Friday, 24 May 2013

The First Year of the Future

So here it is… the end of my first year doing Game Art Design. And all I can say is “Woah?! What just happened?” Because quite honestly it feels like I’ve been hit by a bus of knowledge and artistic skill! This past 8 months or so have gone by so quickly; I’ve learnt so much and met so many new people. I really don’t know where to start!

5 hour masters study - Rembrandt 1655
I came to Leicester in September as a stranger to everyone, unaware of what lay ahead for the year. Within a few weeks I had met so many people that I was struggling to remember names and the start of the course had me diving into a pool of artistic challenges. The learning curve of the past year has been a very steep one and has helped me develop as an artist significantly more than I had expected. In both my Game Production and Visual Design modules it is clear when comparing work from the beginning and end of the year that my skills have sky rocketed. And with Critical Studies, I have improved with confidence and the fundamentals of both blog writing (here, for those unsure…) and with my presentational skills.

But let me talk to you about Game Production first. Back in September, I had never even touched 3D software in my life and at first believed that this may hinder my chances of progressing on the course. But being plunged into the deep end really gave me a determination to do the best. Although at first my work was very basic and not on par with any 2nd or 3rd year work, it didn’t matter to me, and it has shown. I can now happily look back on work and understand how to change or improve it. I’ve also become much faster at completing this work with helpful tips and shortcuts given down the years through the second and third years. I also have also begun to understand how to look at a shape or object and have a good idea of how to produce it in virtual space.
Transit Van model - 4989 triangles

Secondly, Visual Design has shown me just how insanely quickly my artistic skills can flourish. I used to think I was a decent artist, and was happy with my skill level. However, within the first few weeks it became clear to me that I would really have to work on timing and mark making techniques and understanding. With the new idea of “artistic license” I’ve come to terms with a sketch or painting not being absolutely 100% perfect and accurate. I now know that if I want to succeed in my hopeful career I have to rapidly produce work at a high level of quality. Looking back at my work over the year, it is noticeable at how much my working speed has accelerated and that with anatomical and artistic studies I have begun to understand how to correct my errors and use many different materials effectively.

Overall, my first year has been extremely challenging but doubly exciting! One thing that really creates a good working atmosphere is the sense of close comraderie between the whole year and also with that of the 2nd and 3rd years. This is helped by the very useful and casual tutors who truly drive this course. With all of these elements combined, the course members can really develop with their personal skills and thrive within the working environment. I have thoroughly enjoyed my year and I am eager and excited to start with the second year of the course and see how much further I can push my skills. I look forward to seeing my learning curve turn to the sky and for my work to become more of an industry standard… Wish me luck!

To be continued…

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