Hi Maciej, it is a pleasure to speak to you. Thanks for finding space in your schedule to let us know what you are up to. When doing some research I found a list of fantastic titles that you have worked on, but I couldn't find out much about you. Could you tell us a little about where you came from and how you ended up working in the games industry?
I come from Poland where I spent most of my life until I became a video games professional. I had never thought of art as a way of making a living and I kept thinking that way until 2003, when I first became interested in CG art. At first I mainly focused on learning 3D, although I quickly figured out that it's much easier to model interesting creatures or environments from my own concepts. Every single minute outside of school time was spent in front of my CRT screen and tablet. I used forums as a catalyst for all the personal work I had been doing and I finally decided to drop 3D and focus on concept work. This is when I got my first freelance job for a German table top game in early 2004. From that moment on everything started slowly coming together. After finishing university I kept getting small projects, doing mostly 2D artwork for online games and table top games etc. In June 2004 I got my first real job at People Can Fly. That was the breaking moment, I think, that ignited my career.
I have noticed that there are a lot of really talented artists coming out of Poland at the moment. Why do you think it is that so many talented artists come from your homeland, and is the education system over there set up to promote this kind of skill?
This is an interesting question and I don't think I could give a definitive answer to it. The artists' community has definitely been growing in Poland for the last couple of years, and it's great to see so many talented artists finding their spot in the industry.
However, I don't think it has anything to do with the education system. Most of the art-based universities still follow a very academic path that doesn't have much to do with entertainment or industrial design. There is only one animation school that was only opened recently, but that's just a ripple in a big ocean considering the needs of the people in the country.