Lots of people want to learn how to become artists in the interactive industry. The best advice I can give ya’ can be summed up in two lines.
Follow your dreams.
You create your own luck.
When people ask me how I got to work at such a cool place, I simply tell them those two lines. It really is in everyone’s power to become or do exactly what he or she wants. No, it is not going to be easy (thus all the peeps with the “up hill both ways” stories), but with hard work and dedication it is possible.
The single most important part about the concept is that you have to figure out what your dream really is. Nobody can move toward a dream if he or she doesn’t have a dream in sight. It’s easy to get lost, it’s easy to stray, and most of all it’s easy to not know what your dream is. As a kid I believed that there were no jobs drawing monsters or robots nor any visual language studies for interactive communication. “The high school guidance counselor said I would be “good at running a liquor store or driving a big truck,” not exactly encouragement in the dream department. She then followed up with, “No, monster drawing is not a job.” However, after much deliberation (okay, maybe two minutes) she came to her professional recommendation as a guidance counselor: “Maybe, you can do tattoos.” Bah, that was her final verdict on my dream. It may have taken a lot of work and a lot of time, but now, every day I’m designing and working with Mudokons, Scrabs, Sligs, Vykkers, monsters, robots and more. I am here to tell ya, Mrs. Crapapple, there are jobs drawing monsters!
The second most important part about the concept is, what are you doing to create a future for your dream? Lots of people like to call it luck. However, you will soon find out on your way to following your dream there is not much “luck” in real luck. To create luck here is a simple recipe: 5 cups hard work, 2 cups preparedness, two sticks of committed to dream. Take all that, put it in a pot and simmer out 3 cups of ego. (Nobody wants to work with an egomaniac no matter how good he or she is). Viola!! You now have a pot o’ luck! Woot, welcome to the “I-Create-My-Own-Luck Club.” Now get to work…
Oddworld is proof that dreams do come true, and that you do, in fact, create your own luck. As a kid, it was Lorne’s (Lorne Lanning, Creative Director and President) dream to invent a place where he could vacation at or escape to whenever he felt the need. He wanted a place where he could feel at peace with his creativity. A place where he could have visions, ideas and thoughts that wouldn’t be discounted by people who misunderstood and would be appreciated by people who could understand. At that time he developed his vision through drawings, storytelling and paintings. Luckily for us and for fans of Oddworld he has has grown up, and those stories, drawings and paintings are now living and breathing Mudokons, Glukkons and Vykkers. It took a lot of time. It took an amazing, beyond-my-comprehension amount of work, preparedness, and commitment (see: luck recipe) to get where Oddworld and Lorne’s story is now. Beyond all odds (hehe) that little 12-year-old’s vision and dream has now come true. Who would have guessed that that the fanciful stories and drawings would have the ability to take us all on a real vacation–a vacation at Oddworld…
Guys and gals, for goodness’ sake–please, follow your dreams. You never know what might happen… –Rob