Saturday, March 20, 2010

Blizzard Entertainment

Last October I gave three different hour-long lectures to the senior concept artists at Blizzard Entertainment—the company that creates World of Warcraft, Starcraft, and Diablo online games.

It took a while to get past the rather tight security at the headquarters in Irvine, California. The sleek white buildings inside contain some of the company’s employees.

The public areas of buildings are decorated with impressive sculptures of horned warriors, dangerous females, and loathsome monsters.

The guys in the art department have a pretty well developed sense of fun, like chopping up visiting artists into sausage bits. That’s senior art director Jeremy Cranford on the left.

I drew a portrait of Jeremy after the lectures. I asked him what advice he’d give to a young artist who dreams of working at a place like Blizzard. “Everyone wants to be a character designer,” he said. But portfolios that show other skills are more likely hires. Get good at environments, backgrounds, props, and vehicles. A generalist who can draw and think well is always valuable.
Official Blizzard website
Wikipedia on Blizzard
Career opportunities at Blizzard


Charles Valsechi said...

Awesome, such a popular guy that Gurney! Oh, and a good artist too :] Too bad I wasn't here when you visited Ringling.

Super Villain said...

awsome post, was hoping you got the chance to meet and talk about samwise dider, one of the best talents they have and one of the best talents creating today in my opinon!

Annie said...

Good man.

Shane White said...

Haha...that's where Jeremy went...nice.


asherwrites said...

Oh really lucky you to be able to go there! It's every gamer's (and nerd's) dream.

Tim said...

4600?! Man, what happened to 3 guys in a garage?

Eric said...

does it mean we will see dynosaurus in a future game ? Cool... Congrats

------ said...

Cool visit. Although some landscapes couldn't hurt- Being the stubborn young man that I am, I'm going to keep with my character and creature design. As that's where my passion is!

Anonymous said...

4600 I knew that gaming is a thriving industry but I hadn't idea that gaming companies are actually that big.

Lyric said...

I feel like sunshine whenever I think of your artwork and your generous sharing of knowledge - hence - the sunshine award is yours today!

(no need to do anything - just my thanks to you!)

Andrés Carrandi said...

Great! Those guys are incredible, and they are a model company. They have helped shape and re-define modern fantasy and science fiction, the video-game industry, on-line reality and interactions, video-gaming business models and customer service. And that's coming from a guy who hasn't played any of Blizzard's games consistently. Their impact is beyond personal taste.

They also have an incredible conceptual design department. I cannot begin to imagine the awesomeness that was shared between you and them! ;)

Also this kind of business contacts are valuable... who knows? Perhaps a Massive On-line Dinotopia game is waiting in your future! ;)

David Still said...

It's a small world. I've met Max Patte, the man who sculpted that giant orc wolfrider in the background of the last picture!