weir-Quiton, Vern
Wilson, Kathy Wirch, Ward Kimball, Herb Ryman and John Asaro.
Freelance illustration assignments include movie poster designs, book illustration,
magazine illustration, live action storyboarding and production art, matte painting,
advertising storyboards and comps, and fashion illustration.
Animation companies worked for: Ralph Bakshi Animation, Richard Williams
Animation Los Angeles, DIC, Cartoon Network, Warner Bros. Television, Warner Bros.
Feature, Walt Disney Television, Disney Toon Studios, Walt Disney Feature and Fox.
Responsibilities at these companies include: character design, background design,
background painting, storyboarding, visual development and art direction.
Western themed fine art gallery work represented by Trailside Galleries in Scottsdale,
AZ and Jackson Hole, WY.
Teaching experience: Art Center College of Design, Laguna College of Art and
Design, Cal Arts, Woodbury University and The Fashion Institute of Los Angeles.
To view my portfolio go to: loupolice.com

Kurt Papstein

Game Art ZBrush Instructor

Kurt Papstein

Creature / Concept Artist, Turtle Rock Studios

Kurt was born and raised behind the Redwood Curtain of Northern California, before moving to southern Orange County where he graduated with a BS degree in Game Art and Design. His work landed him a job at InXile Entertainment where he specialized in the conceptualization and sculpting of characters and creatures. Kurt currently works for Turtle Rock Studios as the lead creature artist and is often found at trade shows demoing new features for Pixologic’s ZBrush

For more of Kurt’s work, visit: http://www.ikameka.deviantart.com/

Don Ott

Art Institute of California - San Diego

 

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My name is Donald B. Ott II and I am a Prop Artist at High Moon Studios currently working on an unannounced project slated for release in 2010. After graduating high school, I joined the Marine Corps where I spent close to 8 years enlisted. After the Marines, I decided I wanted to get into the game industry and attended the Art Institute of California – San Diego where I received my Bachelors of Science degree in Video Game Art and Design.

When I first started school, I had no prior 3D experience at all before going and by the time I graduated I was top of my class and had various opportunities for employment. I have always had a passion for video games and consider myself very fortunate to get to work in such an amazing and exciting industry. My first job as a 3d artist was working at a Virtual Reality company developing treatment and simulation software for the United States military. From there I taught for close to two years at the Art Institute of California – Orange County. I decided to take a break from teaching to co-author the Autodesk 3ds Max 2010 Foundations for Games book. I’ve also authored other tutorials for Autodesk, as well as several video tutorials in my spare time focusing on 3ds Max software.

As far as my daily life goes, the role of a Prop Artist is to take the direction of both my Designers and Lead Artist to generate assets that would fit into the environments of the game. Occasionally my tasks can range from building placeholder meshes, to fixing issues with collision in the world, to creating giant environmental destructibles. As a Prop Artist, I am regularly expected to be flexible and shift gears depending on the requirements of the level, as I can spend several days or even weeks working on a high quality final piece of art for the game. More of my work and portfolio can be seen at www.donaldott.com

Contact: dOtt@lcad.edu

Kyle Kane

Art Center College of Design

I grew up in a small farm town in central Minnesota and discovered drawing while attending the University of Minnesota in my third year of college. I immediately shifted his studies from science to art and moved to California to attend the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. I was awarded a full scholarship in his fifth term of study and graduated in the fall of 2000. I was hired to teach drawing in the illustration program at Art Center early in 2001. Having studied with amazing teachers like Steve Huston, Vern Wilson, Dallas Good, Burne Hogarth, Harry Carmean, Richard Bunkel, Scott Robertson, and Mike Hussar, I feel as though teaching is my way of giving back to the world and I consider it my greatest accomplishment in life. I have freelanced as a designer and illustrator for several years as well. I have been involved with projects for Disney and Nickelodeon, as well as other companies in toys, games, and television.

Contact: kkane@lcad.edu

Becky Coker

Adjunct Faculty-Lighting and Textures

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As a local who grew up in the area, it wasn’t hard to focus my career on game art. The vibrant art community of Laguna Beach, the many local game studios, high school, after school digital and industrial art classes, all combined to provide a strong foundation for my future career choice. Originally, I studied biology, not art. 2 years into college, I discovered a very

important thing about education – what you learn should matter to you and your future.

I then enrolled at The Art Institute of California – Orange County to pursue my BS in Game Art and Design. There I learned the digital and conceptual basics needed to get in on the ground floor as an artist at Carbine Studios as a Texture Artist working on Wildstar.

My art career has since blossomed beyond the game industry. In addition to working as a texture artist and teaching, I do freelance in the hobbyist jewelry industry. My metal clay stamps are for sale on the Rio Grande website under my future married name, Rebecca Chung.

At home, I continue to practice more traditional art forms to expand my horizons as an artist in general. From traditional oils and water colors, lino block carving and printing, encaustics, to metal clay, I love discovering and learning new art mediums. I post many of my personal works up on Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/
RebeccaChungDesigns

Barry Jackson

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Production design credits include the Weinstein Co. feature film “Escape from Planet Earth,” and the Warner Bros. feature film, “The Ant Bully,”

Production design awards include the 2011 Telly Award, as well as a Annie Award nomination for his production design on the Cartoon Network CG feature film, “Firebreather.

Other screen credits include concept art for the all-digital feature, “Horton Hears a Who,” from 20th Century Fox. , “The Nightmare before Christmas,” from Disney, “Shrek” and “The Prince of Egypt” from DreamWorks, Ron Howard’s “The Grinch” from Universal.

Writing credits include his first children’s book “Danny Diamondback” from Harper Collins, as well serving as writer/director of storyboards and animatics for two and a half years at Electronic Arts. His book and screenplay, “Danny Diamondback” has been optioned and funded as a CG feature.

While working as a concept artist, matte painter, and After Effects compositor at Yu and Co, his art can be seen in the opening title sequence to “The Great and Powerful Oz” starring James Franco, and the opening credit sequence to the television series “Leftovers.”

Prior to his film career Barry worked in the record business with such names as Neil Young, The Grateful Dead, The Band, and ZZ Top.

 

Bill Perkins

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During the last 30 years has worked in the animation and film industry on over 33 films, TV shows, DVDs, short films, and video games. His involvement has ranged from art director, production designer, visual development, layout artist, to storyboard artist. He began his film career as a layout artist at Walt Disney Feature Animation on Oliver and Co. and continued on a string of hits Including Little Mermaid, and Beauty and the Beast, and lead layout on the critically acclaimed Rescuers Down Under. As art director on Aladdin, Bill developed the first comprehensive style guide to unify the drawing style of the environments and characters, and solidify the overall continuity of the film. He left Disney during Fantasia 2000 after the Pines of Rome sequence. In 1994, Bill moved on to Warner bros. to do visual development and art direct Jam. Shortly after it’s completion he began doing visual development for DreamWorks on Shrek, and then moved to San Francisco to be the production designer on Frankenstein for ILM. When the project cancelled Bill returned to Moorpark California and opened High Street Studio as an independent preproduction and design studio with clients including Walt Disney Feature Animation, DNA Productions, Character Builders, and Disneytoon studios. In 2005 he worked jointly with the 9th Ray Studios on live action projects such as Outlander (Ascendant Films), The Spiderwick Chronicles and Charlotte’s Web (Paramount). In 2007 Bill rejoined Walt Disney Animation Studio and worked on Bolt, Prep and Landing I and II, Tangled, Frozen, Zootopia and art directed A Tick Tock Tale. He currently works as art director at Disneytoons Studio on an upcoming project.

Brynn Metheney

Part-Time Faculty

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Brynn was raised in the High Desert of California and moved to the Bay Area in 2006. She attended California College of the Arts and Crafts and received her BFA in Illustration with High Distinction. Brynn specializes in creature design, fantasy illustration and visual development for publishing, film and games. She’s worked with a variety of clients including, Wizards of the Coast, EuropaCorp, Dark Horse Comics, Disney Publishing, Bethesda Softworks, WIRED Magazine and more. Brynn’s work has been featured in Spectrum: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art as well as Imagine FX Magazine. She lives and works in Oakland, California. Currently; her favorite animal is the warthog.

Kenny Carvalho

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Kenny Carvalho is currently an Art Recruiter at Riot Games. Kenny has been in the games industry for over 14 years. After graduating from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale in computer animation, he started an independent game company called Parasytic Moon where he worked with talented developers on an unreleased title, Dissonance: Days of Anathema. After the closure of Parasytic Moon, he joined Thomas Buscaglia, a game attorney, where he learned much about the business side of the games industry. From there, Kenny discovered recruiting at GameRecruiter.com. At this recruiting firm, Kenny began to learn the importance of building solid game teams and networking with developers around the world. That role took Kenny to his next adventure, working at Blizzard Entertainment where he recruited primarily artists for all the game and cinematic teams at the studio. He later went on to become a Character Art Manager on Blizzard Entertainment’s Next Gen MMO project before heading to Riot Games. At Riot Games, Kenny has moved back into doing what he is most passionate about and that is recruiting artists, being part of the art community while helping up­and­coming art talent reach their goals.

 

Hong Chan Lim

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Hong is Character Artist at Blizzard Entertainment working on Overwatch. He earned a BFA in 3D Graphics and Technology at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago. After starting his career making Superman Returns for Electronic arts back in 2005, he continued working and shipped three console games. Soon he moved his career to NCsoft Corp. (Carbine Studios) to help build the MMO project Wildstar as Senior Cinematic/Marketing Artist. After shipping Wildstar, but before moving to Blizzard Entertainment, Hong was Lead Character Artist at Amazon.com inc. working on amazon’s unannounced next-gen Game. Hong’s main objective is to assist a core group of developers in the creation of quality 3D Design with a distinctive and impressive artistic style. Hong specializes in 3D modeling and texture painting, posing, lighting, Rendering and Post Effects for Games, Cinematic, and Marketing.

Ira Owens

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Ira Owens has 12 years under his belt in Previs, Cinematics and 3D Layout in the Animation and Gaming Industry working on feature film, television series, and gaming. He received his BFA in Animation and helped found the Animation Club at the Laguna College of Art & Design. He was among the second graduating class in his major. Ira currently works as a Senior Cinematics Artist at Monolith Productions in Kirkland, Washington, and has worked on such projects as The Boxtrolls for LAIKA, Halo 4 for Microsoft’s 343 Industries, The Clone Wars for Lucasfilm Animation. Most recently he headed up the Previs department on Kubo and the Two Strings for LAIKA (to be released Fall 2016). Ira is most passionate about his family, storytelling, camerawork, and equipping people with the right tools and training to perform their jobs to the best of their ability. He looks forward to training up the next class of students for excellence in film and story.

Rob Martin

Rob Martin

Rob Martin has worked in the game industry for over 10 years. He is currently a Lead User Interface Designer working on an unannounced project at Amazon Game Studios. Previously he worked at Carbine as a Lead UI Designer on Wildstar (PC) and before that was a UI Designer at Blizzard Entertainment where he worked on Diablo III: Reaper of Souls (PC, Console), Diablo III (PC, Console) and StarCraft 2 (PC).

James Finley

Scripting

 

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James comes from an unlikely background; born unto a family of medical professionals deep in the heart of the Inland Empire of California, he doesn’t strike a picture that the industry is too familiar with. Developing an early passion for video games and their immersive capacity for story-telling, his every move has been towards becoming a games development professional. Today, James is a senior software engineer and CEO for Broken Circle Studios, a third party development that specializes in entertainment and mobile technologies. With his Master’s Degree in Software Engineering from Cal State Fullerton, as well as over a decade of experience teaching at a variety of art and technology schools throughout Southern California, James takes pride in combining the structure and rigors of computer science and the creative spontaneity of the video game industry. From small start-ups to massive enterprises, from serious to silly, and from public to secretive, James finds that with every client comes a new opportunity to learn and express his talents.

Patrick Raines

Part-time Instructor

Art Center College of Design

 

A graduate of Art Center College of Design, Patrick has contributed to various fields of entertainment art. He has done Concept Art, Layout and Illustration for Animation, Television, Game and Print Media projects. He is currently a Background Designer on South Park: The Stick of Truth at Obsidian Entertainment, and Visual Development instructor at Kazone Art Academy. Patrick especially enjoys teaching and mentoring aspiring artists in these disciplines. His passion for art and design is expressed by personal example, foundation lessons, and through collaboration with enthusiastic rising artists. He is greatly enriched by joining the journey of hard working students, striving for excellence and true personal expression.

Kevin Duong

Laguna College of Art and Design BFA: Game Art 2012

My name is Kevin Duong and in 2008, I started attending LCAD as a Game Art Major with an emphasis in 3D modeling for games. I found that during my time here, I learned the necessary skills required to succeed in the game industry, and was able to network with a number of influential teachers and industry professionals.

Since graduating in May of 2012, I have been working as an Associate 3D Artist at High Moon Studios located in Carlsbad. My job title entails the creation of 3D environmental / interactive props which populate various levels throughout the respected game. As the new consoles arrive, my responsibilities have broadened to optimizing models and textures to ensure that the game will be capable of running efficiently on both current- generation and next -generation consoles. I must always take technical limitations into account , while consistently upholding the artistic standards of the Intellectual Property.

My first shipped title was Deadpool (June 25th 2013)
I am currently working on an unannounced Activision title for HMS.

For more of my work, please visit: www.kevinduongart.com

David Robert Donatucci

Bachelor of Architecture with distinction – Film and Theatre minors

Art Director – Double Helix Games (Foundation 9 Entertainment)

 

David Robert Donatucci is an art director with a passion for architecture, film and theatre. Always mindful of drama and staging, Bob has worked in the computer entertainment industry for 20 years. With a strong architectural background gained while studying and working in Rome, Italy and New York City, he began his career in his native Canada designing environments for motion based simulation rides.

Featured in various industry articles, Bob has also lent his talent as a guest lecturer and architecture critic at Carleton University School of Architecture and the University of Waterloo. Most recently as a professor at Laguna College of Art and Design, he teaches architecture visualization to a new breed of artists.

Bob currently resides in Southern California and draws on his extensive knowledge of architectural style and geographic locations to breathe life and a credible history into the worlds he has conceptualizes and creates for next gen platforms at Double Helix Games (Foundation 9 Entertainment).

His most recent game is the much anticipated Killer Instinct launching on Xbox ONE.

Bobby Hernandez

Part Time Faculty

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Digital Painting and Character Design

Bobby Hernandez, originally from Dallas, Tx, moved out to California to pursue a career in the entertainment industry doing what he loves. He has worked in various fields from Animation to Video Games, creating Heroes, Villains, Monsters and the worlds in which they live! As a graduate of LCAD, he has had the opportunity to work for places such as Cartoon Network and Obsidian Entertainment. As the world around him gets older, he hopes to continue to pursue a life in his personal Neverland of animation, video games and imaginary worlds.

Nousha Emami

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Nousha Emami is an artist, designer, architect and educator. She is the founder of 6° Design | Build Studio, an experimental design and research practice based in Southern California. She received her Bachelor of Science from State University of New York at Buffalo, Masters of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a Masters of Architecture from University of California Los Angeles. She has worked at a number of  film production studios such as Pixar Animation Studios, Sony Image Works, Blue Sky | VIFX, Tippet Studios, Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, etc; as a Technical Director, Visual Effects Artist and Animator.Nousha Emami was recently nominated as one of the top three finalists in an intentional urban art competition, Freedom: A Shared Dream, along with Cecil Balmond and Owen Morrel.Her design research is one that explores the integration between architecture, animation and cinematography, with an extensive consideration for form and space, using digital design technology.

Justin Schutt

JustinSchutt_Biophoto

Justin set out from his home state of Michigan when he realized he wanted to pursue a career in video game art. He moved out to California to study at LCAD and received a BFA in Game Art with an emphasis in concept art.  He currently works as an art director at ZQGame, a mobile game publisher.  Working with a small team of artists, they collaborate with a wide variety of developers on many aspects including art style, character design, illustration, UI, etc.  Justin accredits the USC game projects for helping to form a broad understanding of the production pipeline, and great instructors who have acted as mentors in providing him the tools to continue to grow upon graduation.

Daniel Cuatt

My internship at Obsidian would not have been possible without the foundation I received at LCAD. It is a tremendous honor to be working at a studio with such a long legacy of excellent art and storytelling. Every day is a learning experience, not just of the tools of the trade, but of following through with teamwork, asking the right questions, and even helping others, however rarely. Thankfully, LCAD has primed me for all of these. I look forward to a bright future ahead of me at Obsidian, and I can’t wait to ship my first game!

Jessica Dinh

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Since graduation, I have been working at Blizzard as a dungeon artist on World of Warcraft, modeling and texturing for dungeons, raids, and other points of interest. In my free time, I like to do other art and crafty things, like play piano, make soap, do archery, figure drawing, and painting. I draw inspiration for my art from all of these things, but I’m especially inspired by music and my hiking/camping adventures—I love nature and organic things! I am also greatly inspired by the artists who work around me, as well as by artists who work in other

Allan Huang

As part of the graduating class of 2010, I jumped on board the Game Art track once Sandy introduced it to the school. It was definitely one of the best decisions I could have ever made. After graduating I collaborated with a game jam team from USC and from there moved to Konami as a 2D artist. Without a doubt, I wouldn’t be where I am today without the Game Art program.

The desire to learn new things is one of the biggest driving forces behind my work. When it comes to art I feel like there’s so many different aspects of art that needs to be learned, and that I must grasp the basics of each. The same applies to things I like to do in my personal time. What may start out extremely hard for me in the beginning, diligent work alway brings a success that is my own. I also apply the same concept to when I play games as well such as League of Legends!

Ariel Fain

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Born and raised in northern California, just 30 minutes away from the capital, my life started with a lot of time on my hands. Being home schooled gave me the chance to really focus on my art and allow more time for gaming—in fact, I learned all of my creativity from games, cartoons, and animated films. I started at Laguna College of Art and Design as a Game Art major with an emphasis in character concept art, but my focus changed quickly when I was introduced to 3D. Before the second half of my senior year, I entered Blizzard’s World of Warcraft student character contest, where I landed first place. This gave me the opportunity to receive an internship on the character team. Right after the internship ended, I started as a regular employee.

Nicole Tan

I am currently working as a 3D environments artist at Crystal Dynamics. I have had a lifelong passion for both art and video games, but it wasn’t until I started attending LCAD that I resolved to bring those passions together into a career. With the skills honed through my education at LCAD, I was able to land a position as a contract environment artist for the Tomb Raider team, and was quickly hired on as a full time artist. On Tomb Raider, I primarily worked on the hub units doing asset construction, material work, world building, lighting, and optimizations. I also worked on several side tomb units, constructing one of them as the sole artist entirely from beginning to end, in tandem with a designer. I am excited to now be working on a sequel to the successful Tomb Raiderreboot. It has been an incredible experience working with the team at Crystal Dynamics, and I feel very fortunate for being a part of such a talented group. They are a constant source of motivation and inspiration for me. I am ever thankful for all of the instructors and classmates at LCAD who helped put me on the path to such a rewarding career, and look forward to seeing how the next generation of LCAD students help shape the visuals of the game industry.

Bryant Koshu

Greetings! My name is Bryant Koshu.

Here, I trained both in 2D and 3D field. The time I spent in LCAD has definitely helped me to become the personI am today. During my senior year, I was fortunate to intern at Yellow Tracksuit Entertainment (YTE) as a concept artist. Upon graduation, I was hired full time at (YTE). We outsourced projects from companies such as Mattel, Dreamworks, Hasbro, and Spinmaster doing movies, cartoons, and product designs. Some of the IPs I worked on was Bakugan, Max Steel, and Turbo. After 2 years at YTE, I transferred to Konami Digital Entertainment, and currently working on mobile and social games. Some of the title we worked on are MLB Dream Nine, and Dragon Collection. Both games, I was a concept artist. We are currently working on a new title that will come in near future, and I can’t wait for it to be announced!

Tina Wang

I graduated from Laguna College of Art and Design with the class of 2010 and interned at Red 5 Studios before joining Blizzard Entertainment. Having played MMORPGs and Blizzard games since childhood, I’m really living my dream by building environments for World of Warcraft. The first published game I worked on was World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria. I would say I’m most inspired by nature, and in my spare time I love to hike and rock climb in between gaming.

To the budding artists: if you are dissatisfied with your art, don’t be discouraged! It’s when you’re no longer critical of your own work that you stop improving.

Javier Lazo

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I was born and raised in Miami pursuing art in Magnet programs from elementary until high school. I relocated to California for college and attended LCAD landing in the Game Art program as one of the first students to sign up. I graduated specializing in concept art with a heavy emphasis onenvironments. I worked as a freelancer briefly and then got hired at Electronic Arts working for Maxis as a concept artist. Some of my responsibilities at  axis were generating environment paintings, designing props, exploring both architecture and furniture styles, and making art documents for the Sims division. I currently work at Visceral Games where I continue to apply  my craft as a concept artist. The project I’m on allows me to do more environment paintings and gives me the opportunity to learn from veteran artists from the film industry. I couldn’t be happier working in games as a concept artist. The work is fun, engaging, and it pushes your limits as an artist. Outside of the office, I often continue to invest my time doing personal art. But on certain days when the tide and wind conditions are ideal, I’ll spend my time fishing with a friend or two.