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Check out this awesome conversation I had with Surfacing Artist James Ritossa!

James’s singular focus on surfacing and the polygonal modeling skills that surfacing requires allowed him to bypass college and jump straight into a AAA Game as a Surfacing Artist.

One of the most important things I try to drill into my students’ minds is a concept called “The Power of One”. This concept has a lot of implications for a lot of areas of liffe, but I Ijust wanna talk about just one of the ways it applies to our work as artists. 

Instead of producing three dozen half-baked pieces over a stretch of time, it’s much better to hold on, stick with ONE piece of work, and polish it as much as you possibly can.

I remember a painter friend who used to admonish another painter friend. “Why can’t you give this piece ten more hours? You have the knowledge. You have the skill. You just need to give it more time.” 

The “10 more hours” is a figure of speech.

In this world of Game Art and 8k textures, we all know ten hours may or may not mean a lot.

But your work needs more of your love and attention. 

Give it more time.

Give it more love.

Focus on just ONE piece for a stretch of time.

Consider James Ritossa, for example.

James has been doing a lot of great work on Substance Designer. And he likes to spend a lot of time on each piece. 

There is this shingles study, though, which is just incredible! He made a free tutorial out of it and published it on Gumroad. 

This ONE piece then brought three separate studios knocking on his door! How cool is that! And that’s not all. It also attracted at least 500 new followers on Artstation, which he attributes to this piece alone. 

Think of the difference three eager recruiters and 500 new followers on Artstation could make in your life right now. And then, consider this:

This is the impact just ONE piece can have on your life if you just give it some more time.

Listen to my entire conversation with James Ritossa here. He’s an incredible surfacing artist who’s currently working at 343 Industries. You’ve seen his work in games like Mad Max, Just Cause and Renegade Ops.   

Here’s a sneak peek of what he shared with us:

  • How bumping into Allegorithmic’s founder at SIGGRAPH changed his life forever (you’ve gotta hear the full story)
  • How free tutorials can create a ripple effect in the entire community  and make you a rockstar
  • The difference between Substance Painter and Substance Designer (you’ll love his analogy if you’re into cars AND there’s a Designer demo that will completely change the way you think about material creation)
  • The two tools you should definitely use when rendering out materials for your portfolio

And much more.

If there’s one word I wanna describe James’s interview with, it would be “generous”. For any question I (or the students) threw at him, James was ready to fire up Substance and show us exactly how he does things. 

If this is not generous, I don’t know what is.

So don’t keep yourself deprived of this generosity, and go listen to James Ritossa right here.

More about Game Art Institute: http://gai.vertexschool.com

More about James Ritossa: https://www.artstation.com/jamesritossa3d

Want to be a Character Artist or an Environment Artist in the Video Game Industry?

Apply for your spot in our upcoming Game Artist Program here: http://gai.vertexschool.com/apply

Listen to the full conversation: