5 questions for Atomhawk UK

Every artist and designer are unique. They bring their own individual experiences to each project. Your ways of working, and the specific things that fire up your inspiration will always be different from every other person you work with. That’s what makes being part of a large in-house team like Atomhawk’s so exciting. Everyone brings something special and the combination is brilliant. We want to give you an idea of the energy, thinking and creative background that goes into each unbelievable project here.

Our artists and designers all have a strong work ethic, they know authenticity is key and they’ve all arrived at Atomhawk for a reason. Let’s get to know them and find out more.

Have you always wanted to work as a professional artist? What was your personal career journey leading up to Atomhawk?

Ani Larmina, Concept Artist:
Yeah, I have always wanted to be an artist! Also a starship pilot, but the artist thing seemed to be more approachable, and now I can draw a pilot!  And a starship. And the whole galaxy If I have some time!!! Before I joined Atomhawk I was working in several studios developing my skills, having lots of fun creating games and hanging out with other artists.

Lewis Wagstaff, Graphic Designer: I’ve always wanted to be a graphic designer of some sort! Both my parents are graphic designers too, so it’s in my blood and had a heavy influence in my younger years. I started creating designs in my early teens and never stopped!

Markus Biegholdt, Concept Artist: Since I was a kid, I enjoyed drawing. I even drew on the furniture sometimes, to the annoyance of my parents. Back then, I thought I might be able to draw comics one day. I didn’t realise until much later that concept art existed. I remember discovering conceptart.org at some point, that is when I started to get a clearer picture of what options I have. I studied interactive entertainment at an art school, then worked on mobile and VR Games in various fields over the years. A few years ago, I doubled down on concept art before getting the job at Atomhawk!

Most artists have a specialty they’re drawn to, can you tell us more about yours? What is it that you love about it?

Graphic design is my discipline. People don’t always think about graphic design when they play games, but there’s so much to be found in any title. I love that side of it because it has more tendencies of being art-leaning with things like icon, emblem, and logo design. There’s a lot of fun you can have with it.

Markus: I specialise in environments and hard surface design. I love creating worlds, places that don’t exist in the real world or to reimagining real places in a different time or scenario. There is a sense of exploration every time I create an environment, the difference is that I get to decide what’s waiting around the next corner. It’s very exciting.

Ani: I was a geeky kid who always had a bunch of comic books in their backpack and knew everything about Star Wars. I was obsessed with the characters. They were so beautiful, bright and adventurous to me! So I would draw them wherever I can (still do!) I just love to draw characters, new or existing. The best part for me is try and show their personality and mood through lines and shapes and colours, also clothes and style. It’s just the best!

Concept art is all about creating new ideas. Where do you find your inspiration? Do you prefer searching for references online or elsewhere?

Influence and inspiration is 24/7, when out and about I am constantly taking in reference and generating ideas in my head. When it comes to a project, I can use these stored ideas but a lot of the time I need to go searching for specifics that line up with the brief.

Markus: There is endless inspiration no matter where you look. The shape of a random object on your desk could spark the next idea for a spaceship. I really like to go out and explore my neighbourhood and look at all the hidden details – there are so many interesting things going on all around you if you look closely. I think real life is by far the best source of inspiration no matter if its photos found online or being there in person.

Ani: Inspiration likes to hide in books, movies and fellow creative people. As an example, picture reading a book and imagining all these beautiful faces and places, you just have to put them out of your head, otherwise it’ll explode!

How has working with a large team of artists and producers changed your art-making process?

Being among a large team of people means you not only can learn from them and share your own knowledge, but also use them as models! I prefer taking pictures of my colleagues for my illustrations, rather than just looking for it online. It’s just so much fun and also a work out when it comes to some dynamic scenes.

Lewis: Working in a large creative team means that there are always fresh ideas bouncing about and everyone has the same eye for attention to detail. This motivates me to always be improving to find that extra 10% to push myself forward with my work.

Markus: Everyone benefits from a big team of great artists. Each person has their individual strengths, and there is so much knowledge everyone brings to the table. All you have to do is ask and they will help you out with whatever they can offer. Production at Atomhawk really has your back, they take care of everything you need so you can just focus on creating great art.

What’s the single piece of advice you’d give your younger self about pursuing a career in art?

Years of learning and training and long hours of practice are waiting for you but be patient and be brave. Working in an art studio with people who share your interests is a lot of joy and worth the effort.

Markus: I’m grateful for all the experiences and mistakes I made along the road, there have been some great learnings along my journey. There is no real shortcut, strong dedication and patience are the keys to success.

Lewis: The best advice I can give is to share and never shy away from your own personal progression.