Guest Speaker: Gerard Dunleavy

I admit that I felt the self-doubt in my abilities creeping in after listening to Dunleavy’s talk. Self-doubt aside, Dunleavy’s work is among the most inspirational for me. The level of quality of work on his website is definitely something that I would aspire to. During his talk, he commented on how taste/standard of quality is more important than what software you know. I really like the cinematic feel in his work and feel that I need to strive harder to bring this level of finish to my own work.

I have always felt that being a concept artist/mood painter would be a dream job for me. However, I always look at my own work and tell myself how bad it is. I need to stop letting negativity stop me from progressing and just practice until I can make it. Looking at Dunleavy’s work has also made me more interested in how I could use matte painting techniques to make stronger imagery. This is not something which I have looked into much yet.

Notes from Dunleavy’s talk with us:

  • For concepts, taste is more important than technical skills. Technical skills can be taught but you need to bring your own taste/quality of work to a project. E.g. is your photography screen ready?
  • Gerard commented about how nobody in the studio could be considered a beginner. Even as someone starting out your work needs to be at least at mid-level.
  • Showreel advice: Demonstrate that you can do one thing really well. Ground your work in reality. Work on a project that you’re passionate about. Pretend it’s for a real project e.g. an advert and present it that way. Keep it simple.
  • Make your CV specific for the job. Also be specific about what particular skills you have. Don’t just say ‘expert at Maya’.
  • Develop good foundations.

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