Hello there! Could you please tell us who you are and what you do at MADFINGER Games?
- Hello there! My name is Erika, and I work at MADFINGER as a Junior Concept Artist.
So what would you say your typical day at work looks like? What do you spend the most time on right now?
- I usually start my day by grabbing a cup of coffee and then start prioritizing my tasks for the day with the Art Director. I’m working on concepts for our new projects at the moment, which also means learning a new style and techniques that I’m trying to introduce into my workflow. It’s challenging and it’s fun! I get feedback on my concepts throughout the day.
Can you tell us what tools you mostly use to create concept art? What’s the creative process behind it?
- I use Adobe Photoshop for painting and photobashing. From time to time, I also get a task for creating color variations and textures for which we use Substance 3D Painter. I’m also trying to learn a few 3D techniques in my spare time, so I can be more efficient in my creative process. Depending on the task, I always try to get as much information about the subject as possible. That means gathering a ton of references, sometimes watching videos or tutorials. After that, I do a few sketches to sort out which direction I want to go with. I usually end up with multiple variations of one concept and then keep tweaking it based on feedback from my lead.
What would you say to the other artists out there that would like to work in game development? Any tips and tricks you found out during your experiences?
- I would definitely tell them to keep practicing and experimenting with their style and the tools they use. Also, don’t get discouraged if a company rejects you. Try to find a community of people who are interested in the same thing as you are. Go to gaming conventions and try to learn more about the people in the industry, or just reach out to them. Even though it can be very scary for us introverts. :)
Do you have any particular piece of art that you worked on and enjoyed the most?
- When we were working on Shadowgun War Games, I got my hands on the Substance 3D Painter for the first time. I was asked to make a few color variations for our heroes, and I really enjoyed creating a new version of Graffiti Jet. I also loved making concepts for weapon charms.
How does it feel to see your art being part of a game? Does it tend to be close to your original concept, or is it sometimes something completely different?
- It feels amazing! Although I tend to get nervous and hope people will like the design. Most of the time, the model is very close to the original concept, but what sometimes happens is that maybe some element doesn’t quite work in the engine itself, so it gets removed or tweaked. Then I get to cooperate with our 3D artists, and we try to figure out a solution.
Since you work at a gaming studio, are you a gamer yourself? Do you have any favorite games, both old and new?
- I love RPGs! The first PC game I ever played was Gothic when I was about seven years old. Some of my favorite series are Dragon Age, Mass Effect, or The Witcher.
And what about your time outside of the studio? Any hobbies or other interests?
- Apart from drawing, I also enjoy sports. I play badminton and started learning Krav Maga last year, but I also love traveling or taking a walk with my dog. When I’m tired I usually just watch some series, listen to music or read.
Thanks for the interview!