3dt: Do you prefer traditional or digital methods?
Digital methods definitely have many advantages. They're faster, cleaner, cheaper and much easier to make revisions. I do sometimes miss working with textile media. It has a more natural appearance to it with often random results, which can be appealing. Plus it's nice to have a physical original you can keep or sell. I do often suffer from migraines due to back, arm and neck pain caused by sitting in front of a computer screen for long periods.
Regardless, I'm totally sold on the digital medium for commercial work and I can't see myself reverting anytime soon. I'm just far too reliant on my current work method. I do still enjoy swinging a brush, and have an easel next to me. I like to have a personal hobby on the side doing traditional painting where I can express my own ideas and just enjoy creating something for the fun of it.
3dt: What has been your favorite job so far?
I'd say my current job. I've always wanted to work in my own studio with a few other artists, and that's exactly what I'm doing. There's four of us; James Brouwer
, Alex Allen
, Brad Nielsen
and myself working on concept art for an animated TV series called The Deep
(Technicolor). We are making our way through the first season and it's been
There's a slight possibility that some of our designs could be made into toys, so it's a good incentive to make them as cool as possible! We are of course restricted budget wise but there's still enough scope for us to get our design on. From what I've seen I think people are going to like it. We also have the freedom to do other work, so I've been lucky enough this year to do a handful of fun projects including Gods of Egypt
and currently Pirates of the Caribbean 5
. It's been a great year.
3dt: You've spent quite a lot of time working in the games industry, both as a freelancer and as a full-time job, which games did you most enjoy working on and why?
The Star Wars
games were the most fun for me. It helps if you are a huge fan of the IP you are working on. I learned a lot on the Clone Wars
games and the team mostly had a great time. We got to develop a whole bunch of great characters and props which was hard work but definitely exciting. Sadly The Avengers
game was cancelled when THQ closed, but there's still that chance you might actually get to design something that will impact the franchise in some way. Satellite Reign
is another game I enjoyed doing work for, both in the initial Kickstarter pitch phase and throughout production. A lot of the work is rough sketches but it's a genre I enjoyed exploring.
3dt: What advice would you give anyone who knows they want to do something creative, but aren't sure which avenue to take?
Firstly there's so many avenues to take these days, so it helps to know what kind of creative you are. For example, are you inspired by pop culture, sci-fi, historical or contemporary art? Do you like to draw characters and make up stories for them? Or are you more of an industrial designer who likes gadgets and architecture? Do you just want to express yourself visually in a personal or political manner? There's no doubt an artistic position available which caters to each of these. Knowing what inspires you and what makes you interested in art will help guide you into a career path that suits you. At least it's somewhere to start. From there you can always gain the right training.
If you're still not sure, then I'd say it's time to travel, see the world and formulate your creative identity. I personally believe that it's never too late to change the career path you are on and that heading in the wrong direction can be just as helpful as choosing the right one. So don't stress about it. If you want it bad enough, you'll get there.
In the meantime, learning and practicing the fundamentals of art will never let you down, and it's something that can be achieved simply by drawing what you see around you every single day. Even if it's only for a few minutes while you wait for a bus. Observation will build a library in your head which you'll be able to draw from in the future.
3dt: You contributed a brilliant chapter on learning how to design spaceships in our Sketch Workshop: Robots & Spaceships workbook. How useful do you think these workbooks are to beginner artists?
Oh thanks! I wish I had time to do more of them as it's a fantastic idea. The fact that you can reference a design while learning about the fundamentals, then take that knowledge and create something new, is perfect. Plus it's a library you can keep adding to as you progress. So they are definitely a great hands on way of getting started.
3dt: Are there any other sections in the Sketch Workshop that you would recommend?
They are all great and there's a really wide range of disciplines to choose from. The Anatomy
tutorials are perfect for anyone wanting to learn basic fundamentals like perspective with hard and soft surfaces, so I'd definitely recommend them.
3dt: What inspires you?
It's hard to say exactly, and it changes all the time, but one thing that is common throughout is how nature can influence design. How structures and living organisms can formulate shapes to suit different climates and environments. It's pretty amazing to me, so it definitely has a big impact on my designs. Architects like Zaha Hadid
obviously take great reference from nature and the results are mind blowing. I've also always been a big fan of impressionistic art which I'd like to practice more in my digital art. I guess I'm still a sucker for that handcrafted look.
For more from Jeremy's portfolio, check out his site
Want to learn to draw like Jeremy? Get the Robots & Spaceships workbook
Check out the full range of Sketch Workshop books and tools
and Digital Painting Techniques: Volume 4
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