We're all excited to welcome Morten Solgaard Pedersen, winner of the 2018 Atomhawk Art Challenge, to our Gateshead team where he joins as a Concept Artist.
Our second Atomhawk Art Challenge ran in July 2018 inviting concept artists of all levels to create a scene or character based on the theme of “Into the Void”. The 200 entries were judged on technical execution, creative flair and effective interpretation of the theme, with the winner and two runners up receiving high-end art equipment from sponsors, Wacom.
The judges were so impressed with Morten's entry and portfolio that he was invited to interview and after passing our rigorous recruitment process he joined the team in December.
Here he talks about his involvement in the Challenge, his route to becoming a concept artist and his advice for aspiring artists interested in working in the entertainment industry.
How did you find out about the Atomhawk Art Challenge and what attracted you to enter?
As I recall it was advertised on Artstation. I didn’t think more about it until I heard one of my friends was making an entry. I was looking to find a new job so I thought the Challenge would be a great way for Atomhawk to see my portfolio, especially as they didn’t have an open position for a concept artist of my level.
Tell us about your winning image.
The image was the first thing that came to mind when I heard of the theme. I liked the idea of an innocent child being confronted with something so dramatic and dangerous. At the time I think I was inspired by Stranger Things, which I think reflects in the mood, lighting and setting. I started doing a few simple thumbnails, getting the composition down in as few values as possible to get the best read. After that I moved to 3D to block in the basic shapes of the scene and put in a light. From here I further explored the composition by moving the camera around in 3D to get something that felt right. After that it was pretty straight forward photobashing and painting.
What route did you take to becoming a concept artist?
I went to The Drawing Academy in Viborg, Denmark for one semester to improve my drawing skills so I would be able to get into The Animation Workshop. At The Animation Workshop I got a bachelor degree in Computer Graphic Arts and after that I got an internship at MPC Advertising doing concept art and matte painting.
What were your first impressions of Atomhawk?
The people at Atomhawk are really friendly and welcoming. The studio has a really good atmosphere.
What are you most looking forward to about working at Atomhawk?
I’m most looking forward to creating concept art for games, as that’s where my passion is.
What would your advice be to aspiring artists looking to find work in the entertainment industry?
Besides all the obvious stuff like taking courses, watching tutorials and going to schools, I’d advise to look at a lot of art. Be analytical when you look at it. Find things in the art that you like and figure out why it works as well as it does and try and implement it in your own stuff. Observing and practising gets you a long way.
You can check out more of Morten's work at https://www.artstation.com/mortensolgaard