A digital arts’ lover whose work is designing and animating characters for games: that’s Jesús Sánchez. He is the Graphic Artist among IT people – and he seems to love it.
Since 2016, Jesús has been a Graphic Artist for e.near. He is part of a generation that, he believes, is able to appreciate the artistic value of digital arts like videogames. And also the artists behind those works. Today we celebrate International Artist’s Day by having Jesús sharing a little more about his work.
We asked Jesús 10 questions about himself and his work as an artist. From what made him choose this digital arts’ path to the challenges he has to overcome as a Graphic Artist.
#1: Did you grow up wanting to be an artist?
I suppose I am one of those cliché stories of artists who were born with a crayon in hand. But I really was. I’ve been drawing all my life and I wouldn’t know what else I’d be if I wasn’t an artist. Maybe a developer?
#2: How did you discover your passion for visual arts?
I was never much of a sporty kid, so I guess it was all those painting and drawing classes I took when I was a child that were so fundamental for me to actually choose this path. I’m sure all the tv cartoons and videogames I basically inhaled as a kid also had a part to play in this passion.
#3: As a graphic artist, your work can be very varied. Do you have some kind of art form that’s your favourite?
I really enjoy the new digital arts like videogames and animated movies. They may not have the same mysticism as more classical arts like painting, sculpture and architecture (yet), but there’s no denying that videogames like Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us Part II, movies like Pixar’s Coco or Studio Ghibli’s Spirited Away are works of art in every sense of the wordith achievements not only in the visual arts but also in storytelling and technical performances.
In the end, the best works of art nowadays are not made by a single source, but by the collaborative efforts from people of a wide range of fields of expertise.
#4: You’re currently working as a graphic artist for e.near. Can you tell us more about what do you do?
I am currently working for a client that specializes in gambling and slot games. I spend my days designing bright and colourful characters, environments and objects. Then, I animate them to make them appeal to each game’s core market. And, when all’s approved, I prepare and deliver them to the developers who will take these assets and make them work into the game.
In the end, it’s really fun to see your creations come to life and enjoyed by people from all over the globe.
#5: Sometimes the artistic value of digital projects such as videogames it’s almost forgotten by society. What do you think about it?
I think this perspective is slowly shifting. While it is true that there may be a couple of generations who still see videogames as a waste of time, dangerous or just as something to pass the time in small doses (which, granted, there is so much offer out there that these may still be true in some instances), right now the videogame industry is bigger than the cinema industry in terms of revenue and investment.
I feel that my generation and the newer ones really have a different perspective to videogames. Sure, the basic idea is to have fun while playing, but the main appeal of games is the interactivity and how the player can be part of a world in a deeper way than just watching a movie.
#6: You need both technical expertise and creativity to do your work. How do you manage your creativity flow?
For me it’s all about being in the zone. Whenever that doesn’t come naturally, which is often, I try to kickstart it by listening to movies or videogames’ soundtracks on my headphones. Closing off all distractions. And, if the inspiration still resists, I try to doodle whatever just to warm up and eventually I just fall into the zone.
#7: We could say that, for instance, developers are artists too. They use both their creativity and technical expertise to create new things. What do you think about it?
It’s true. Anyone can be an artist. A chef, an engineer, a pilot. There’s this thinking sometimes that the arts are snob and exclusive, but I think we are all born artists. We, as children, are imaginative, creative and natural problem solvers. But then we grow to apply these qualities in other fields and situations that are not arts related. For me those three things are the qualities every artist needs to have.
One thing is for sure: the myth that you must be born an artist is false. While there are some people that are naturally inclined to the arts, anyone can learn to draw, paint or sculpt, as all of these are a skill and not a gift.
#8: What is the most challenging part of being a graphic artist?
Meeting the expectations of everyone in the pipeline. Art can be incredibly subjective and what looks good to me might not look good to the art director, producer or final client. But in the end, it is through the collaborative effort of everyone involved that everything becomes better.
And, if the people high above provide detailed instructions of what they are looking for, then half my job is done.
#9: Is there any artist or piece of art you’d like everyone to know about? Why?
I feel that Carlos Lerma, a Mexican illustrator, is not known enough internationally. He’s really great with shapes and colours and it’s a great inspiration to me.
#10: What is the piece of art you created that you are most proud of?
A couple of years ago I participated in a one weekend game jam in Porto with some friends. A game jam is an event where you have to create a videogame in a specific amount of time non-stop. We had 40 hours. I barely slept. Around 6 hours of sleep in two days, perhaps.
But long story short, my team won! And that felt amazing.😀 It was one of the achievements of my art career as it served as validation that, after all, I’m on the right path.
Curious about Jesús’ work? Visit his website here.
e.near wishes all artists a Happy International Artist’s Day!