Half way through our week long celebration of all the women here at Tag Games. Today we are sitting down with Kerri Targett - Game Artist.
Why do you love games and what about them inspires you?
My first experiences with video games was on the Sega Mega Drive 2 where I enjoyed games such as Sonic and Street Fighter. I’ve always enjoyed playing games as I’m ultra competitive and love a good shoot em/punch em up, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve found I love story based games. I’ve always been an avid reader and a good story is the best. Games that have immersive worlds and stories such as Assassin's Creed (all of them) and the Witcher 3 really captivate me. I also enjoy most games that look beautiful. As an artist, colour and atmosphere in a game is really important to me and is normally the first thing I’m drawn to. Games allow me to experience a new world as well as enjoying beautiful and inspiring art.
What did you study at school/college/uni and how did that impact your career?
I initially started studying textiles when I left school but quickly realised that it wasn’t for me so I started working in pubs as I didn’t know what I wanted to do. Five years later I decided that I wanted to go back to University to study Animation and Visualisation at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design (DJCAD) in Dundee. The time I took out of education gave me time to reflect on what I wanted to do and allowed me to learn better time and self management skills, which I was able to apply to my studies. My course gave me the fundamental skills as a 3D artist that I needed for a career in games.
What made you want to work in games?
I’ve always enjoyed playing games but I never really considered a job in the games industry until the end of my third year at Uni when we were asked to look at the job market for our chosen discipline. While I was studying animation, I quickly realised that 3D work was where my passion lay and the combination of creativity and technical skills it required was something I enjoyed. For 3D artists there were more open positions in game studios than in animation studios, especially in Scotland where I was hoping to stay for my first job out of Uni. Studying in Dundee also exposed me to the amount of game developers and studios that were based here and it was an easy choice to apply to games companies when the time came.
What was your first job and how did you get it?
My first job in the industry was as a Junior Games Artist at Tag Games, and I’m still here but no longer a junior :)
I graduated from University, and within a couple of months I had started to apply to local studios when I had heard from a friend that Tag Games were looking for artists. I applied for the artist role through another friend I had at Tag and quickly got a skype interview with the Art Director. I then had to complete an art test and attend an interview. It’s safe to say it went well and I got hired as a Junior Artist to work on Angry Birds Action.
Why do you think people should want to work in this industry, what makes it great?
I can only talk about my experiences at Tag Games, but you get the chance to work on some great projects and work with talented people from different disciplines. Working as part of a team is a major part of the games industry and being able to share ideas and learn from each other is invaluable. I have learnt so much just from working with code or design about how I create my work. It offers lots of different challenges, from working with others, to tackling technical problems and limitations. It is extremely rewarding when you overcome these challenges and see your work go into the game and come to life.
At Tag the project timescales can be short and offer a wide range of styles and aesthetics, which for an artist, allows you to build a diverse portfolio and experiment with different artistic styles and techniques. The variety offers different challenges and encourages me to step out of my comfort zone and push my skills further.
The atmosphere in the games industry, at least at Tag, is quite relaxed (unless you have a deadlines :P) but everyone loves what they do and work hard to produce the best they can.
Kerri has worked on:
Non-stop Knight Live Ops
Angry Birds Action