Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Oh my......has it really been nearly 6 months? (Reflection on year one, and ambition for year two)

It's pretty shocking to think I haven't updated my blog in over half a year. It's not that I have little to say or lack the ability to say it - its more my view on what this blog represented, and my whole perception of the course in general I think is what held me back.

When I began my first year of game art design, I felt nothing but disdain towards my current situation. Somehow I had the ridiculous notion that university was the huge party we all can’t wait to get to and I would get to learn how to make that awesome, badass concept art for those games I loved. And dear God, how I let that fantasy penetrate my brain without protection for a good few months after finishing college. I was so wrong. This was horrible, fun-less grime! 3DS Max? What is that and why do you suddenly expect me to be able to use this God-awful, headache-inducing, mind-F***? I can barely get Excel spreadsheet to run! Go draw some decaying archway in the middle of what feels like the next ice-age? Do I look like I can handle fresh air?

What the hell is that...?

So overall I wasn’t particularly enjoying myself. My roommates made chavs look like Christian missionaries and I felt somewhat lost and out of place in Leicester. To make matters worse my illness was getting worse and put a permanent dampener on my mood. Despite all this, I stuck with it, I wanted to see if things would get better. One year later and I only realise now that it has and that I realised I can do this!

Whoo! It looks like a van!.. except I still hadn't figured out how to render properly by this point.

7 months gone and one septoplasty later I am back for year 2 with a better attitude and work that was more familiar to me. Almost enjoyable! However, I haven’t addressed why I never attempted to take my blog further, and that’s because I associated it with work - which it is fundamentally, but I associated all university-related work with STRESS. This is the first thing I plan to change this year.

1- You know how everything works now, you’re getting used to the workload. Stop associating this work with stress!

I love art. I love drawing, painting, sculpting, the lot! Why was this course stopping me from enjoying my work? I believe it was because I told myself I couldn’t do this, and that affected my work. This year I plan to work on my weaknesses (3D modelling) and improve on my strengths (traditional artwork). I also plan to make time to do things I enjoy doing that are productive, such as practicing my portrait drawing and watercolour paintings. (I guess I should also put some time aside to learn how to use that damn digital tablet as well while I’m at it…)

Getting praise for this piece I did on the Guild Hall gave me some much needed confidence.

2- Stop allowing yourself to get distracted so easily.

I wouldn’t describe myself as a lazy person, I might have done prior to understanding what being lazy actually was, but now I realise I have a somewhat low attention span. If I was lazy, I would either lay around in bed all day or sit in a corner and do nothing. I rarely do these things. If I allow myself to be pulled away from my work I might be reading, listening to some music that I love whilst doodling or trying to bake macaroons (which never, EVER come off the F***ing baking sheet). What I need to learn to do is focus that energy on my work. When I get into my game art work I do enjoy it; I think I just convince myself beforehand it wont be any fun.

3- Stop neglecting your blog!

Compared to some other people’s blogs mine looks a little bare-bones. This I plan to change. I treated this blog almost like a series of essays; formal, concise and lacking any form of personality. I enjoy writing - it’s something I’m good at. This year I will look at my blog in a different way - as a diary where I can record my progress, post work I’m particularly proud of, talk about artists I admire, and share my feelings and perceptions about the course, the industry and video games in general….oh, and those few mandatory tasks Mike sets us every week of course.

Overall, I feel more confident this year. And in turn, this makes me want to succeed. I realise now I have a great opportunity which I have no intention of wasting. This year I plan to be more organised, push my limits further and enjoy what I’m doing. All I’m missing now is a bottle of cheap smack and my drunken family around me yelling “HAPPY NEW YEAR!” in unison.

Despite being in a sea of promising young game artists I'd like to think theres still something that makes me "Me".

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