Nathan Mad­dams

Plas­tic Wax’s cre­ative di­rec­tor al­ways gets a thrill out of see­ing the stu­dio’s work on the shop shelves...

ImagineFX - - Studio Profile - As one of Plas­tic Wax’s co­founders, Nathan tells wouldbe con­cept artists to “Never stop learn­ing, stay cu­ri­ous and keep ob­serv­ing the world.” www.plas­ticwax.com

What would you say Plas­tic Wax of­fers artists (ei­ther as full-time em­ploy­ees or as free­lancers) that makes you an ex­cit­ing and in­ter­est­ing com­pany to work for?

As an artist my­self, join­ing a team of other very high-cal­i­bre artists is im­por­tant. It gives you the abil­ity to con­stantly learn and de­velop among a group of your peers that al­ways push and in­spire you. The va­ri­ety of work keeps things ex­cit­ing as well. From cover art for Tomb Raider and Bio Shock, to pre-ren­dered work on Border­lands ban­dits, Warham­mer’s chain-sword-wield­ing space­marines, through the gamut to LEGO, Mickey and DC char­ac­ters, there’s al­ways some­thing new and var­ied to chal­lenge you.

Con­versely, do you look for any­thing in par­tic­u­lar when it comes to hir­ing artists?

Of course it comes down to skill, but raw talent and a pas­sion for what you do is a fac­tor I’m al­ways look­ing for. I think any­one can learn a dis­ci­pline, but it takes some­one spe­cial to keep de­vel­op­ing and train that keen eye for de­tail.

Does the lack of pub­lic recog­ni­tion from gamers ever irk you a bit, or is the work it­self re­ward enough?

Al­though our mar­ket­ing guys may dis­agree, as an artist, I don’t mind be­ing a lit­tle off the radar. We love the work we do, and that’s where our fo­cus is, and I feel that hav­ing the priv­i­lege to work with so many great brands, sto­ries and char­ac­ters is its own re­ward. Be­ing able to walk into a store and see many of the top ti­tles are ones you’ve con­trib­uted to still brings a smile to my face. All of that said, I do get a kick out of be­ing asked what I do, and watch­ing that per­son’s face light up as I rat­tle off ti­tles we’ve worked on. Usu­ally they’re sur­prised to learn that some of their favourite ti­tles were worked on here in Aus­tralia.

What are the over­all goals for the stu­dio for, say, the next year? Are you work­ing on any ex­cit­ing projects that you can tell us about?

Un­for­tu­nately, as with most com­pa­nies we are al­ways un­der NDA, and are some­times work­ing on ti­tles, help­ing de­vel­op­ing tech, script­ing and sto­ry­board­ing com­po­nents, well be­fore they be­come ru­mours. All I can say is that there are a few well-known brands and projects that have a few sur­prises to come in the not-tood­is­tant fu­ture…

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