Daniel Do­ciu

The pro­lific artist and art direc­tor gives us the in­side track on work­ing for Or­bit

ImagineFX - - Studio Profile - A free­lance artist for Or­bit, EA, Warner Bros, Dis­ney and oth­ers, Daniel is also an art direc­tor for Are­naNet, Guild Wars and NCSOFT. www.daniel­d­o­ciu.wee­bly.com

What's your back­ground?

My de­gree is in industrial de­sign. Af­ter study­ing in Ro­ma­nia, I moved to the US and went into video games. I’ve worked in games devel­op­ment for the past 22 years. I’m em­ployed full-time, so I re­serve my week­ends for free­lance work. It’s cathar­tic to do some­thing other than video games and it forces me to keep my skills rea­son­ably sharp. Dur­ing the week, a lot of my time is con­sumed with meet­ings and man­age­rial re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, so any free­lance work has to be done at the week­end or early in the morn­ing.

How did you get no­ticed by Or­bit?

I’d been do­ing some cov­ers for Tor Books. Lau­ren must have no­ticed my work and she called me up. I’ve been col­lab­o­rat­ing with them for about five years, work­ing on the Cal­iban’s War se­ries by James SA Corey.

What’s the best thing about work­ing for Or­bit?

Lau­ren is ex­tremely easy-go­ing and our work­ing re­la­tion­ship has been awe­some. She sends me projects she feels are up my al­ley and she’s re­ally good at giv­ing me a concise yet rel­e­vant cre­ative brief.

What do you like to do when you’re not work­ing?

My big hobby is rid­ing my mo­tor­bike. It’s an adventure bike, namely a BMW 1200GS. I get on my bike at ev­ery op­por­tu­nity: I ride ev­ery day, all year round, come rain or shine. I live in Seat­tle and we don’t get much snow or ice here, luck­ily. Dur­ing my lunch break, I’ll hop on the bike and go for a spin to clear my mind.

What ad­vice do you have for some­one want­ing to be an artist?

Treat ev­ery as­sign­ment, big or small, with the same amount of ef­fort. Never treat projects dif­fer­ently ac­cord­ing to what they pay – see them all as port­fo­lio pieces and work on them as if you’re work­ing for your­self. It’s the same with a full-time job. Make the most of it, even if you’re do­ing a crummy job you hate. Al­ways make the most of what­ever op­por­tu­ni­ties you have right now.

Here’s leg­endary

sci-fi artist John Har­ris’ full art­work for Ann Leckie’s An­cil­lary

se­ries of books. Sam We­ber’s cover for Rachel Aaron’s Spirit’s

End, the fi­nal book in her Eli Mon­press se­ries

– more over­leaf. This dy­namic cover art for Kate El­liott’s

Black Wolves was cre­ated by Larry Rostant. The book is out later this year. Gene Mol­lica and Michael Frost share art cred­its, and a Gem­mell Award nom­i­na­tion, for this cover.

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