The chance to work at Riot was a dream come true for the senior concept artist
With such a demanding job, how do you find time for you own art?
I find it hard to work on personal stuff these days because it’s also the stuff that’s done here at Riot. It’s super fun and there’s just a wide variety. I can be painting a robot one day, then a knight, then some kind of creature. It’s nuts. I remember in a previous job it was like a year and a half of medieval stuff. But with the amount of skins and champions in the League universe, it’s so colourful. Also, you might see a cosplayer dress up and you’re like, “Holy shit, they got that little detail that I put in!” That’s a good feeling and I guess it wouldn’t happen with personal art.
What do you think separates Riot from other companies?
Previous companies I’ve worked at definitely want speed. They want quality as well, you know, but the timeline is very important. Pushing back on something because you don’t feel like it’s the best it can be is harder in other companies than here. Here, people understand.
And what about Riot employees?
Everyone in Riot is passionate about the game. In other jobs I’ve seen people working on art and they don’t even play the game. ‘Hey what you working on?’ ‘I don’t know, this thing.’ Oh, man! Here, people are super passionate. They understand champions or other parts of the game and really make something.
We’ve heard about collaboration and adaptability. How important are those things at Riot?
Very important. I once said to Eric Canete, ‘That looks so sick. How do you even think of that pose?” He’s like, ‘Well, you know, it’s kinda broken – the anatomy.’ Wait, what? I thought things couldn’t be broken. He broke the anatomy just enough to push the gesture even further, and that’s why the axe swing looks so much stronger, like it’s really going to kill someone. So I try to tweak things and see if there are areas where I can break just enough to enhance the gesture, but so it’s not viewable to the human eye.
How does an artist get a job at a studio like Riot Games?
It’s beneficial to be well-rounded and try different styles. If you think, ‘Oh my god, I have to do that, I want to be in that company,’ then research and see the kind of stuff they’re into. It pays off to put more work into that kind of style. That will help you get a foot in the door.