Alexandra Alvarez – 2D Artist/Animator

Alexandra Alvarez – 2D Artist/Animator



It’s not natural talent that got me this far it’s PRACTICE!”


 

Alexandra, how are you doing today?

“I’m Alright thanks. How are you?”

 

I’m well, thank you.  Where do you currently work and what is your job title?

“I currently work for DarkShot Studios and I’m an illustrator, concept artist and 2D animator.”

 

What game titles have you worked on in your career?

“Well, ROTII is my first semi-big game. I’ve worked on smaller games but they never really took off. So fingers crossed that this one makes it!”

 

ROTii

ROTii

The first game is always the most exciting.  

“The most exciting and the most stressful but I love it.”

 

What is your typical workday like?

“It changes really. But usually it’s a lot of research and sketching out concepts. Meeting up with other team members; AGREEING to a concept.”

 

[Laughs] Finding agreement I bet is most of your job.

“Oh, that would be an understatement.” [Laughs]

 

So after an agreement has been reached, what do you do?

“As concept artist, if a final decision has been made in the direction a character should go. Then that’s when i go and start sketching out said character or assets. It’s my job to make a ton of options so we can narrow down from there.”

 

Once a direction has been established, it’s a bit easier to make progress.  Are there particular programs or plugins you can’t live without in your work?

“Photoshop!!! Geez, I can’t even think about doing what I do without it. [Laughs] Illustrator and Spriter would be a few others.”

 


“Well, I was one of those kids that just drew and DREW. That’s all I could ever do.”


I have Spriter!  I haven’t used it that much but is seem fairly powerful for a 2D animation program.

“Yes! I absolutely love it! I’ve animated in 3ds Max and Maya before and just knowing what I did from those programs Spriter was very easy to pick up. Simple, efficient and it’s a great tool for 2D animations.”

 

Did you go to school to learn your craft? If so where?

“I did, I went to the Art Institute of Houston – North. Can’t really say much about the school but the people I met and the professors I had were amazing.”

 

Where did you grow up?  Are you from Houston originally?

“I’m originally from Bogota, Colombia but I’ve basically grown up here in Houston. It’s my home.”

 

Did you spend a considerable amount of time in Bogota before moving to the US?

“Not too much, my family would go every summer but my parents wanted that ‘American’ life for me so they didn’t push me to live over there.”

 

So you spent your formative years in the US of A.  Can you recall your first experience with a video game?

“Oh boy. So many games through the years. Let me see…for sure my first game had to have been Mario on the Super Nintendo; but it was my very first Pokemon game that REALLY struck a chord with me, still play pokemon even today” [Laughs]

 

Pokemon GO must be eating up your cell phone battery life right now.

“HA! You know it. I have that bad boy on right now… [laughs] …but don’t worry I’m paying attention.”

 

NanoFinalConceptsYou are in Houston.  About to graduate from high school…and you decide to go to the Art Institute.  What drove you to that school?  What was your aspiration?  Did you want to get into making video games?

“Well, I was one of those kids that just drew and DREW. That’s all I could ever do. I’d get in so much trouble for doodling on tests and homework. So, it was natural for me to find a school that was JUST art. It’s my passion really. Everyone knew it and my parents were really supportive. At first, I just wanted to do anything in art I didn’t really care. And when I went to the Art Institute they introduced me to Media Arts & Animation and I just knew that’s what I wanted to do. Making a game or any kind of animation was kind of a dream for me.”

 

Sounds like it prepared you well for the position you currently have.  How did you get into games?  Is DarkShot your first studio?  If so, how did you get the job?

“Darkshot is my first studio and it’s actually really funny how it all happened. Right out of school I found a job as an Illustrator pretty quickly (lucky me) and my co-workers there had mentioned a game company their friend was starting up. Now, there was this Starbucks I frequented back in the day and it’s there that I actually met the CEO of Darkshot not even realizing he was the friend my co-workers had been talking about. So one day (this was more than a year ago) my co-workers were like YO, you wanna be part of this? And when they sent my portfolio and stuff and I finally met Brandon (the CEO) what a surprise that was.” [Laughs]

 

That is funny.  I assume it was humorous to both of you as you met for the first time professionally.

“It really was. Small world I guess.”

 

The game industry is really small, in my opinion.  About 2 degrees of separation.

“I’d have to agree, especially here in Houston. It’s all about oil and gas here so gaming companies are few and far in between.”

 

PosterDesignWhat traits are important to cultivate to become a successful 2D Artist?

[Thinks] “I’d say that being adaptable is one of the biggest ones there. You have to be ready to work in all kinds of situations. In a team, by yourself. Having a lot of direction or maybe none at all.”

 

How do you like to spend your free time?

“Is it bad of me if I say I like to draw? [Laughs] I like playing video games on my down time but drawing is my go to always and forever.”

 

Those are good hobbies.  If you had to describe yourself in one sentence, what would you say?  What is your tagline?

It’s not natural talent that got me this far it’s PRACTICE!”

 

I love that.  That is a wonderful tagline. If people wanted to find you later, how can you be reached?  Instagram, Twitter, etc?

“My instagram is @lexalot_0529. My tumblr is lex-a-lot.tumblr.com.”

 

Alexandra, thank you for your time today.  I can’t wait to see how your game turns out.  Good luck!

“No problem! Thank you for talking to me!”

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