Frequently asked questions
Due to the volume of messages that Glenn receives (and, unfortunately, his limited time to respond to them), we are starting this FAQ section. Hopefully it's helpful!
"Do you actually work at Blizzard?"
Yes! I am a full-time Blizzard employee, and have been an artist and art director there since 2005. Before that, I worked for Blizzard's parent company, Vivendi Games, starting in 2001.
"Do you take commissions?"
My full-time work for Blizzard doesn't leave me with much free time. I've taken commissions before, but it's rare and my rates are pretty high. I also request plenty of lead time (no rush jobs!). I do have a very limited number of original pieces for sale, so please contact me directly or sign up for my mailing list if you are interested in purchasing a completed pencil drawing or oil painting.
"Did you study art in college?"
I went to Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, and received a BFA in Illustration.
"What made you want to be a game artist?"
Warcraft 2. That, and Baulder's Gate.
"How long does it take you to complete a concept or painting?"
Concepts can take a couple of hours to a couple of days, while a painting can take a week or three. It really depends on the level of rendering needed, the size of the piece, the amount and scale of alterations and feedback, and the deadline. In the end, you always have to hit the deadline.
"How much education and training would you say is needed to work as a game artist?"
Enough training that makes you competitive with people already working in the games industry. If you cannot compete, you will not make it.
"What's the main difference between being an art director versus being an artist?"
Leading and managing people, and being the keeper of the house style. There is a lot more responsibility as an art director.
"besides skill, what's the most important Attribute to have in order to be a successful artist?"
Professionalism. This means being easy to work with, doing what is asked of you, and taking criticism well.
"What inspires you to keep making art?"
My job, my drive to become a better artist, fans! And I just like drawing and painting.
"How do I learn to paint / draw /become a better artist?"
I think people learn by doing. It's all about mileage. Do something once and you probably suck at it. Do something 50 times and you're probably starting to get the hang of it. Do something 500 times and you are probably getting pretty good at it. Do it 10,000 times and you're a master! School is good, but in the end, your education rests solely on you.
"How do you deal with artist's block?"
I try to force the doubt out of my mind. Sometimes I turn on music or a movie, and sometimes I draw with my left hand, then switch back to my right. Artist block comes with the territory, and you just have to push through.
"How much freedom do you have with constructing your illustrations?"
My main job is to make sure Blizzard's requirements are hit. After that, I have all the freedom I want.
"What's the most important thing to keep in mind when drawing concept art?"
If you are working on a concept, someone is asking you to solve a problem. You have to make sure you are solving that problem in the coolest way possible within the design boundaries.
"What's the most important thing to keep in mind when drawing magazine, box art, or book covers?"
Logo placement. Another thing to consider is how the product will be presented on the shelf.
"What is your work process? Which programs do you use?"
First, I gather creative direction. I then sketch thumbnails with pencil and paper; usually about 6 different ideas. I'll send those out for review. I work up a final drawing in Photoshop. I then work out a value and color comp. Once I decide on a direction, I typically finish the painting in Photoshop. However, sometimes I use traditional mediums such as oil paint.
"Which brushes do you use in Photoshop? Which tablet?"
I tend to use the standard round brushes with a very slight taper and an opacity jitter. I have one odd shaped bush that I use with these same settings. I use a Cintiq tablet.