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