The People Of EA

Chris

Sr. Concept Artist, EA Studios- Visceral Games
Redwood City (EARS)
Who I Am
I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area.  My father is a mechanical engineer at Lawrence Livermore Lab and my mother is a clinical laboratory scientist at Stanford Health Care.  Both of my brothers are engineers and I'm the only artist in my family.  What we do have in common is that we love to play video games.  
 
I attended college at San Jose State University (SJSU), and trained in their highly acclaimed Animation/Illustration Program. I've been working as a concept designer and illustrator for the entertainment and publishing industry since 2005.  Since 2005, I’ve worked with companies like THQ, Kanomi, Sony Computer Entertainment America, Disney Interactive, Lucasfilm Ltd, and now EA.  
 
I enjoy teaching, and was part of the Jedi Academy Program at Lucasfilm where I mentored students at SJSU.  I also do portfolio critiques at SJSU for the graduating BFA class to guide them into their professional career.  I also love to learn, draw, paint, design, sculpt and imagine.  The game development industry provides a great outlet for me to utilize all the creative things that I like to do.
 
 
What I Do
I am a senior concept artist for a Star Wars project.  I design everything from characters, aliens, landscapes, architecture, vehicles, weapons, lighting and visual effects.  I help ensure the art direction and production design supports the gameplay, so that it looks great and is fun to play.  Storytelling and idea generation is at the heart of what I do.  I work with all the departments to evangelize the established art direction.
 
 
What is My Day Like?
My typical day includes a concept kickoff for an assignment, or receiving feedback on current artwork from my creative director.  The discussions can lead to narrowing down design choices or to exploring new ideas.  If we decide to explore new ideas, I would spend time researching reference material that will help inform the design and tone we're after.  From there, I would address the critiques by exploring different iterations of the design.
 
At the core of what I do everyday is bringing the story and game to life.  This means I do everything from creating unique characters, to inventing dynamic environments, to painting keyframe illustrations, to designing vehicles/props, to exploring the mood and tone with lighting. 
 
I also generate ideas and concepts for game design.  Ultimately my job is to visualize what's in the director's mind, then show options of ideas they may not have thought of.  This is achieved by quick 2d sketching, fleshing out a digital painting, or through 3d concept modeling/rendering to validate designs dimensionally.
 
Beyond my own art tasks, I often collaborate with many other departments in the pipeline.  I work with the art director, production artists, technical artists, game/level designers, animators, and the cinematic director to problem-solve visual ideas through discussions and/or paintovers.
 
 
Where Am I Going?
I want to continue art directing through creating inspirational artwork.  I want to achieve the best production design seen in the entertainment industry by working collaboratively in the trenches with talented artists.  I see myself diving deep into the craft to push the boundary of what can be experienced in this medium, where cutting-edge interactive technology meets world class art and design.  I hope to create jaw-dropping experiences that stick with people their whole lives.