Ja­son Chan

When LoL needed a new look, Riot turned to the for­mer Mas­sive Black artist

ImagineFX - - Riot Games -

What do you like about at Riot?

Riot has done a very good job of pro­vid­ing a com­fort­able, up­lift­ing en­vi­ron­ment, where peo­ple want to be. Ev­ery­one is pro­fes­sional, ev­ery­one is trusted to do their work. The crazy thing about Riot is that we al­low the en­tire com­pany to see most things. It doesn’t mat­ter if you are in the art team or not, you have a voice. If you’re get­ting a large per­cent­age of the com­pany that’s not in­volved in the as­set, but feel­ing strongly about it in a neg­a­tive way, then you know ex­po­nen­tially that same feel­ing will ex­ist else­where out­side of the com­pany.

What does Riot do dif­fer­ently?

It places qual­ity above speed and bud­get. There’s al­ways an op­por­tu­nity to talk about push­ing some­thing back and spend­ing more time on it, turn­ing it into some­thing spe­cial. This was for­eign to me when I started here. I was very ob­sessed with stay­ing on sched­ule and I would get very ner­vous when a dead­line was ap­proach­ing and we hadn’t set­tled on a so­lu­tion. I had to get used to the idea that it’s not about get­ting it out as fast as pos­si­ble. It’s about mak­ing sure some­thing is go­ing to be valu­able as art.

Why does the com­pany look for in an em­ployee?

You’re spend­ing more time with your team than your fam­ily, prob­a­bly. So you want to sur­round your­self with peo­ple you want to be around. The com­pany ac­tively does that. Sure, you’re good at your job, but are you some­one ev­ery­one wants to be around? It sounds like a high school pop­u­lar­ity con­test, but it’s just like a way of keep­ing ev­ery­one happy. If you’re around peo­ple who are in­spir­ing, there’s no limit.

How do you make an im­pres­sion in such a big or­gan­i­sa­tion?

By be­ing a con­duit for ev­ery­one’s ideas and be­ing able to take those ideas and rep­re­sent them in a cool way. You have to be very open to cri­tique and to know that some­times your idea isn’t the same as other peo­ple’s. That some­times means cut­ting your idea out and run­ning with theirs, even when you’re very pas­sion­ate about your own. That can be a tough switch and I’ve seen peo­ple strug­gle with it. That’s a big thing at Riot. You’re not do­ing art­work for your­self any­more. Some­times it’s nice to own a piece of art­work, but some­times it’s just nice to know you’ve con­trib­uted to some­thing big­ger. It’s not your show.

Be­fore join­ing Riot Games, Ja­son stud­ied at San Fran­cisco’s Academy of Art, free­lanced for Magic: The Gath­er­ing and worked at Mas­sive Black.


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