Have you always wanted to work as a professional artist? What was your personal career journey leading up to Atomhawk?
Russell Jones, Senior Concept Artist: I always drew as a kid but didn’t realize it was a career option until the end of high school, when I found an online art study group filled with artists aspiring to work professionally. I put my all into it and spent several years working on basic fundamentals and building a portfolio before I started landing some freelance gigs. Several more years of freelancing and studying, I ended up in a place where I wanted to grow more but had felt I’d hit a wall on my own. I’d never considered working in-house somewhere but found out about Atomhawk not being too far from where I lived and applied soon after.
Jin Young Song, Intermediate Concept Artist: I always wanted to do something related to art growing up but ended up studying something totally unrelated in university. It took me a few years, but my interest in design and video games eventually led me to Atomhawk!
Mauro Cerati, Principal Concept Artist: I knew I wanted to work as an artist but where I’m from, art isn’t seen as a “real job”. After studying art in school, I went to university to study Asian languages because it seemed like it would open opportunities for me. But once I graduated, I didn’t want to be a translator, so I worked for some years as a graphic designer, but the financial crisis and very poor job security didn’t make me go that far anyway, so I decided to pursue my true passion combining art and video games into a career as a concept artist. I left Italy to go to Singapore studying the fundamentals of been a concept artist for videogames. I spent a year at FZD School building my portfolio and was lucky enough to land my first job in the game industry. Finally, I was on the right path!
From there I worked for indie game devs around the world, then moved to Malaysia at an outsourcing company where I got the chance to work on AAA titles for the first time. After five years cutting my teeth, I got the job at Atomhawk, where I’m now based in Vancouver to start the Canadian chapter of my life.