How I got into 3D art

📅 24/11/2019

I have been lowkey updating this blog but I have not told much of what I am currently doing or how I got into this stuff. Basically, I had no idea what I wanted to do after I finished university. Which is funny because, I had a very clear idea what I wanted to do before university: I wanted to be a graphic designer. However, my family did not support me on that. They thought I was going to starve to death if I pursued that career path. Which is understandable, parenting is hard and having an open mind about future career paths must be difficult coming from very humble beginnings. Doing weird stuff on the computer for a living? What the hell are you talking about? 

So yeah, as a shy, low self-esteem and very little self-confidence teenager, I felt forced to listen to them and go for an engineering degree. At least I picked a cool engineering degree in industrial design, which with all its irony, was imparted in the same university I wanted to go for graphic design. And I finished that degree. There is always interesting stuff to learn in most subjects. I learnt about materials, design, engineering, ecology and sustainability... and I made good friends.  Also I had not the guts to tell my family "Hey this is not what I want to do, so I'm going to quit this expensive degree you are paying for me". And I graduated, with honors... Imagine graduating with honors in something you are not really passionate about. Not cool.

Time passed after uni, I sent millions of resumes, I got a lot of shit from my family for not finding a job (like that was my fault anyway), but I finally did. I joined an engineering studio working on products I could not care less. The imposter syndrome was real. I struggled at the beginning, but after a year or so I received some nice feedback about my work there. Imagine hearing you are good at doing a job you are not really passionate about. It does feel like a waste.

Back in that office, tired of listening to music or making Spotify playlists (not gonna lie, I made a couple that were pretty damn good), I remember searching for video game podcasts (since videogames had always interested me) and found a Polygon article called "10 videogame podcasts you want to have in your life" or some clickbaity title of the sort. And they recommended a couple. Some of them I still remember, like the Cane and Rinse podcast (very recommended), other I did not like or care about. The one that stuck with me was the Kinda Funny "PS I love you XOXO" podcast, hosted by Greg Miller and Colin Moriarty. Probably the best Playstation podcast ever. These two guys, besides all the controversy that came after, I hold them in high regard, even if they have never heard about me. I listened religiously to their podcast, laughing at their jokes, loving their interactions, and really enjoying their analysis of the videogame industry. Meanwhile at the office all my coworkers were really into the kind of stuff we were developing in the studio, you know, being involved and stuff. I did not fit in at all. This is the time when I realised: "what if I try to work on videogames? I have always enjoyed them and seems to be a growing industry. I also know how to make 3D, and games use 3D, right?" Silly me.

My family was also "pressuring" me to keep studying and pick a masters degree. I was older and a bit more confident in myself so I told them that I wanted to join a game art course. I don't know exactly why they thought this was a good idea. Probably because after Skyrim videogames had skyrocketed and media had covered them as a new growing industry, and they thought it might be interesting or something. I also kinda tweaked the truth and told them it was related to my current skillset, since I already knew about 3D modeling and rendering, so that helped aswell. Luckily enough, joining game art course is really easy, you just need to have the money for the fee.

So yeah, I joined that game art course, and struggled to manage my job and the studies, but eventually I finished it. It was an stressing year of my life, the year I realised I have anxiety and should take stuff more easily. I also realised afterwards that I wasted my time and money doing that course, to some extent. However, it did connect me with like minded people and made a couple good friends. Is that worth the price? Probably not, but at least I am not in debt like students in other countries. My results after the degree were not good enough to join any game studio, so I had to work really hard on my portfolio, which worried my family for a while. But eventually I landed a job in a studio that develops Serious Games and simulators. Which kinda suits me since my prior experience as a product engineer. 

Currently I am again enrolled in another game art degree. I never learn. This time is different though. I know exactly what I want from it and I know how to take it easy. This might put me in the right path to be a rockstar 3D artist or it might just be another course I did for the sake of learning. Either way I am happy with both. Even if I hate the process of learning new subjects, I do not think I could ever stay still and be content with what I already know. I am the kind of person that is defined by the work I do.