Tuesday, 16 October 2012


Well, I've never been any good at starting this kind of thing, sitting at my desk, staring at the screen, trying to think what I should write about myself. Do I just go for the usual boring crap? Try and make myself appear to be something that I’m not?
In reality, I was a fine art student who was fed up of doing the same thing for the last 4/5 years of her life; Get art supplies. Get ridiculously indirect brief. Paint a picture. Come up with some sort of pretentious, woolly justification as to why you decided to stick a shit tonne of skittles into the shape of Obamas head and pass it off as artwork. 
Ok, admittedly I never did that, but I did find myself stuck in a rut of watercolours, fine liners, ink and bleach. As much as I loved the style I was developing, it wasn’t taking me anywhere.

Initially I guess I thought I would stay with this and go on to study Illustration or Fine art, but something just didn’t feel right about that. I then found myself having an interest in animation after seeing my boyfriends flat mates animation work. The 3D characters fascinated me and seemed so impressive. After looking at a few universities I eventually ended up at a De Montfort open day to go see what the animation course was like. The course was really interesting and ticked some boxes, but I felt at the time that the course wasn’t based on design enough. So, I looked around some other courses, and -mainly by chance- sat in a Game Art Design talk on my own.
As I sat there my little list of what I was looking for slowly got ticked off. This course offered the more traditional side to design, most importantly refining our skills and a completely new venture for me to explore, 3D Design! When it came to what they were looking for I felt I fit pretty well into their expectations as well, plus I also had a little experience in texturing 3D models at a basic level.
When it came to my interview and Heather, with a current third year student, had seemed so enthusiastic about my work, it kind of just sunk in that this was the university I was going to, this was my course.
So I guess that now makes me Kathryn Unsworth, Game Art Design student at De Montfort University Leicester. Exciting stuff eh?

Well if you hadn't picked this up already, but a love of games didn't bring me here. I like games, but admittedly I haven’t played that many. More notable ones I have played are Skyrim, Oblivion, Final Fantasy, Sims, Portal, Lara Croft, Legend of Zelda, Professor Layton, Spore and various Mario titles. My gaming history has mainly been Nintendo and PC. As I played games I always found myself drawn to the design side of them, and as a PC gamer I got into creating downloadable content for games, using meshes and models previously made and customising them with my own textures to create what I desired for in-game. I would spend way more time doing this kind of thing rather than actually playing the game!

My other interests are mainly Music, Reading and Films. I have a very strong interest in music, some of my favourite Bands being; Sigur Ros, Radiohead, Bjork, Brian Eno, The Twilight Sad, Jonsi, Portishead, Pink Floyd, Vessels, Four Tet, Caribou, Interpol, Mogwai, Kate Bush, Hella, Grimes, Efterklang, The Mars Volta, Grizzly Bear, Giraffes Giraffes!, Warpaint…. And I could keep going. Music is a large part of my life, and I can’t imagine what it would be like without it. I am also a regular gig and festivalgoer. In my opinion there is nothing better than live music with people you love. (oh Kat you sentimental bugger.) I also draw a lot of inspiration from Music, I always work listening to music.
Films and Books also are a source of great inspiration, in a similar way that Music is.

Enough on my interests, I should discuss what I aspire to achieve this year.
I guess my main hope it to develop my skills as an artist so that I start looking at the world around me in a different way. I want to refine my sketching and rendering skills so that I am on a par, if not better than, traditionally trained fine artists. Then, adding the skills I hope to obtain in using 3D programs to extend my skill range and greatly increase my employability.
After doing a little research into jobs available in the games industry I came across a few jobs that would interest me, all quite varied, but within the creative side of the games world. I think that after I have done a bit of work on all areas on the course I will then be able to see what direction I wish to take with my studies, how to tailor it to a specific job.