Meet Fernando Acosta, Atomhawk Vancouver’s Lead Artist


Atomhawk’s Canada studio has been growing, making room for more senior positions at the company. We’re so pleased to welcome Fernando to our flock, someone who has had an interesting and varied journey to Atomhawk. We sat down with Fernando to get to know his story a little better.


Hi Fernando! Firstly, I’d like to give you a very warm welcome to the Atomhawk team. Can you give us a quick overview of your role here?

Hi! Sure thing, I’m the Lead Artist at Atomhawk Canada, my role is to oversee all the different artists on multiple projects and make sure they are getting sufficient feedback and paintovers to make sure we hit our deadlines and give the clients the best work possible. Once I’ve settled in more, then I’ll also be assisting the management team with scouting and hiring more artists to our growing team.


I understand that you’re were an engineer before you were an artist! How do you think your experience in engineering contributes to who you are as an artist?

Through my experience as an engineer I have learned how to become an efficient and creative problem solver, something I feel is always important in the world of production.

I’m a self-taught artist, so having that background helped me when it came to design tasks and it also provided me with a discipline when learning on my own.


As a native Colombian, what is your relationship with Vancouver? Does it have a special meaning to you?

I ended up in Vancouver by pure luck. Before my career in game development, there was a school in Vancouver that had a video game course and, at the time, marrying both my engineering background with my love of art and video games seemed like a good solution.

After studying in Vanvcouver, then working here and across Canada, I grew to love this town, backdropped by the mountains and ocean. So, although I do miss the warmth, the people and the tropical fruits from back in South America, I’m happy to call Vancouver home again.


You’re had a varied career in the games industry! What were some of your favourite projects to work on?

I’ve worked in film, TV, games and music videos; with each experience I grow a little. All of them are very interesting, but in the end, I’ve found that it’s the people that you work with that’s most important.

I really enjoyed working on Assassins Creed: Syndicate, because my art director was a joy to work with and everyone made me felt like I was part of the team, even though I worked remotely.

Recently, I had been working with a production designer on a few films and a music video. It has been a great experience to work in vastly different mediums because with each new job I learn and grow as an artist.


What are the biggest differences you found working on a music video versus a video game?

Mostly it’s the physical time you get to work. Normally the pre-production on music videos is short (they always want it “yesterday”) so there’s pressure for a fast turn-around, but the result is always cool because depending on the artist your work can reach millions of people.


How did you find out about Atomhawk and what’s your impression now since joining?

I heard about Atomhawk through a friend who used to work here and later joined through a recruiter.

My first impressions are positive! I like the environment and everyone in the office is friendly, like a family. Atomhawk is a nice middle-ground between studio and freelance work. I’m looking forward to continuing to build the Vancouver studio and see what ways we can all grow together as a team.


Can you offer some advice for artists who want to apply at Atomhawk?

Artists who want to work here need to be flexible and open to new ideas. As we do so many projects for multiple companies, your tasks can vary from day to day, so someone with an open mind and who wants to learn the different areas of concept art production is an ideal candidate for our studio.


Since starting at the Vancouver studio, what has been the most encouraging thing about your co-workers?

Everyone is friendly and easy to get along with. All the artists seem to want to get better at their skills and grow as artists. So far, they have been open to my feedback and I hope I am able to pass on some of the experience that I’ve gained from my career onto them. Similarly, they are teaching me new things too! With each piece of artwork, I’m hoping we can push our studio further forward and continue making kick-ass work.

If you’re interested in joining Atomhawk, check out our careers page.