This is an interview for edlalin:
1 How do you spend a typical day or work?
I have my breakfast, usually cereal and then a strong cup of coffee. Since I work at home I also help with my little baby daughter as well in the wake up process (Good mornings, diaper change etc.)
I will start work at about 9:00am and around noon I stop for lunch and midday prayer. If the weather is good, I also go for a walk with the family or solo.
Another strong cup of coffee and then I will work till afternoon prayer. After that short pause I get back at it and work till dinner or evening prayer, whichever comes first.
Usually it totals about 8 10 hours a day work.
2 How did you enter this field of employment?
I went to college for animation and by necessity of income I worked in comics. From there, it paid well so I stuck to it. I never planned to be a comic artist much less believed I would ever work in video games.
3 What was your career path to this position?
I worked in a now defunct animation studio, then an Internet company, then Dreamwave comics which is also defunct, then on to Nelvana Studios for a short while in Toronto. After that some of the old crew from Dreamwave amalgamated and formed UDON Entertainment with who I have been since the beginning and am the only remaining original artist.
I have never left UDON and I find this to be the best job.
4 What aspects of your job are most and least satisfying?
I get to set my own hours and chose the type of work and subject matter I work on which is impossible in any other job.
I can take off large swaths of time if I can afford it.
I get first picks on all the incoming jobs as a result of seniority.
I have an honest boss who I can trust and keeps me informed of all things as well as helps me whenever I need it.
Because I work for a company with a public presence I am limited in what I can say politically or otherwise. But again, I am here for the art not to voice my own opinion or commentary on a set of issues.
5 What are the big responsibilities of your job?
Produce high quality art be it for a comic, video game, cover, package art or whatever else comes down the pipe. I am firm believer in you should do your job and let other people do their jobs. As a result I seldom get involved in management issues, which in many cases have nothing at all to do with art.
6 What types of decisions do you make?
I determine the look of the product where necessary or simply recreate existing properties to clients specifications.
7 What training/ education background is required?
Its debateable if there is anything necessary, I cant remember ever looking at any prospective artists diploma much less have I ever shown mine. School is good for honing your skill, but it is expensive. Many schools are rubber stamp institutions out to make a buck off of gullible hopeful artist who dont have a chance.
Buyer beware, but drawing in your own time is free and more fun.
8 What are some current issues in your field?
I cant say what I feel are issues since they are not common ideas or concepts held by UDON. I always have someone over my shoulder watching what I say, and I dont want the hassle.
There are many things that are very wrong in this industry and the social price is very dear is all I can say.
9 How would you characterize your work environment?
One of the issues I face right now is that I cannot separate my work form home since they are all in one. This is a very irksome thing at times when you are juggling family issues and work issues.
Yes I dont have to commute, yes I dont have to lease an office, but the idea that your work is always lurking in your home can be unnerving at times especially when the heat is on with a deadline. Also there is no real transition time that you would get in a drive home for work. Its fun to a point when youre single, but get married, have a kid, and stuff changes.
10 What is the mission or thing you try to accomplish with your work?
I am trying to get large enough of a presence by working on commercial things to be able to do my own story and completely set a new standard in story telling.
I am sharpening my teeth in other words for my own thing.
11 What kind of individual would be best suited for this position?
Not a slacker, drunk, party animal, lazy, big spender, slouch for sure. This job demands so many things of you, especially in my situation where I am freelance. I work almost exclusively with UDON, but I have to manage my own finances, business, and public relations.
12 What are the prospects for someone entering this field now?
Despite the economic downturn, my theory has proved true. When I was younger I figured that even if war broke out people would still have a few things that are standard: 1 Food, 2 Shelter, 3 Entertainment. I can cook, I did it as a job through high school, but art was much more fun.
I say all those things to say that it is a stable industry from that angle. On the other hand, getting into it is another matter altogether. Count on there being another million artists out there going for the same thing, and with computers making things so easy, many people are becoming artist earlier.
Its tough is another way of saying it, you better know how to cook or have another job lined up just in case.
If youre amazing, then dont worry.
13 Are their any tips that you could give for a soon to be illustrator?
If you have faith in God and a purpose to your art, you really have just about everything you need. In my mind everything from my talent, to my opportunity and experience is from Him, the rest is ambition and determination.
I am saying these things because it was only when I embraced these ideas that my career actually took off, before that point no amount of effort and trial availed me success.
But again, that worked for me, there are many ways up in this industry, but I feel that the best one for sure.
14 What kind of company or place do you work for?
I work for UDON Entertainment, and I am one of the lead artists and founding members.