An Interview with OceansDream

6 12 2010

I recently interviewed a friend of mine who is an independant pixel artist going by the username OceansDream online. I had a chance to ask him a few questions about art and the work he does.

1.      What field of artist are you aiming for as a profession?

“I really didn’t aim for arts at first. I intended to be a video game programmer. As I was still deciding in University, I found I was enjoying the artistic aspects of game creation more than the programming. I figured I should be doing what I enjoy. I am aiming to be a video game artist now, more specifically in 2D or even pixel works, although that’s becoming limited to the mobile phone and hand held games now.”

2.      What difficulties have you encountered so far on your way to achieving this?

“The extensive use of 3D for gaming now, the competitiveness of the field, and my art skill. I see many professional works, I am not at that level. They are inspiring, but also serve as a reminder that I have a long way to go. Since I work on various aspects such as music making, pixel art, drawing, game design, I don’t practice extensively on making myself a master at “x” field.”

3.      How is your art different from other types? Are there similarities?

“I’m a  pixel artist. My art is pretty much categorized into the old school, nostalgic style because of the low resolution. I borrow from the Super Nintendo, and Hand held gaming artistic styles and methods so it very much has a “Art for games” look to it, rather than something like painting or sculpture where it doesn’t instantly have that look for other people. Also, the method requires patience, and a high amount of control over a piece. In small pieces, even one pixel can make a big difference.

For similarities, you have to be familiar with perspective, color theory, and other art concepts as well. Becoming a good pixel artist can require you to be good in other fields of art as well, and really understand how objects are shaded, how they interact with others, and all of that. Skills learned don’t just apply to one medium, they can transfer as well.”

4.      Are commissions helpful in establishing yourself in your field? Why or why not?

“It does not need to be commissions, it can be free work. But both can be good for building up a portfolio and getting people to recommend you. If someone you work for is impressed with both your work and you, it can be helpful later and help you seem more trustworthy to others. It teaches you how to work within a team, how to work with all different types of people, and all different types of styles. It’s a learning experience, not simply just for money. I have worked with people who were very strict with deadlines and requested everything be just so, I have worked with people who were very laid back and gave considerable artistic freedom.

An unreliable artist will cause the person who initially hired them to not recommend them further, or even outright help prevent them from being hired again, by warning people about them and stating their experiences with them.”

5.      How would the types of art you would be doing as a profession differ from those you would do on commission as an independent artist?

“As an independent artist, I still get to ultimately choose what projects I want to take. If I want to not work on isometric perspective for example, I can avoid or refuse isometric commissions. In a profession, if they ask for that, I have to do it. I have not worked professionally yet but I have heard from others who have. It may involve no artistic creativity, very tight deadlines, doing other art outside of your main medium, depending on  the company. You may be asked to work more hours on it as well, while being an independent artist, you can choose how long you work for. It really depends, some companies may provide plenty of creative freedom as well. I can also make art for my own projects, and can make it look exactly how I want it to, rather than having to compromise.”

A big thanks to Ocean for agreeing to be interviewed!




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