from, what he did, other movies he worked on and what inspired him. Nowadays for me the problem is more about having the time to actually see/observe this whole gigantic backlog of inspiration and art that the community provides on a daily basis.
Can you lead us through a typical day for you as an art director?
The day always starts with a daily meeting where the whole art team gathers together and we go over the overall plans for the week and what we are aiming to do that day. After that I'll usually go over to the rest of the development team, designers, programmers and producers and get all the information needed for the artists to do their work and make sure they are on the right track. After lunch I end up doing more of a one to one with specific artists focused on close milestones and what they have to deliver. I try to give as much support as possible with mock-ups, ideas and inspiration to make sure they can give the best they have.
The end of the day is usually more relaxed, where I try to make sure we all share the cool stuff that was done and get some feedback/critics from everyone so we are all challenged and inspired for the next day.
Has it ever been difficult to translate an artistic idea into a project due to tools and/or pipeline limitations? If so, how did you come up with the solution?
Yes! And I think that the gaming industry, due to the hardware limitations and constant technological evolution, is always struggling with that. Personally my biggest issue is not being aware of the skills and strengths of your team and forcing them to do something they are not strong at. As an example, imagine getting a really strong character artist to create a 2D flash user interface. It won't make them happy and the work they will do won't match their skills.
The best solution I have found so far is to listen and truly understand the passion and what drives every single artist. We are a team and we are working together at least eight hours a day! We need to understand each other and see what makes every one of us tick. There are moments where you just don't have a choice and the nature of the project forces you to do things you don't love, but there is always a little something you can find that will make you enjoy your day and be creative.
How often do you try to step out of your comfort zone and try something new? Would you define that as a key to success?
I don't think there is a key to success; it's like a producer asking his team to do a 95%+ game. If your aim is to do what you love then you will naturally be successful, at least with yourself (I guess that's the key). I always try to leave my comfort zone and expand my skills and knowledge.