Alex Flores

The chance to work at Riot was a dream come true for the se­nior con­cept artist

ImagineFX - - Riot Games -

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.

Alex Flores stud­ied in the Philip­pines be­fore mov­ing to the US to work at EA as a con­cept artist for the Sims, be­fore tak­ing a job at Riot Games. www.alexflo­re­

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