Brendan Sullivan, AIE Graduate and 3D Artist at Mojang Studios shares some of his favourite tips for aspiring game-dev aficionados from his own amazing journey and the experiences of his peers.
Tip 1 - Digital network
Twitter is your #1 for networking and ArtStation a close second. My work with Google and Mojang both came from being discovered through Twitter. Instagram is also good in a pinch if you’re more of the artsy type (Zbrush sculptor, concept artist etc.). Get onto those platforms and post your stuff. Of course, posting your work alone won’t be enough to be discovered, so you need start appearing everywhere you can! Interact with other professionals in your field – find their stuff using hashtags and comment on their work! Try not to blatantly self-promote, but be a positive force in the community and you'll grow your following faster than you might think.
Tip 2 – Portfolio, portfolio, portfolio!
Your portfolio is the most important thing that will land you a job. It’s never about your degree or credentials; they care if you can get the job done and if you’re good at what you do. Tailor your folio to suit your dream studio or job role and hone-in on it. The easiest motivator / guidance for getting content in your folio is just to jump on bandwagons. New Pokémon game just announced? Sculpt up one of the new starters! Really into an anime series? Build an environment from it in UE4! Then once you’ve amped up your confidence you can branch out on personal projects to intersperse into your portfolio.
Tip 3 - Keep learning
Don’t be afraid to learn new skills! The best tool you can have up your sleeve is well... more tools. Being a 3D sculptor is all well and good, but can you rig it? Can you animate it? Could you put it into a game engine and make some simple code that lets you run around with it? Could you learn how to make a cool anime-style shader to apply to your model’s material? That natural path of curiosity and testing was how I ended up being a jack of all trades, and it’s done wonders for opening up job offers and roles. Plus, it’s super fun to be able to try every aspect of game development out! Don’t box yourself in thinking you have to identify yourself with ONE ROLE – have fun exploring new things!
More about Brendan
From budding game artist to hotshot games developer on the other side of the continent, Brendan Sullivan has had an amazing journey in his career. Since graduating from AIE in 2016 with an Advanced Diploma of Professional Games Development, specialising in Game Art and Animation, Brendan has worked in multiple well-known studios such as S1T2 and Google, before landing his dream job working as a 3D Artist in Mojang Studios. We had the chance to speak with Brendan, who answered some questions we’d be itching to ask all the way on the other side of the globe in Stockholm, Sweden!