Every artist is the sum of their experiences and influences: in our regular Spotlight section, we ask artists to share with us their process and their inspiration.
I'm originally from Cleveland Ohio and for as long as I can remember I've always been drawing, painting and creating art. In 2009 I graduated from Columbus College of Art and Design as a Fine Arts major. It was during my senior year in college when I started to create my concept art portfolio and landed my first job with Zenimax/Bethesda a month after graduation. There I worked on the 'Elder Scrolls Online' for 6 years throughout its production. in 2015 I left Zenimax to go work with High Moon Studios in San Diego on 'Destiny' and that is where I am today.
As a professional working in the game industry a lot of industry gatherings and studios are located in Southern California. Being closer to these events and studios brings me closer to my industry keeps me involved in it and it opens up new opportunities that distance has kept me from. But, with the way the internet has changed things it is less important to live in the bigger cities to gain clients and work, now you don't have to leave home to make people aware of who you are.
For me the real world is far more inspirational that anything else. There is nothing more beautiful, more strange, more well designed than what occurs in nature. Every great visual design or original creature or invented world ever created was in some way inspired by our own world.
There is a piece by Peder Mønsted called "Sleigh ride on a sunny winter day" that has been a great source of inspiration, nothing sentimental but rather an embodiment of what it means to be a great landscape painter. The understanding of how light reflects off the snow and trees shows a perfect balance of how physical light behaves and can convey an emotional image.
For me the most important skills to understand are the basic fundamentals such as; light, color, design, composition, anatomy, etc. As a concept artist it is important to be able to make an image that shows what the final product should look like and help sell interesting new ideas in a fully realized manner. I need to be able to make something imaginary look and feel real to people who don't understand the process or to inspire a development team to make something amazing.
I mainly use digital media for creating work especially for my day job. At home I use both digital and traditional, I enjoy working with oil, gouache and watercolor for painting plein air outside. Digital media cannot replace the feeling of a brush on canvas and its a feeling I need to have from time to time.
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