Drew Whitmore joined the Atomhawk team as a Principal Artist in October 2016, re-locating all the way from USA.
Over the last 10 years Drew has played a vital role in the success of many games studios including Vicarious Visions and Carbine Studios and has worked on a range of brands such as Wildstar, Guitar Hero and Skylanders. As a skilled concept artist, illustrator and manager, specialising in character and environment design, he has already become an integral member of the Atomhawk team.
Three months into the job, we asked him about what his role involves and what it's like working at Atomhawk.
As a Principal Artist at Atomhawk what are your main responsibilities and what kind of projects do you work on?
The main responsibilities of a Principal are to make great art, help others make great art and to help steer the direction of the art on various projects. There's always a great range of projects going on at any one time here so you could be working on anything from helping to create a new stylised universe, to realistic character design or a single piece of marketing art.
How many projects are you involved with at any one time?
Generally there are two projects that I'm actively making art for at any one time. There are usually between one and three other projects that I'm also helping out on with critiques and/or paintovers.
Do you mainly work individually or collaboratively?
There's definitely a mix of working individually and collaboratively. There are large projects with many moving parts and multiple artists working on them, but there are also smaller projects where you get to really own the art of it.
How would you describe the working environment at Atomhawk?
It's a very happy heads down, let's get our work done atmosphere but when the work is done everyone is ready to hang out whether it's in the kitchen over a coffee break, playing games over lunch or in the pub after work.
What are the best things about working at Atomhawk and what are the biggest challenges?
The best thing is also the biggest challenge - there's a lot of really amazing art being done so you both get to be inspired by other people's art and also want to impress them!
Where do you look to for your inspiration?
I definitely look to my co-workers here at Atomhawk for inspiration but also movies, books and art communities like Art Station.
What advice would you give to other artists interested in working at a studio like Atomhawk?
It's not enough to just be able to render beautifully – design is a huge and important portion of what is done here. So you really have to be able to think creatively and draw inspiration from disparate sources to deliver work that will meet the client's brief and exceed their expectations.
Below: Drew helping to create the world of Lego Elves in the Atomhawk meeting/games room; Drew with the rest of our Autumn 2016 recruits; a snapshot of Drew and Becky's 2016 Atomhawk Thanksgiving extravoganza
If you like the sound of life here at Atomhawk and you think you might have what it takes to join our art team then check out our latest vacancies here.