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In 2004 I was introduced into the world game concept art. I got my first game gig at Ncsoft and worked on Tabula Rasa their sci-fi MMOG. It was an amazing experience and a very sobering one as well. I made a lot of friends there and learned a ton from many of them. I must say though my greatest experience was interacting with the development team in Austin and creating concepts and seeing them brought to life by the 3d artist, animators and programmers. I also had the chance to meet NCSOFT employees from Korea and China as I visted both places. Now those are memories I will never let go of.

I am very thankful for getting to know those people and making friends all over the world. I think the experience transformed me in good ways. As a freelnace illustrator you tend to be sheltered a bit more because you are on your own but working as a concept artist or art director etc you have to be able to communicate and interact with others and take crits all the time and give crits, it's not always easy to hear but a part of the industry.

Unfortunately Tabula Rasa did not do well when it debuted in late 2007 and in Feb 2009 the servers were shutdown. I guess its a bit sad to think all the hard work the 9 am to 3am work days the 2 hrs in traffic on the LA 405 and all the things that come with working on a big project can easily be nulled in a heart beat, well maybe.

The nice thing about art though you can always look at it and remember exactly where you were when you created it and your state of mind, and what was going on in your life at the time. So when I look at one of my old TR concepts hundreds of memories come pouring in.

Me and the wife drove from FL TO CA when I got hired at NCSOFT and seeing those amazing mountains coming from flat Florida drew tears to my eyes. Knowing that I was on an adventure of a life time to do what I've always wanted to do, and that was to create concepts and characters and environments that people could enjoy or even get terrified by or hate etc. The point is everytime you create something its not art unless you leave a part of you in it. This is why I create what I create not for the money not for the fame but for the frekle face little kid or adult who wants to see something diffrent new and amazing. It's why we go see movies, play games, read books, listen to music etc.

I've posted some of the art I created for Tabula Rasa in my gallery, so now when you look at them you know a little about the journey and experiences they were created around :)

  • Listening to: Deftones, Tool
  • Reading: not much
  • Watching: ultimate fighter, balances the violence in my art
  • Playing: nada
  • Eating: all sorts of junk
  • Drinking: flavored water
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TARGETE Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2009  Professional General Artist
Yes I have an old sketchbook thread somewhere. Kekai is an exceptional artist.
IllysianB Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
Yeah, but your artwork is amazing as well! I love your creatures and the finished quality you can breath into them. ^-^ Anywho, thanks for the reply--just thought i'd drop a hello to another fantastic artist over at NCSoft--Great work by the way again, I'll have to look more at that finished quality you have, it's really great you know :P my stuff always winds up sketchy looking.

Have a great day

Brit ^-^
Beannighe Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2009
I know how you feel . I worked as a 2D artist for an Indie gaming company from 2000-2003 . The game itself was a step into new territory , new classes and ideas . It was great fun to be able to come up with new concepts for the character models, armors, terrain, buildings ,etc. Everyone had ideas on how to go to the next step or level and being that it was a very small company those ideas by and large were listened to as we were all gamers .
Unfortunately, the world never got to see all the work that went into it as internal strife and funding issues ripped those dreams apart . There was some wicked art work that went into it and a world that had some nifty features . We were done just before the Alpha testing was to start . The initial team was doing all this for free, as it was this same group that could see the end result and believed in the dream.The funding was for getting the company itself together and software, etc.
It was one of those experiences that was bitter sweet , but all in all , well worth it . The creator of the game has since gone on to create his own PnP game world and novels based upon a large part of that game.
My world now is surrounded by mountains, I moved back to my home in the Rockies and you can see it through my gallery. I made a small return to photography, where I started out many many years ago. The journey isn't over though..its still going on.=)
TARGETE Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2009  Professional General Artist
Thanks for sharing Beannighe. It's amazing how artist can relate to another with stories like these. Yhea its always good to go back to where you started or got first inspired.

best of luck with your new endevors.

JazylH Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2009  Professional Filmographer
Really touching to read this. You are an Awesome artist & good thing that comes at you is well deserved. Your work is always inspirational.
AzamRaharjo Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
I agree with the others, it is very inspiring to read :)

I really like your artworks. I first saw your arts when I read ImagineFX magazine [If I'm not mistaken, you were the featured artist there---and your workshop was that man with a large axe]

Thanks for your story and thanks for sharing your artworks. I hope I can learn more things from you :)

[sorry for my crappy english :shrug:]
TARGETE Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2009  Professional General Artist
Yep the Purifier was the title of that image. I'll post more stories and and art related adventures in my journal.

thank you for reading and your english is fine.

ANDREI08 Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2009  Student
That was very inspiring to read. Your concepts are amazing, as are all your paintings.

I too also plan on being a concept artist in the game industry, and to experience similar things that you have experienced. I want to interact with people, give critiques, share thoughts and ideas. It all sounds so much better than struggling alone by yourself.
Also the fun of creating characters, creatures, weapons, etc and just the sheer fact of contributing to a game / movie is what makes me want to work harder and achieve that goal.

Thank you for your story, and please, share more about your experience. We all would love to read it :]
TARGETE Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2009  Professional General Artist
It's been a great adventure and it's all been worth it. You have alot to look forward too don't ever give up :).

MasterDante87 Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2009
Wow... sounds like you've had an awesome journey so far. I cant wait to get into the industry myself, but its gonna be awhile i think.. cause ive just started a study of GameArt. Which i gonna take about 4years. But hopefully after that ill get my chance to dive into the game industry!

Your concepts for NCSoft were really cool. Hopefully u land another job at a game developer soon. Maybe NCSoft again :P who knows.

thedarkentity Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2009
Well written...Makes me so excited to get into the industry..I just landed my first big project(for me).Reading this has helped me to shed all my inhibitions and motivated me to add a little of myself to my artworks...For the little kids in all of us..

Thank you...

Parabola by tool is kick ass eh?
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