Spotlight on Jason Etienne, Course director for Games Art
Jason Etienne – Course Director for Games Art and Concept Artist
What did you study at University?-I studied at Kent Institute of Art and Design, (Now UCA: University for the Creative Arts). I started out studying Graphic Design but I really wanted to do Animation as I wanted to be a stop motion animator. I ended up doing a film and video production course led by Film Theorist and Author Al Reece, which covered film making, animation, video and film art.
What did you do immediately after graduating?-Interestingly my love of stop motion wasn’t timed well! The digital age was starting and most film production companies were looking for people with experience of Maya. So I was a man out of time!….quite a few of my friends ended up in the film industry and I got an opportunity to be a runner on Johnny English. That opportunity completely blew open my options and subsequently ended up working in films, commercials and music videos for the next 10 years. I worked on Nanny McPhee, Alexander, Elizabeth (HBO Mini series), Kick Ass, X Men First Class, pop promos including a pop video for Snow Patrol. Funnily enough Johnny English 2 was my last film! I have also been luck and worked around the world, Singapore, Thailand to Lithuania!
What sort of artist would you describe yourself as?- Hmmmmm 2D and 3D concept artist
Name 3 skills that every Games Art student needs?- You need to draw, have great passion and unlimited imagination!
What’s the most rewarding job you never had?- This job!!!! That sounds corny doesn’t it?…I get amazing satisfaction from working with students. I love teaching, seeing that light up moment in their eyes when they get it.
What was your toughest work gig?- Head in hands, a low budget film called ‘Exam’, it was a production designer role, but I did everything graphic design, concept, prop-making, special effects. I did it all and it nearly made me ill, I learnt a lot but it was stressful.
What do you wish you had known just after graduating?- I wish had been more prepared for employment and careers advice.
What do you wish you were taught at University?- As well as the above, I wish I can been taught more digital skills and concept art to get industry ready.
One piece of advice you’d give a Games Art student?- Be focused, competitive and tenacious …Don’t act as a student, act as if you are already working in Industry.
Why choose a Games Art course at Coventry?- A Games Art course encompasses so many other disciplines like no other course. Maths, geography, philosophy, fashion, history, sociology, IT, behavioural studies….the list goes on. Here at Coventry we really focus on the individual, they all get the same core skills but we really tailor advice to you. We ensure you develop your own philosophy and voice, we want students to recognise and showcase their personal passion through their work.
You can check out Jason’s profile on imdb