Artist, The Chinese Room.
Before graduating from Abertay, I started working as a Junior Environment Artist at Brighton-based indie studio, The Chinese Room. My first project was Everybody's Gone to the Rapture. The game was released in 2015 on PlayStation 4 and has received critical acclaim, earning 10 BAFTA nominations and a string of other awards.
Since working at the studio, I have worked in a variety of artistic areas such as high-level art direction, concept work, branding and graphic design. In my spare time, I do additional work on commissions including rebranding Brighton Rocker Roller Derby league. In 2016, I was named a BAFTA Breakthrough Brit in recognition of my achievements to date.
I'm passionate about making the games industry a more inclusive environment for marginalised groups and I give talks and mentor students around the UK.
I am currently working on our recently announced title, So Let Us Melt on Google Daydream, working alongside two other artists to create the style of the game from concept through to the finished in-game artwork.
As the game is a mobile VR title, we put a lot of consideration into making a game that is both visually compelling and playable on mobile devices. This project is an exciting opportunity to work with adaptable skills to create the same high fidelity expected from the studio and to make artistic creative solutions to technical problems.
Abertay offered a breadth of modules that allowed me to develop my general artistic skills whilst also focusing on a specific area to pursue. In my case, this was 3D environment art. Because of the balance between general and specialist skills, I was successful in securing my position at one of the most creative games studio in the UK.
The student projects I worked on at Abertay, alongside other departments and with other people made me understand how to work within a team – to be an active contributor to ideas and have a voice; understand dependencies between departments, and to understand how to resolve differences in personalities. Working on team projects at Abertay has had a huge impact on my success as an artist and benefitted me long term.
The connections that Abertay has to the industry make it the leading university for games courses - from tutors that have worked in games companies, to competitions like Dare to be Digital, which offer students the opportunity to rapidly prototype creative games.
The approach and dedication taken by lecturers is at the heart of Abertay’s success. Without their support and guidance, I would not be where I am today.
My advice to my younger self would be to not work to a point that is detrimental to my mental health - that I am enough and that I do enough. If I have done my best, then that is all I can do.
To make progressive games means looking outside of the industry itself and gaining experience and inspiration elsewhere. Artists such as Ana Mendieta and Georgia O’Keeffe drive my inspiration and influence my life.
Art and culture have had a huge impact on who I am as an artist. Artists that engage in social and political change encourage me to ensure my artistic choices have context and meaning to give weight to the work I produce.
I plan to continue making artwork that challenges what a game can be. As long as the projects I work on are progressive, unique and challenging, I am happy with wherever they take me.