After leaving High School I went on to do an HND in Computer Games Development, and after that, I moved on to a second HND: Computer Animation. Since I’m doing a second HND I’ve had to self-fund the last two years of study.
I took a chance on the Games Development Course and discovered that I wanted to work in video games but backed out of going to university last minute after accepting that I didn’t like coding and it wasn’t where my skill-set lay. However, I loved the more artsy parts of the course. So instead, I stayed on at college and joined the Animation course where those things were a focus.
When I finished High School, I didn’t exactly know what I wanted to do with myself, so I decided to visit a careers adviser in Dunfermline to find out what options were available to me. On this visit, we discussed the possibility of further study and the adviser asked what I liked doing. The only answer I could think of was playing video games as it was what I spent most of my time doing through school. I wasn’t certain it was the right decision at the time, but I didn’t have much else to do so I applied to the Computer Games Development course.
When I was on the Game Development course, I was in the room right next to the Animation course. I happened to make a friend called Kieran on the course who told me about what was involved and showed me some of the work he’d made.
I love 3D modelling and digital painting; I’ve spent a lot of time using what I learned in the 2D drawing classes and incorporating it into my digital workflow. The drawing classes were a game changer for me as they taught me a lot about value and form and helped me to step out of my comfort zone.
It’s not only given me a chance to figure out which things I like and which things I don’t but also given room to focus my studies on what’s important to me. For example, for my year 2 Graded Unit, I chose a character/prop modelling brief and have put a lot of time into design and concept. However, I could have chosen an Environmental or Animation brief if those were more to my liking.
Between the two courses I’ve done, I’ve also had many opportunities to interact with the industry I want to join. For example, I got to visit Abertay University for the Ukie Student Conference which not only let me see the kind of work the students do and their work standard but also attend talks and meet with industry professionals.
Even outside of this event there have been multiple opportunities to meet with such people. A presentation by Liam Wong, a former Art Director from Ubisoft Montréal was a particular highlight for me. Hopefully, I’ll be moving on to university come September. I have my heart set on the Computer Arts course at Abertay.
The course and lecturers have been fantastic, and I’ve grown a lot both as an artist and a person throughout. You get to try out a lot of different things during the course and there’s a lot of different directions you can take moving forward, so it’s a great starting point.
Ideally, once I’m finished with my studies, I want to enter into the games industry as a professional concept artist, since digital painting is my passion. I love creating fun and weird characters and would love to do so for companies I admire such as Double Fine Productions and Insomniac Games.