School Review: Environment Mentorship with Sergey Vasnev
Courtney is a freelance concept artist in the Entertainment Industry. He has worked as a contractor at Guesswork VR working on various projects, including UNDR [H2O]. He is also currently working as an instructor at Game-U teaching design and game development.
Tell us about your artistic learning path and introduce yourself! When did you start creating art?
I started creating art back when I was a kid. I was always interested in character design and environments in games and film. I began to draw Kim Possible, Dragon Ball Z, and Yugioh, etc in the start. Then as I grew older, I got into programs specifically for training artists in elementary school, which lead to other opportunities. From there, I continued to take where my passions lead me; from elementary school until now I’ve aimed to create stories and experiences that brought awe to the viewer.
What were the biggest problems you faced when you started out as a digital artist?
The biggest issue was always technique and getting used to the tablet. I could never decide if I wanted to keep things more traditional from a digital perspective; do I use one layer or multiple? How much do I focus on learning Photoshop or just learn to draw better? Over time, I just said yes to all the above. When it comes to the tablet, it was just getting used to looking away while working, when for years I looked directly at what I was drawing. That was solved in a month or two.
What skills did you improve during the mentorship and what tasks did you have?
I improved my ability to see things in 3D more than ever. Using the methods I learned in the CGVerse concept art mentorship I gained a much greater understanding of what I needed to adjust and was able to do so. Furthermore, the use of 3D and the benefit it can have while designing environments has helped my overall sense of scale and proportion.
I really enjoyed the detail my mentor would go through to define what good design is and describing why things work the way they do. Having someone with a strong sense of design helped correct some bad habits in my work.
Storytelling was always my goal. My mentor’s understanding of the balance of using different design elements to tell compelling stories was important to keep me on a good path.
How did you feel about your mentor and mentorship?
I felt my mentor did a great job. I think the aspects of my work, that seemingly seem strong to others, can so easily be broken down, is very fun for me. He helped me keep my eyes on the prize when it comes to pushing a piece to its limit. Through my mentor’s recommendations and guidance, I was able to make a lot of progress during the mentorship.
What made you decide to take a mentorship at CGVerse?
I was looking to make my artwork look significantly better. I wanted to leap in skill and saw the work that CGVerse’s students were churning out and wanted to be a part of that type of growth.
What motivations do you have for the future?
My motivation is to get a full-time position working with a game dev studio or film studio. This will hopefully lead towards my own personal studio. I have become more interested in selling prints on my website as well as making card illustrations.
(Before the mentorship)
Cloudy Day Animation - Night
Start Screen Mood