Monday, October 30, 2006

Wide Eyed Networking and the Strength of Circles

When I was a lad of about 16, I was in Tesco's with my mum and I picked up a copy of Edge, a games magazine which had a cover feature on an upcoming PlayStation game called Wipeout 2097. As is usual for Edge, the magazine ran pictures of the game and interviews with the artistic and technical talent at the company making it (Psygnosis in Liverpool). The main creative focus in the article was a chap named Jim Bowers, one of the lead artists on the game. Back then there wasn't really any easy access to those sorts of tools on a home computer like there is nowadays, so I had no idea how one went about creating stuff on computer. Since arty computer things were what I wanted to do with my life I decided to write Jim a letter asking what was involved in becoming a CG artist...


After much waiting, it became clear that I was unlikely to ever receive a reply from the elusive fellow. However, I was already on track towards get where I wanted to be anyway, so I don't remember worrying about it too much.

< ...Cut to 2002, and an innocent Welshman graduates with a shiny new computer animation degree and a mind to work in fillums... >

On my first week at D-Neg I learnt something interesting. I learnt that I was working with none other than Mr Jim Bowers. I remember it was Friday night and the entire crew had decamped to the usual alcohol dispensing-point in Soho. I was introduced to Jim and we chatted for a while. He didn't know who I was, of course, but I picked my moment and then dropped his non-letter-returning ways into the conversation. It was very funny, for although this was 6 years later the colour instantly drained from his face he started apologising profusely. He then got drunk and apologised more. Ace! To this day he still winces and I laugh at him - my upper hand being the basis of solid friendship. Heh.

So what was my point with this long-winded anecdote? I guess it's that as a professional in a very small industry you never know where your colleagues are going to pop up from, their backgrounds and some of the ways in which all these people are connected. Acrimonious relationships tend to be really well known within these small circles, and it's certainly true that being an egotist/liar/anger management candidate is going to come back to haunt you at some point; if you're looking for a new job, for example. There's always someone that knows someone if you're claiming you did something you didn't and can fact check this stuff! In my view, there's little point in being an idiot and making things harder for yourself and everyone around you. There's certainly no short-term benefit, and word really does get around eventually.

It really does help to play nice.

I was going to finish this post here, but then I remembered something interesting in addition to my past coincidences - when I moved to America and started work I became friends with Laura, who happens to be Jim's best friend and who also worked at Psygnosis at that time.

Small world, eh?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

In The Works


I am working on some new blog entries (apart from the odd sketch post) so stay tuned. I'm still here doggedly clicking along in my own slow way...


Running Fella

Running Fella

Monday, October 02, 2006


Just wanted to say thanks to all that wrote to me with congratulations. It is very much appreciated!

: )