Industry Workshops and More.

Last weekend I attended Industry Workshops. It’s based in The Vaults in London, and the atmosphere was just indescribable. It was amazing to be surrounded by so many positive and lovely people who were as excited to be there as me. I feel quite sad to be back in Leicester, and it made me even sadder that THU was running the week after. At the same time though, it’s good to be back in a routine and doing my own work.

So, what did I do there?

Well, I attended a whole load of lectures run by artists such as the almighty Tom Scholes. You might recall that I talked a bit about his work for uni in first year. I got to have a brief chat with him, but because I didn’t really have much to say or ask, I just sort of ran away in mild panic. During his lectures however, I did ask a whole load of questions. Tom’s lectures were by far the most informative and interesting. In his first one, he talked through a few tips and tricks he uses in his work, and then showed us how he paints. When I arrived home, I did some painting, having a go at a couple of his painting techniques and generally trying to have fun with colour;

Preliminary Sketch 2 Preliminary Sketch 3 sm

I wasn’t too pleased with the painting, so decided to take my work into 3D over the weekend and work on what quite a few people have told me is my strength. It was very fun and satisfying to make;

I think I’ll continue doing the occasional quick project like this to refresh myself.

The London Atelier of Representational Arts were also at the Workshops, with lots of work by their students to show and drop-in life drawing running all day. When there weren’t lectures running that I wanted to attend, I would plonk down at life drawing and have a go. The models were just outstanding; my favourite was this lovely man modelling on the first day who did some of the most fantastic and hilarious poses. One involved wheeling over a skeleton, grabbing his own bottom with its hand, and deadpanning us all for 10 minutes while we giggled/drew. A very fun drawing session indeed. There were also two models on one day who posed together for an hour at one point, though I only joined in for half an hour.

I love the satisfaction of creating traditional work from life, whether that be in pen or pencil or charcoal or paint. I still adore life drawing despite my pushing towards environment art. Perhaps in the future if I have some money to spend on such a venture, I’ll attend a LARA course. I want to be a pro one day!

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My favourite thing about my time at the Industry Workshops was the social times on an evening. There was free beer! (That wasn’t the only reason..) I spoke to such a ridiculous amount of people, from fellow students to concept artists and 3D artists in the industry. I feel like I’ve made some friends that I can genuinely look forward to meeting again next year. The standard of work was incredible, but it didn’t depress me like I would usually get because the vibe of the whole event was just so positive and people were super supportive. I had some great portfolio reviews from too many people to recall. I particularly appreciated the ones from AtomHawk and Splash Damage who were recruiting at the event.

Unfortunately, though the reviews were absolutely fantastic and made me feel really positive, they also served to confuse me further about what I want to do. AtomHawk is a concept art house, and I spoke to an environment concept artist at SD too, so they were reviewing from a concept art perspective. They both gave me hope that I could potentially become a concept artist with enough work. But then I also spoke to people who said my 3D work was strong and I should pursue a career in that rather than concept art. Sooo the epic of what the fuck to do with my life continues.

I keep telling myself that I still have a year to work out what to specialise in, but I’m still worrying a lot about what to do. I’m feeling very under pressure to decide.

Anyway, the main point I think I wanted to make in this blog post is that Industry Workshops has changed my perspective on my future in the game industry. The positivity I was enveloped in at the event has made me feel much more excited about the prospect of seeking employment there. I’ve been feeling more and more that the game industry will be full of drama and competitiveness and unpleasant people, but actually it’s a lot to do with who I surround myself with. If I spend my time with other happy and supportive people, then of course I’ll have a great time in the game industry. I just need to make sure that next time I start to feel negative, I avoid the negative influences around me and seek out lovely people.

A good start is going on sketch meets with people who are actually interested in making nice art, like I did at the weekend. We went to New Walk museum in Leicester. It was really nice, and I went for a coffee on my own afterwards to chill out. Sounds stupid but I do very much enjoy just going into town for a coffee and to wander shops on my own occasionally.

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I think I’m going to go away and do some painting now. Perhaps a photo study so I don’t have to put much thought into it. I guess you’ll see what I get up to in my next post. Have a nice week!

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