Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Up to the Challenge!

     Here's the deal, in MY career at least, I've been on this 5 year UP & DOWN cycle.  Work starts out amazing! Crazy growth, tons of inspiration.  And like clockwork, it blows up.  The formula which made it great is turned upside down by those who can't see beauty of what was effortless by those in the trenches. 

     The only constant is the talent.  Pools of creativity that seem to find their way back together in one form or another.  Reconnecting to form new well springs of exceptionally creative thinking.  
     Insomniac Games is one of those places in my opinion.  An amazing company which seems to have found a way to preserve, nurture & create incredible entertainment product.  
     Perhaps I'm bias in my view, because I have a small group of friends from my Disney Interactive days who have brought their collective talents to bare on some very compelling Brands there, in: Ratchet n Clank & Resistance. 
     So enter the five year cycle.  On yet another down swing in my career, I decided to try and recapture that sense of creative fire I felt when I was in the Gaming world.  A feeling absent from my work far more than I had desired over the recent years.
     However, a few nagging questions kept coming to mind:  Has too much time pasted since I had been involved in this arena?  Could I still have something to offer of any value?  Has technology advanced beyond my current skill set?  All of these real concerns for me.  Ones that could easily have kept me from even trying to apply.  But with a reminder of a few cherished quotes hanging on my wall. . .
     "You have only failed, when you have failed to try" & "The only mistake you can make in life, is to constantly be afraid you will make one".  I put my concerns, my fears & my doubts aside and went for it.
     With the help & expert advise of some very good friends of mine @ Insomniac, I was given a chance to take a test to see if there was a fit for my style of design into the "Resistance" franchise.  Admittedly, very realistic in its shape language and design approach.  Something outside of the body of work I had been used to producing.
     But a challenge I looked forward too.  No different then the curve balls thrown at me day in day out.  Sure the time line was tight for what needed to get done (show research, thumbnail studies, full layout that tells a narrative, complete render & finally a prop pulled out of the design with mechanical turns) all this in 7 days.  Full time job or not, I could get it done.  I WILL find the time.  After all, all nighters certainly were not foreign to me.
     I spent Saturday & Sunday, doing my research & roughing out some thumbnails.  Monday through Friday I spent every waking moment toward the final designs, page layouts & final render.  Between my full time job and this incredible opportunity, I clocked only 11 hours of sleep in that last five days of work.
     Tired & proud of what I had accomplished, I submitted my work & hoped for the best.  Well here's one more quote for you:  "there is no shame in getting knocked down, only an opportunity in character for those who have the strength to get back up".  I guess you can tell by now I didn't land the job, but I am SO grateful for some very good friends of mine providing me with the opportunity to take the shot.  These guys are amazing in my eyes, in there artistic talents and direction, but more importantly in the friendship!  Brent Wittington, Chad Dezern & John Fiorito . . . I can't thank you enough!!!