Will iam Ben­nett

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Weta Workshop -

What’s Weta like for one of its new­est con­cept artists?

What did you do be­fore Weta?

Be­fore start­ing at the work­shop I was floun­der­ing in the stress­ful pe­riod after a de­gree, when you re­alise you have to turn the past few years of your life into a liv­ing very quickly. I’d been liv­ing in Palmer­ston North, New Zealand, for the past four years and so the work mostly in­volved small lo­cal il­lus­tra­tionbased jobs such as al­bum cov­ers and what-not. On the up­side though, not be­ing com­mit­ted to a full-time de­gree gave me lots of time to fo­cus on per­sonal work and projects. Es­sen­tially, it was lots of stuff with other lo­cal artists, and just de­vel­op­ing my own ideas. It was prob­a­bly this pe­riod that en­abled me to fur­ther build skills and a base of work that helped me wee­dle into the in­dus­try.

What’s your lat­est project?

I can’t talk about any­thing spe­cific, but it’s a project of the like I never imag­ined I’d have the op­por­tu­nity to be in­volved with. Fun times!

How is liv­ing in Wellington?

Wellington is fan­tas­tic. I’ve wanted to move here for a long time. The only hur­dle is the un­avoid­able one of all new places: hav­ing to form new net­works and splic­ing your­self into another com­mu­nity.

What’s your best tip for artists who wish to get into the in­dus­try?

Make the things you want to see. Okay, I re­ally don’t know of any other real strat­egy, but that shouldn't mat­ter be­cause you prob­a­bly love do­ing it any­way! Then if it doesn’t lead any­where, it doesn’t mat­ter be­cause you were hav­ing a blast!

Does Weta of­fer support and train­ing, or are you left to fig­ure things out for your­self?

Hav­ing come in with no pre­vi­ous stu­dio ex­pe­ri­ence has meant there was a steep learn­ing curve. The support of both peers and se­nior col­leagues is phe­nom­e­nal, how­ever. Ev­ery­one helps each other. As for train­ing, my com­par­a­tively short ex­pe­ri­ence so far means I haven't had the need to learn un­fa­mil­iar sub­jects, but gen­er­ally Weta does pro­vide train­ing if it helps make an em­ployee's craft stronger.

What are you work­ing on next?

I hon­estly have no idea. I can guess, based on where cur­rent projects are sit­ting, but even on a day-to-day level work­load in the de­sign stu­dio can see-saw right from slammed to scratch­ing in the dirt with a stick. But that's fine ’cos sticks are cool.

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