Today we have with us Ekaterina Belekhova, the art lead of the Deck of Ashes. She is responsible for the artistic direction in which the project has been moving all that time. She is a wise mentor and a nice guy who accelerates work processes.
Hello! Tell me a little about your profession, what do you do? Who's an art lead?
As an art lead, my job is to coordinate the work of all the artists in the team, set tasks, and control their execution. However, since we have a small team, I also perform the entire range of drawing, animation, and interface development tasks. I create the first graphics samples for new projects, develop the style according to the demands of the target audience, and control the entire game atmosphere.
How long have you been in the team?
Almost since the AYGames was founded.
Let's talk about the Deck of Ashes. How do you make a team of artists under your supervision paint in about the same style, and the final result looks cool?
It is very important to control the creation of the drawing at each stage.
Is it difficult to be responsible for all the art in the project and lead the team? What you like and what you do not like to do?
We have a very good team, so it's not difficult for me :) It's interesting to be able to take part not only in solving art tasks, but also to communicate with other parts of the team responsible for game-design and programming - it's a useful experience, which is difficult for an artist to get in a large company with many people.
Let's talk about games. What genres do you like and how often do you play games? What inspires you?
I like single-player games of different genres - platformers, RPGs, puzzles, and many others. I don't get to play often - I'm usually watching streams on Twitch just for relaxing. In games, I'm inspired by the atmosphere that is created by the hard work of the development team and an interesting story.
Great! What kind of programs do you use?
Usually, I draw in Adobe Photoshop. Speaking about animation I like the Spine Pro, Adobe After Effects, and other programs. It depends on the tasks. For 3D modeling and animation, I prefer Blender as a free and very comprehensive software.
How do you pump up your skills?
I constantly look through a lot of information in different areas of the profession, I never refuse to learn something new if I have to perform a task that I have not encountered before. The need to quickly solve diverse problems forces me to keep my existing skills relevant, and to learn new programs and methods to keep up with the industry.
What do you recommend to artists who want to get into the game dev industry?
Create a good portfolio with your works so that your potential employer can see what you are capable of.
Blitz! 1) What is more important: skill or talent? 2) Where to study as an artist (university or etc)? 3) Give an inspiration in three words to future artists.
1) Skill and practice 2) I'm in favor of classical education starting from art school, continuing at university 3) Draw every day.