Games Art Graduate Maddison Jones who now lives and works in Sweden recently did an interview with MESH, here are the results.
Why did you choose Games Art and Design at Murdoch, and what have been the benefits?
I chose Games Art and Design after doing 2 years of Security and Counter Terrorism; not really knowing anything about the film or game industry. I knew I wanted to become a concept artist, and decided that this course would be the best way to dip my toes in all aspects of game development. It was. Not only did I learn tremendously about game and film development, but I was also able to try my hand at things I not only knew I was competent at like drawing, but also things I had never tried before like coding, animating and 3D modelling; all with the help of some very talented, well experienced industry professionals that I could call my lecturers.
What would be your advice to students entering the course?
Prepare yourself for late nights. Whether it was up till late finishing homework, waiting for something to render, or staying behind to work on a project with your friends in class, you must be prepared to work hard. The work load is demanding; but so it the industry this course prepares you for. I always made sure I put in 110%, and by doing so, I believe got the most out of not only my university experience, but my entire course. It taught me to never stop learning, teaching myself and never stop improving. Plus, I never had a unit that wasn’t fun or I didn’t enjoy, even those I found challenging, so make sure you give everything a go!
What has been your favourite unit in the course and why?
I had several. I highly enjoyed the Drawing units; drawing has always felt like my thing and it was amazing to further my skills at something I loved. But thanks to the curriculum, and my teachers, I came to love the Animation and 3D modelling units as well. I learnt an invaluable amount and completely broadened my skill set. Although, building and designing a game in my final year was truly something else. It was a wicked unit that saw you and your team design and build a game from start to finish; I had never done anything so challenging, satisfying, or fun!
What was the most challenging aspect of the course?
The workload. And the fact that you are the only one in charge of your learning. You must be prepared to organise and take charge or your own learning; but then again, that’s what university is all about! But I would also say having to try out so many areas of development; while it’s a blessing, it could also be a curse at times. I did find that with one or two units I was out of my comfort zone; like coding. I found it a challenge and difficult to get my head around at first, but being an artistic person, I knew it would be a challenge for me. Having one or two units of the course that really tested me was a really challenging aspect for myself.
What career opportunities did the course give you? And can you describe what you are doing now?
The course opened me up to all the career opportunities that are available. When I started, I had ‘concept artist’ as my one and only job focus and desire, but as I completed my three years, I looked into a wide range of career prospects; (becoming a rigger, 3D modeller, texture artist, animator and graphic designer just to name a few). Having a solid foundation in all of these areas, along with my further developed 2D art skills, helped me become apart of several indie game projects in Perth, including a funded short film soon after my graduation.
Around the same time I also started doing all kinds of commission work; mainly for popular content creators that stream on Twitch and produce their content on YouTube. It was through my success with these content creators that I then took my love for painting, drawing and design to Twitch, where I stream live on the creative channel. I was then lucky enough that my content and work was seen by Intel; who sponsored me to stream and produce my work live from Las Vegas at the CES technology trade show in January where I met all kinds of people and gained all kinds of contacts, which was amazing!
I have now in the last few weeks been hired as the in house designer for a I.T and media company based in Europe, which has led to my very recent move to Sweden. From here I plan to continue streaming and work on my portfolio, as I apply to various freelance agencies and video game companies around the country and around the world. I am wanting to continue with my 2D art; designing landscapes, worlds, sets and environments, while always trying to improve! My next goal is to work for a studio; who dares, wins!