Team Focus – NeoN Jul 12 - TheFeelTrain
Q: Who are you? What do you do here at Installation 01?
A: Hey there! You may see me floating around from time to time on the public discord, I am one of the concept artists here designing environments for installation 01. I mainly focus on props and paintover-templates for our 3D modelers to use for constructing the ingame architecture.
Q: Have we seen any of your work so far? Or are you working on things still under wraps?
A: Only my landscape seen on “my” weekly update (when I had joined in March), other than that everything else is currently under the surface. I hope to continue with more projects, and see the reaction from the community toward the final models.
Q: You might even see your concepts as profile banners soon™. So what made you want to be a concept artist? Have you been doing this for a long time or are you just getting started?
A: Very nice! Well I have been into the “arts” since I was about age four, or so, but I believe in the recent years I finally saw being an artist wasn’t just a fantasy. I love video games, and the entire flow that makes them possible. It’s like a magic trick to be capable to draw something and hear the awe in people's’ voices. I have only been a concept artist officially for a few months, Installation 01 is my first team. I will continue to pursue the trade and hopefully get better as I go along to amaze more and more people into being inspired to become artists of their own.
Q: Purse the trade… Does that mean you don’t plan on getting some kind of art degree? Do you think getting one would help become a big-time concept artist?
A: I have to research and talk with more professionals to get the full scope of the importance of a degree. Then again, it’s just that, a degree. It proves you sat through the classes for a more solid foundation which gets you to be “qualified”. Art in itself for every artist is discovering how it can be channeled through themselves onto a medium. So with a degree it can help score a job or pay more in some circumstances, but building yourself a portfolio is the stronger outlet. Experience shadows the label to put it simply. Becoming a big time concept artist (I would hope) comes from the respect and connections I make with people here now in Installation 01 and on the road ahead.
Q: Speaking of being “qualified,” what makes you qualified to work on Installation 01? Did you apply and go through some kind of interview process or did Bean find you hiding making cave drawings in some dark corner of the internet?
A: That’s an interesting one actually, bit of a story to it. So, I originally floated around the Destiny (Bungie.net) forums for a few years. I found a few art groups like the Art Den and Art n Stuff, I met Isaac and Aviixe in this group. For a period of time I did not really care to be active in the contests held in the group let alone socialize as I was not too intimate with the whole “drawing for a project” idea. I heard talk about Installation 01 from Isaac and Aviixe, and eventually got off my butt to check out what it was all about. I showed up on the public discord, and the next day looked for a lead to directly ask for a prompt to complete. It was actually Derek, not Bean who interviewed me. He gave me an open ended prompt (probably the hardest type for an artist to see through) for the week, and well, the rest is history. My application was NOT like the process we have now. The reason for that is I applied before the website was fully operational, and before all these new members hopped onto the discord.
Q: What advice would you give to concept artists looking to get on the team, or even in general? Especially now that the process has changed?
A: Lots of tips, however I cannot personally grant a guaranteed place on the team for anyone as it is not my decision to make.
- First of all don’t bug the leads and be annoying to the developers or others about wanting to be on the team. This is an automatic turn off from any chance someone might have had for their interview, let alone getting one in the first place.
- Create a portfolio of your COMPLETED art pieces and a ready-made page for a lead to look at if requested. A good professional source for creating an attractive and organized profile is LinkedIn.
- Be kind and have white gloves. What I mean by this is be an active member of the public discord and Installation 01 community. Follow the rules, be mature and treat the interactions with care. We do notice it.
- When filling out an application on our website make sure you complete it as if you were applying for a job. You want to be serious in your responses, and have good reasons for WHY you should be placed on the team as it is, WHAT your skills are, WHICH position you are applying for, and HOW you can contribute to the team.
- A final note is to place works of art and large projects (not doodles but actual constructive art pieces) onto the public art channel for critiques. You should have a good grasp on the format of art foundations (shape, pattern, color, form, unity, etc).
Most of this is applicable for basically all other jobs on the team. It is important to treat your interviews/interactions in the community with a professional mindset. Being a developer is not just a busy job, it’s a role model for the public eye watching the progress we all make as a team.
Q: What sort of work goes into a typical piece of concept art? Is there a certain workflow you follow or is it more freestyle drawing?
A: It can be a step-by-step process (at least for our team’s work flow). We either meet in our small groups and discuss concept ideas, or do individual works with each step being shown to the rest of the team (including non-concept artists) for critique, suggestions, and what will be kept for the final product. Not all concept art has to look pretty, or the misinterpreted “professional clean look”. That is called promo art, not the messy ideas splurged between a circle of tired artists looking to crack the artistic code for a piece. And to answer the second question it is a freestyle path where the artists get a lot of decision making on their own works. Restrictions are open and allow freedom thanks to the leads and how the team goes about the entire process.
Q: Describe what it’s like to be a member of the Installation 01 team using but a single sentence.
A: "There was a meeting?"
Q: What is your favorite part (or parts!) about working on Installation 01? Is there anything that stands out to you as extra awesome?
A: My favorite part about being on the team is it is like a group of close friends and family. I’d have to say the environment to work with the other team members has been relatively stable if not the perfect playground for individuals making a game while also having lives to attend to (yes we have our own lives). It’s been great making friends and connections for the future ahead for the professional field of game development, coding and/or design. My artistic skill has taken some leaps from the work I have come into contact with. The experience I have gained from the interactions here on the Installation 01 team will serve as a solid stepping stone for a future not only for myself, but for everyone else. Also the exclusive memes and dev goodies are a decent “cherry on top”.