SEAN McIl roy
On life at the cutting edge of indie gaming art
What’s your background?
After studying Illustration and printmaking at art college, I started off in animation then made the change to illustration. I got involved with games by helping out with concept art for Abertay University students who needed an artist. I’d contact people who had left ads on the art college noticeboard, and it spiralled from there.
What does your role involve?
I work on concepts, game textures, graphic design, and recently many aspects of the 3D work required in the studio. I’m constantly learning new skills that I can put into practice, while also bringing my traditional art and design experience to the team. A typical day might involve setting up collision for all the staircases in a game level, and in the afternoon helping with logo rebranding.
How did you get the job?
After my previous role at a smaller games company came to an end, I really wanted to continue working in games, and I knew the Blazing Griffin guys were really pushing hard in the Scottish games scene. I contacted Paul Canavan in regards to future employment, and as the guys already knew my work and background, they brought me on board almost instantly!
What’s the latest project you’ve worked on?
Recently we’ve been working on The Ship: Remasted, and I’ve honestly learnt more than I ever thought I could. Some of the areas where I feel I’ve developed the most include lighting (both traditional and digital), textures and modelling.
What process do you follow when creating game artwork?
We’re all pretty big advocates of drawing here. Most of my ideas begin with a sketch. I always carry a sketchbook and pencil case. We also share all of our work and concepts round the art team for feedback. I feel this is an important step in developing work, moving on, and not getting too bogged down, by always offering each other inspiration and ideas.
What’s the working environment really like at Blazing Griffin?
Professional, yet fun. We take part in many activities including art class, post work drinks, and playing games with each other. Everyone gets on really well, everyone is willing to help, and most people here will tell you it’s more of a family than anything else.