My name is Emilie Stabell. I’m from Denmark and am currently working as a character and environment artist at Media Molecule Ltd. in the United Kingdom where we’re making the game Dreams for PS4.
My creative career began when I was accepted into the Bachelor programme in Computer Graphics Art at The Animation Workshop in Denmark. It was during my 3 years at the school that I honed my skills and slowly built my personal style and portfolio that I would later use to enter the games industry. During my 3rd year, it was time to apply for an internship abroad. I filtered through hundreds of studios over several weeks until I finally stumbled upon Media Molecule, a medium sized studio in the UK with pink carpets, hat shaped lamps and lots of talent.
Although it clearly said on their website at the time that they didn’t accept any interns, I decided to send my showreel regardless (because you never know what might happen), and sure enough, Studio Director Siobhan Reddy got back to me only 2 days later to arrange an interview. Skip forward 3.5 years and I’m still here, having the most creatively fulfilling job I could possibly imagine. Initially, I had a few doubts entering this industry due to the harsh competition and massive talent out there, but once you get to experience the fulfillment of getting to do what you love for a living, there’s really no going back.
For students out there who’d be interested in seeing what my “fresh out of school” reel looked like which landed me my current job, have a look:
My artistic focus revolves around creating colourful characters and environments. I love bold shapes and vibrant colour palettes and always try to challenge myself by changing up the style for every new piece I make. Personal style is important, but so is adaptation and I believe exploring many different looks and learning from other artists will help you acquire the skills needed to deal with the various creative challenges you’ll face.
A good example is “The Journey”:
This piece taught me to have patience, believe in the process and to create textures with a hand painted comic book type look. Skills that have all benefited me going forwards. The original concept is made by Sam Bosma and recreating his vast idea in 3D has been great for learning just how much you can achieve if you’re willing to put in the hours.
Another example is “Nova”:
She was a good exercise in appeal: giving your character a strong personality and really trying to dig deep into what their life might be like. She started out as a generic post-apocalyptic desert traveller, but mid-way through the process, I decided to spice it up with some Harajuku inspired props and a hoverboard to make her stand out.
This one is perhaps a little tricky to explain, but the concept of designing from the “inside and out” rather than from the “outside and in” is a balance I will always have to work towards mastering. All too often I find myself becoming influenced by what other artists are thinking, expecting and doing, which leads my art to look more like what the mainstream wants. in the long run this gets boring and draining, and it isn’t the true you. Designing from the inside and out means to let go of all the expectations and let your own raw ideas flow without putting them through all these editorial filters we’ve all been taught to have. It means to design with the authenticity and immediacy of a child. When you succeed at this, you’ll find that your designs become stronger, more original and more ‘you’. It’ll help you find your own artistic voice and set you apart from all your competitors, and it will probably make you more happy as well.
To me, Sketchfab is the most accessible and easiest platform out there for displaying your 3D models. It supports everything you could possibly need all the way from animation to audio, giving you the opportunity to make your models come to life instead of being a static image on screen. A good 3D model can be appreciated from all angles, and this is exactly what Sketchfab allows anyone of any age to do.