Lately I have been feeling quite unenthusiastic to do anything productive, I think it is because of coming back here after the Christmas break and suddenly being faced with lots of challenges.
I went to a talk yesterday which was presented by Mitch and Stephane - concept artists from Codemasters, and although I don't really want to be a concept artist, I left feeling quite inspired. Seeing some of their work and being shown how quickly a full colour, digitally painted character design can be created from a blank Photoshop page, at first made me feel slightly unworthy of being on this course; but then I realised that is the standard I have to be or be better than at the end of the course. Mitch said at the end of creating this amazing picture that he wasn't really happy with it and closed the file without even saving it. I felt quite shocked at this, but it made me realise that we can't be over protective of our work, we can always improve it, and other people's criticism should be seen as a good thing – a suggestion to improve the work further, not a reason to feel useless.
Yes Christmas is over, you're alone, there is no big clean house to come home to, no home cooked meals waiting for you, the pile of washing keeps growing and your housemate has a new boyfriend and has suddenly become very inconsiderate. But we just have to accept that, we are trying to get into a very competitive industry and improvement should be our main priority. We are not Liu Bolin, we shouldn't just fit in, we should try our best to stand out and shine above the others.
We have been assured that we are not in competition with each other, but I feel we are - after all we will be competing for the same jobs. This does not, however have to be a bad thing, if we all strive to be better than each other then surely our standard of work should improve more than ever. I think my biggest fear with my work is that I don't want people to steal my ideas, yet I don't mind using their ideas, I now realise this is quite silly as they may find a way of improving my ideas which may actually end up benefiting my work.
Mitch used the same sort of technique I used for my final Reef character design, the first thing I thought was “For god's sake, now everyone will end up with the same sort of thing that I have!” On further thought I now realise that the technique I used as a fluke is a technique that someone actually in the Games Industry uses, so maybe this means that I'm on the right page!
[I used photographs that I took at the Sea Life Centre for texture on my character design.]