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Nintendo Metroid Prime has always been one of my favorite games. I spent so much time playing that in my early years. I moved to Europe because I needed a change from living and working in California. I actually sold everything and quit my job and was living in Europe as a portrait artist, just working, living off the street, just traveling around in a real gypsy-like, nomadic life. It was a great time for a few months, until of course with the holidays approaching, I was looking forward to going back and seeing my family. Then I got an email from a friend of mine I went to art school with, who worked at Retro Studios. The email said that they were looking for concept artists for the new ‘Metroid’ game. So I sent in my portfolio, and they liked what they saw and offered me the job. I remember, on the plane ride over to the interview I did a drawing and I showed them the picture during the interview and I think, you know, they got along with me, I got along with them, and I got the job. It happened really fast. It was great working for Nintendo. I had a lot of true freedom. I was the only concept artist on the project so I had pretty much free reign for all the characters. It’s a heap of fun to develop a whole world, to develop a whole eco-system and the structure between the enemies. It was also nice to work within the structure of a predefined franchise. The batch of characters had their own history as well, so I had to make them seem real for the established fan-base. I also had to work on making it interesting enough for the next generation of players. I felt it was a really great, creative challenge and I really enjoyed working with them. It was a great experience. As the Nintendo projects went on, I gained the trust of the original ‘Metroid’ creators and all the art directors. I felt I was given more freedom as I went on. There was definitely more freedom in ‘Metroid Prime 2’ and in this last game ‘Metroid Prime 3’, it was definitely much more of an open canvas to work with them. I also did ‘Metroid Hunter’ which is the PlayStation version.
     
2012: Quetzalcoatl 
       
Concept work is where I have found most freedom, and the ideas have kept coming to me.

Once I came back from Europe, and Nintendo gave me the job, I knew I had a place to stay and a genre to follow. From there, not only did the ideas keep coming, but the work kept coming to me as well.

The ideas are still fresh, the work is great and the projects are always exciting.

Close-up: 2012 - Quetzalcoatl 

     
Company man 
Massive Black is a fairly high calibre outsourcing studio for the video game industry. With a large studio in the Bay Area, it is home to 15 of the world’s leading concept artists.

I’m Creative Director there and I am actively developing a lot of our own intellectual property, which involves our own video game ideas and other projects. Most of our friends here at Massive Black are pursuing fine arts careers as well. We do gallery shows as well as setting up workshops and many of our projects are either in planning or concept stage, so I keep fairly active. Jason Manley was working down in Southern California and I was at Nintendo in Texas. Between the two of us, we knew a lot of really great artists. A lot of these guys had their own web sites, but the idea was to combine forces and have something that would pull a lot of traffic. So we started it up and got more artists onboard. Then we attached the forum system on it and it was one of those things that just started and got big of its own accord. It was just something we could use to keep in touch and share our art with each other.

Conceptart.org was a great place to meet other artists, to learn and critique each other.
Diethylamide temple 
       
My current plans at the moment are to continue in many directions, but just lately I’ve bought an airbrush. I’ve been really active in body painting. I’ve been airbrushing on naked women and other models, circus performers and acrobats. At E3, Sony had this big party, and they hired a bunch of acrobats, performers and dancers. It’s kind of like doing live concept art because you ‘concept-art’ the characters and airbrush the designs of the characters, onto real people. So that’s the most exciting thing for me lately. I want to pursue my bodypainting career right now in my free time. It’s very much like Zen-Buddhist sandpainting, you know, it’s ‘only there for so long’. It’s like performance art in that I’ve had to use some good photographers to take pictures while it’s there.

I’ve done a lot of traditional work, but now that I’ve been doing digital work for so long, it comes naturally to me. Digital is great—don’t get me wrong. You get light, pixels and energy; it’s a beautiful medium but it does leave you wanting more from the tangible world. I really find painting in liquids and drawing in charcoal have a tactile quality that you only get with physical mediums. I’ve found with bodypainting, it’s the most tangible of all because not only am I using real medium, like propellants, airbrush and stencils, but I’m painting on living canvases. Everything about it is so alive. It really helps with balancing out all the digital work that I do. It’s really interactive and you make a lot of friends.

My current list of projects I’d love to do is to go to ‘Burning Man’ and some of the big festivals and put on a show. Out in the desert with the fire and all the people wanting inspiration. My future plans lie with my projects with Massive Black as mentioned, but I suppose I have plans later on of buying some land in Costa Rica and getting out of America, and preparing for the year 2012. I think around about that time I want to have my own cultural retreat away in ‘Maya-land’.
Red Tit 
       
Black angels  


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