Ep.151: Atey Ghailan aka Snatti on why should always have your personal art projects

By Iva Mikles •  Updated: Jun 11, 2018 •  Interviews

Hey, guys! In this episode, I am chatting with Atey Ghailan, a.k.a Snatti, a concept artist, and illustrator, in LA. He works as Senior Illustrator and concept artist at Riot Games. In his free time, he works on his personal project called Path of Miranda.

Get in touch with Atey

Key Takeaways

“Try to be honest with yourself as an artist, even when you start working professionally, don’t stop your personal work, don’t stop developing your own ‘voice’!”

Resources mentioned

💡 Please note: We are supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you! For more info, please read our disclosure.

Special thanks to Atey for joining me today. See you next time!

All artworks by Atey Ghailan, used with permission

Episode Transcript

Announcer

Creative, artistic, happy! That’s you. There are endless possibilities for living a creative life. So let’s inspire each other. Art Side of Life interviews with Iva.

Iva Mikles

Hello everyone, Iva here and welcome to the next episode of Art Side of Life where I chat with inspiring artists and create their eyes art related videos before we introduce our guests and go to the interview, let’s thank our sponsors. Have you heard of arts Nick’s art exists subscription box of unique high quality art supplies. Every month you discover new art products, limited edition tools, exculsive supplies and useful techniques. Go to artsideoflife.com/art snakes and use promo code artside10 to get 10% discount. If you are a digital artist, you will love AstroPad app which turns your iPad Pro into a virus graphics tablet for your Mac. So you can use older programs like Photoshop right on your iPad, go to artsideoflife.com/astropad and use promo code artside to get 10% discount. And now let’s go back to the interview. My guest today is IT guy Island online also known as snappy and in this episode, we will talk about why it’s important to keep developing your personal art project and your own voice. Even though if you’re working with art professionally. It is a concept artist and illustrator originally from Sweden now working and living in Los Angeles. He is currently a full time senior illustrator and concept artist at Riot Games. In his free time he is working on his personal project called Path of Miranda, which is a story about a young girl and her friends Toki the penguin and woof the Corgi, he plans to transform the story into a big universe of books, games, and maybe a movie or a TV series someday. And now please welcome the guy Island. And let’s get to the interview.

Iva Mikles

So welcome everyone to the next episode of Art side of life. And I’m super happy to be here.

Atey Ghailan

Hi.

Iva Mikles

Hello. I was super, like happy that you took time from your busy schedule and join us even before work. And so now let’s just jump into the background. And then maybe you can just share like biggest turning points how you get where you are now and maybe like a creative outlets as a child and when did you decide to okay, I take this as a professional.

Atey Ghailan

Okay, thank you for having me. I’ve seen a few videos before. So I’m pretty excited to be here. So I think my very first you the question was first contact with like creative stuff.

Iva Mikles

Yeah, like how did you like start? And when was the kind of the point like, Okay, I will take this professionally?

Atey Ghailan

Yeah, I think so I started in, I was studying law school in university, I was around 21. And, you know, I wasn’t taking any notes, I was just doodling a bunch of stuff. It was very abstract. But I wasn’t paying attention to the class at all, I was just doing doodles, I would go to class into doodles. And I used to draw a lot when I was a kid and it kind of like, kind of resurfaced again in my own adulthood. And at that point, I felt like you know, this is something I’d like to try and make a professional I didn’t know how to do it. But that was like the first spark to really get a go.

Iva Mikles

And did you have like a mentor, you know, like you chose you like, okay, you can do it like this.

Atey Ghailan

It was a lot of trial and error. I used to use a online forum where there was like a lot of people learning at the same time called cazadores.org. And that was like, that was amazing, you know, because everyone was from all over the planet and we’re all trying to learn and just sharing whatever experience you learned to someone else. That was kind of like my starting point. And I learned a lot from that website.

Iva Mikles

And did you start with like a character design or was it environment and or how did you approach learning because the whole thing is like a storytelling scenes that are complex and there is like so much you have to learn Yeah,

Atey Ghailan

yeah, there’s it’s very deep to like learn everything. And I remember watching a tutorial in particular once I realized that you do you need art for games. I learned that there was like you kind of could specialize you know, whether you want to do environment art or you want to character or even if you just want to do the station based work but from this video that I watched this artist mentioned that it’s it’s it’s more it’s less people who do enjoy environment work, thus there’s more job within that field. And I personally did enjoy environment a lot. I was never really into character design still, aren’t you But I thought, Okay, I’m gonna focus fully on that and push on that. And that kind of became my focus. So from that point on it, it opened up all a lot, a lot of doors for me, really?

Iva Mikles

And so did you like start maybe like a like and why then you start learning about perspective and composition? Or was it like everything at once? And like, Okay, well, do you have one piece which is finished?

Atey Ghailan

Yeah, so I started painting. So you got to know like, the basic fundamentals for creating image making, it’s like perspective value colors, like you need to know these to be able to make your images. But what I did was like, I was trying to make images without understanding this, and it turned out pretty bad. Like, but every time I did an image, and it turned out bad, I made me think like, why is this not working? What can I do to make it better, and then I would do some research and then try to apply to the new image and, and so on, and then to like, you start, you know, you start with black and white, you start understanding perspective, you start understanding colors more, and then start adding narrative on top of it.

Iva Mikles

So did you have like, like, a ha moment? You know? Like, if I do these, then my images are much better?

Atey Ghailan

Yeah, I probably the best aha moments like perspective is very important. Because because I was trying to paint without it. And it’s, it’s not a good idea. Always look wrong.

Iva Mikles

And do you have like a favorite subject to paint as well?

Atey Ghailan

I probably something related to dogs. That was like a big favorite. Now I try to focus a lot on like, slice of life moments, like many storytelling in my free time. And I don’t have a dog yet, but I really want one. So it’s like, for now I can just paint them. So it’s like my favorite subject matter.

Iva Mikles

Yeah. So you can put all the themes and action moments and everything, and then you can recreate it in real life afterwards.

Atey Ghailan

Yeah, precisely. Oh, perfect.

Iva Mikles

And so how does your normal artistic day look like? Or if someone doesn’t know what, you know, like designer for games? Do like during the day? Or maybe how does it look when you get the assignment and how you start working? And these kinds of things?

Atey Ghailan

Yeah, so it really depends, like, currently, I’m working at Riot as an illustrator, for someone who doesn’t know. But it really depends on like, your team, your project, and kind of your company, you know, because the bigger the company is, for instance, the more you can specialize into one specific thing. When I started off working, I worked at a outsource studio, where I kind of had to do everything. By right, I can only focus on a specific thing like illustration, or just environment. And my team currently, it really depends, you know, like there is we’re trying to create something and sometimes they there is a problem. Like as a problem, they want to showcase something somehow, but they might not know exactly the best way. And that’s kind of where I come in and offer a solution of how can we present this in a way that resonate with our goals of the product and resonate with the players who are eventually going to experience this. So that’s kind of how my work days.

Iva Mikles

So for example, you will have an idea like, okay, the dog is chains chasing a cat, and then you have to think about, like, in what environment maybe what is the story moment? And this kind of?

Atey Ghailan

Yeah, and how do we want the viewers to feel when they look at that? Do you want them to get excited? Or do you want them to feel a bit scared? You know, all that impacts? How you make the image? Yeah, and

Iva Mikles

also the personalities of the character, right? If the dog is really bad, and the cat is really scared, or they’re like fighting and whatever it is, right?

Atey Ghailan

Yeah, precisely. So. But it always depends on like, your, your company and your team, how how they like to work, you know, and I write, it’s pretty free. Like, there’s not necessarily you have to do X, Y, and Z by this day, it’s pretty open. But there’s in return, there’s a lot of responsibility expected out of you, you know, they expect you to take a lot of your own initiatives to make sure things get done in time. Yeah. And

Iva Mikles

then you also present your ideas afterwards at the meeting or something like why did you do certain decisions, right?

Atey Ghailan

Yeah, yeah. And it’s important to also learn like you know, as as artists, you know, we, we, it’s very easy to talk to other creative people. But you know, when you work in a studio or a company, it’s important to know that you’re not only going to be talking with other artists, you know, so you kind of need to learn to communicate with people who might not necessarily understand your process or how you thinking, you know, because when you show someone who isn’t creative sketch, you know, as artists, we can straightaway tell what’s going on or what the goal is. When someone isn’t you kind of need to think of how can you explain your ideas ahead of time to them So you gotta get to know the people you’re working with as well.

Iva Mikles

Oh, yeah. Also aware in context, context, it will be used right? Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And so what is your like artistic process? As you mentioned, the sketches? And when you get the assignment do work with the sketches on paper first, or do the go directly digitally? Or do you do like color mood boards or research?

Atey Ghailan

Um, so I usually whenever, again, new assignments, I like to just do a little bit in my sketchbook, just super small thumbnails just for myself. It’s nothing I showed anyone, just to try to answer a few questions. Because I feel like sometimes you can get distracted when working in Photoshop, like, you might focus on too much detail. But when you do it in your sketchbook small in the beginning, it’s easier to just narrow down to what’s really important. And always trying to think of like the, probably the biggest question I try to think is like, how do I want the viewer to feel when they’re looking at this image? What do I want them to experience? And based on what is the goal for what we’re trying to do? You know? And from that way, I kind of walk backwards? How can I achieve this, what colors are going to help emphasize this, what kind of lighting scenario is going to help make this even more impactful? So that’s kind of my starting point. And I just move forward from that point on, it’s just important to get a good base for whatever you’re making, because then it’s much easier to build on top of it. Otherwise, they’ll just collapse later.

Iva Mikles
And do you have the same process for your personal work? Or do you work differently if you do your own artworks,

Atey Ghailan

my personal work I tend to work differently because I don’t really have that much time. I spend about two hours each and each sketch I put up. But I try to like for them. It’s really like I want to communicate a small story something I experienced something I read in the most simple way possible. You know, details are not important just as long as I get the message across. And I tend to just jump in straight with colour since I don’t have much time to do those.

Iva Mikles

And where do you take the most inspiration from Do you have something strange which inspires you?

Atey Ghailan

I actually I try to pay attention to a lot of things around me like a lot of sketches are stuff I overhear stuff I see. I also like to read articles online. And I listened to a lot of audiobooks like a lot. That’s like when I go to work. i From the moment I go to work till till I come home, I just listened to audiobooks. I don’t do music at all anymore. Oh, cool.

Iva Mikles

Cool. Yeah, because I also really like to listen to audiobooks or you know, like podcasts or everything around also when I travel. So can you give us some like tips for awesome, I’ll be able to to like listen to recently.

Atey Ghailan

So I really like I like horror, dark horror books.

Iva Mikles

Okay, maybe that’s not for me. Maybe someone else would like it for sure.

Atey Ghailan

Yeah. I like Stephen King has a lot of amazing books. Specially like there’s a series called Mr. Mercedes. But also probably my favorite is the Game of Thrones audiobooks. If you’d like if you’d like the show, I very, very much recommend audiobooks. They’re fantastic,

Iva Mikles

especially now when people have to wait like, what, two years?

Iva Mikles

And if you’re a fan of the show, there’s so much more in the books that you can just soak up and like start to make your own theories about you know, is this gonna happen? Or why is this happening? It’s it’s fantastic. They’re very long. They’re like 40 or 50 hours each, but they’re super good.

Iva Mikles

Oh, cool. And do you sometimes do also fan art or not so much?

Iva Mikles

I do sometimes fan art from books that I listen to. But often it’s things I like a small story that rather tell you know, or an idea I have. But sometimes I do feller. Yeah.

Iva Mikles

And is there something in Photoshop as you work in Photoshop? I guess like a lot. Something we should be using, but maybe we don’t know yet.

Iva Mikles

I don’t think so. I think it’s pretty straightforward. You know, can think of anything,

Iva Mikles

something cool. You would maybe use everyday maybe except like, controls app or something, you know?

Atey Ghailan

I use it pretty simple. Like I just have a layer, just paint. I just tried to keep as few layers as possible. I don’t know if that’s helpful.

Iva Mikles

They usually paint like on one layer or like maybe two three or something like that.

Atey Ghailan

Yeah, I try to always keep flattening it because the more layers I have, the harder it is to keep track of things. But like I tried to separate out whenever I’m painting like for instance, the fingernail element could be a separate layer on its own. And midground can be on its own by try to minimize as much as I can.

Iva Mikles

Yeah, because then also if you work and then someone asked you to remove that Free, which is in the middle when you don’t have to paint the background again.

Atey Ghailan

Yeah, pretty much. That’s kind of why it’s like it’s easier to do tweak especially when you’re working with when you’re working for someone else. You kind of want to be able to do adjustments if needed.

Iva Mikles

Before we continue, let’s thank our sponsors again. If you love discovering and trying out new art tools, you should check out art snakes when you subscribe, you will get the books on high quality art supplies every month. I have already discovered so many amazing new products, limited edition tools and exclusive supplies only available to subscribers. I think definitely helps me to get more creative and try different art techniques every month. There is also artistic challenge where you can share your artworks using only the tools in the monthly box. You also get to join the art sex mix community where you can talk with other artists like you inspire each other and improve together. Well this more is the Art Side of Life listen there, you will get a special 10% discount with the promo code artside then. So don’t wait visit artsideoflife.com/art Thanks and use promo code artside then if you’re a digital artist, you will love Astro Astro pad is an app that turns your iPad Pro into professional viral is graphics tablet for your Mac. I use it to work with Photoshop and Illustrator to create highly rendered artworks for my clients directly on my iPad. I was super excited to discover AstroPad because the painting apps available on iPad don’t have all the functionality like Photoshop. With Astro pad, I can use all my favorite and custom made Photoshop brushes, which is super cool. Well, this more is an Art Side of Life listener, you will get an exclusive 10% discount on a stupid studio licenses. To get started, go to artsideoflife.com/astropad and enter the promo code artside. And now let’s go back to the interview.

Iva Mikles

And so when you mentioned also the inspiration and just like remembering the moment, how does your normal day or week look like? Do you do something you know daily, which contributes their sectors like daily walks or meditation or something like that.

Atey Ghailan

So I, I like to like I said, audiobooks is a huge deal. I like to read articles online, whatever I can find. I also like whenever I’m at work, or whenever I go out with my wife on the weekends, I always try to just be super observant of everything. You know, like if maybe I see someone doing something super interesting. You know, I did a small series of la culture sketches by things I see here. So I really just try to be observant of things I see. And I always carry a sketchbook with me. So I’m always sketching as well. My wife doesn’t appreciate that sometimes. But but something I always do. Yeah, I think just being being observant of your surrounding, and really try to pay attention to things that you like, you know, you see someone with an outfit that you think is amazing, right? You try to think about like, Why do you think it’s amazing? This is the colors? Or is it the shape of it, and then try to use it in your own work.

Iva Mikles

So you also write down like the notes with your sketch, or is it like a pencil sketch in your sketchbook?

Atey Ghailan

I do a lot of ink. And yeah, sometimes I write down notes because you you forget maybe the context of the scenario, you know.

Iva Mikles

And when we were talking also about like you mentioned LA and sketching in LA and we talked about the moving around. How was the transition for you like when you move like from Sweden to LA and

Atey Ghailan

yeah, it was it was pretty tricky. Like, we had to wait for Midwifery, I was living in a year in Croatia, before I moved to LA, we had to wait a year for the visa. But it’s pretty difficult. Like to move here because there’s like, there’s a lot of subtle things which are different culturally and the way, you know, this country works like you have to have credit. And if you’re new to the country, you don’t have any of that, which makes a lot of things harder for you. You know, to get an apartment and all that but yeah, it was like I would say that first two months was a bit difficult to getting used to everything is sorted, got everything. But after that it’s pretty easy.

Iva Mikles

And how do you do networking, you know, in a new town, was it mainly through the job or do you also go to some sketch meetups or something like that.

Atey Ghailan

And so we have I try to talk because we have a lot of people are in the company. I try to be very I try to talk to as many people as I can. There’s a lot of super nice people. We have also figured drawing at work. I spend a lot of time at work so I meet a lot of people. So yeah, that’s to do that. I’ve met some very, very amazing people.

Iva Mikles

Yeah. And then now I’m sure someone who is listening and they’re, you know, wondering, okay, look, how did you get to LA? Right? So, did you apply for a job or? Or did they contact you? Or how was that?

Atey Ghailan

How I ended up a ride it was, it was a bit random. I was at the time I was freelancing. And again, my focus was mostly environment work. And I remember I wasn’t the Skype group with we had, we were a bunch of artists. And we used to do like these monthly challenges. So you get a theme. And then we’ll do their own interpretation of it that we posted. And in the Skype group there, there was an artist who wrote, I didn’t know who the artist was at the time. I knew he was in the challenge. He’s like, does anyone here do environment work, like contract based, and we were like, 10 people in that Skype group, and I was the only environment artist. And I was like, Yeah, I can do it. You know, I’m freelancing, if, if you I’ll send him my work, you know, if you see some match, let me know. And if not, Thanks for looking. And I didn’t know this was for right at the time, either. And, you know, he got back to me, it’s like, yeah, man, let’s try it out. So we tried short contractors, like 65 days worth of work. It went super well, like, super easy to work with them. And I did another 65 days, and then it just, you know, eventually became full time. So

Iva Mikles

cool. Cool. And how did you find also the Skype group, it wasn’t through the the website you mentioned before?

Atey Ghailan

That was through a few friends of mine that I met online. Whoo hoo. We used to freelance for a same company. And then, you know, we decided to start or they decided to start a challenge with us, you know, where you really tried to push each other, like you have one month to make an image. And when you do with people, you kind of want to, you know, push yourself. And they just added me to that group. Since they knew I probably be interested in that as well.

Iva Mikles

Oh, definitely. Because it’s always good to have this kind of like a mastermind group where they can give you feedback or you give feedback to each other. And yeah, so improve every day.

Atey Ghailan

Yeah, yeah, online communities are like, super helpful, especially like if, because, you know, when I started, like, I didn’t know anyone who was an artist, and like, the online was like, the closest thing I had to hanging out with other artists. So you know, like communities are super helpful.

Iva Mikles

And what was your first job? You know, the artistic job? And how did you find

Atey Ghailan

my first artists artistic job. This is when I was living back in Stockholm. It was basically, my first freelance job was someone, I put a post up on this concept art website. It’s like, I’m looking for work. And this is my portfolio. Someone contacted me, they basically wanted to pitch a comic to a publisher. And they wanted me to create 12 sample pages. And it took me like a month and a half. It was super fun. And the guy was super easy to work with. That was my first freelance job.

Iva Mikles

Oh, cool. And do you have some, maybe more tips about freelance work when someone is just starting out? And like, okay, where should I start? Or where should I you know, network?

Atey Ghailan

Yeah. So, the one thing that, like, there’s a few things which are super, super important, in my opinion, and I would say the number one thing is time management, you know, because like, when you’re sitting at home, you’re sitting in your own place, you know, you can very easily spend six hours just browsing the internet, you know, and that’s not ideal. Like, I would, I would think about it, like if you, if you’re freelancing, you think of it as a full time job, you’re just doing it from your own house, you know, you wake up at a certain time, you do your job, you have lunch at a certain time, and then you stop at a certain time. Granted, it’s probably not going to work like that, most of the time, we end up working more. But it’s very important to organize your day and be have very clear communication with the people you’re working with, you know. Yeah, I think that’s the most important thing for networking. You know, I would just try to be active online. You know, there’s many different forms of doing that. But as artists like sharing your work is probably the best way I can think of

Iva Mikles

and where are you the most active right now on the social media? Is it the art station or is it mostly Instagram or

Atey Ghailan

probably Instagram? I love that that app because it’s so good like you have on your phone. And you can just scroll you see as much art as he likes. You know, I love that. I used to be very active on Facebook, but the problem was Facebook it it doesn’t target your search. As much as you want, you can see a bunch of other things which you might not be as interested in. But I think Instagram does a great job of just like, if you just want to see art, that’s all you’re gonna see.

Iva Mikles

So I love that that perfect. So then if someone wants to, you know, find your art more than Yeah, Instagram is the place where you are. Yeah. Perfect. And if you think about baking, the whole art career until now, is there something you wish you knew before you started?

Atey Ghailan

There’s a lot of things. I think probably, I would have focused more on. So when I started painting, you know, you kind of influenced by what you think an employer wants to see, you know, and it’s totally natural to think like, I’m going to draw what I think a company is going to want to see. By thing, probably the most helpful thing is to draw what you want to draw, and draw exactly what you like. And that is, that is just going to make your work that much better. And it’s also going to unlock a lot of things of like your own artistic voice, which is super important. That took took a while for me to kind of admit to myself, I like more stylized work, I like to use a lot of colors. Because when I started off painting, I tried to it was too serious the work I was doing, and it was too muted colors. And it wasn’t it was more I drew it because I thought people would like it. Or companies would like it rather than I liked it. So that’s probably the number one advice

Iva Mikles

and how was your the art style development? You know, did you like as you mentioned, like the muted colors and the colorful stuff? Did you kind of like focus on it? Like, okay, now I want to develop my art style? Or was it kind of like, along the way it was.

Atey Ghailan

So this kind of came up through the Skype group when we’re doing these challenges. I, I kind of like we had this brief once and I kind of wanted to challenge myself, I was like, you know, I’m not going to do what I usually do. I’m going to try something out of my comfort zone and draw something I really like. Because this is in my free time, you know, I should be able to draw exactly what I want. That kind of like opened a trickle to what and what eventually would change the way our completely. So yeah, that was like the big big breakthrough. And I came out of the closet, like I like more stylized

Iva Mikles

Perfect, and you do a lot of artworks with like, light and color right? So where did you study the light and color? Did you go outside the load? Or do you have recommendations maybe for books or you know, places where you know, we can find a lot of cool information?

Atey Ghailan

I think there is there’s a lot of good books like particular James gurneys color light book. But I think, you know, everyone learns very differently. And for me, like I need to put it into practice. You know, when I read something, I need to try it for myself for really to hammer it down. So I like to I used to do a lot of digital digital still lives. But now I moved on to more traditional still life and just painting from life as much as I possibly can. i Whenever I can I try to paint with wash or casein. But if I don’t do that, I always like I said sketch in my sketchbook, you know, just try to always stay active.

Iva Mikles

Yeah, and do you have like a favorite brand of goauche, or when you take it outside? Or doesn’t matter for you?

Atey Ghailan

Yeah, there is like when you start using it a lot, you can tell the difference in the quality. And there is, if you’re starting out, I recommend just try any brand. It doesn’t matter, you know, probably your first 100 paintings are going to be so well once you get more comfortable working with the medium and you feel like you start noticing the difference, I would recommend the brand called Winston and Newton, it’s probably a little bit more pricey one, but it’s super good. Yeah. And

Iva Mikles

do you have also like a favorite pencil you cannot live without you know the one you take care. Okay with you. Oh,

Atey Ghailan

I like the brush pen. It’s super good. But in general, I like whenever I go to the art store. I like to buy a new one each time just to get a different feel and try stuff out.

Iva Mikles

So you have 100 Brush pens and ink pens.

Atey Ghailan

Yeah, because I always tend to lose them as well. So it’s like I always wherever I lose one I can find one somewhere in the apartment. So that’s good.

Iva Mikles

That’s good. And do you have also like favorite brand of ink you use all the time or?

Atey Ghailan

No nothing particular for that.

Iva Mikles

And if we go back to the art career and think about maybe the most difficult moment of your art career, maybe what was it and what was The key takeaway because usually, that’s when we learned the most. Yeah.

Atey Ghailan

I think probably when you had to, I had to give up. So you know, when you freelancing, you have to like, the more you the more, the more you get recognized as an artist, the more opportunities are going to come your way. And probably the most, the hardest thing is what to choose, you know, because like, you can’t do everything. And the, that’s probably like, the biggest thing is like when you really, really have to think like, if I take on this project, what am I going to get out of it? You know, if I’m going to freelance for this company, is it going to benefit what I actually want to do or where I want to go into my career? And that’s super hard, you know, you can’t predict the future. But you can, you can think that is like the one thing you just got to think about as much as possible. And really try to make a choice that benefits you not just now, but in the future as well.

Iva Mikles

Yeah. Because also when we are saying yes to something else, we all always say no to other things. Whether Yes, I don’t know. But watching TV or in other jobs, so

Atey Ghailan

yeah, exactly. And if you freelancing, you never know when an opportunity will be coming, you know? So it’s very hard to predict. But yeah, you just gotta like, gotta make some hard choices, basically.

Iva Mikles

And then now, when you you work as a full time artist, do you have also different income streams, you know, like, selling art prints? Or do you like combine them or you have one main one,

Atey Ghailan

I do Patreon. So that’s kind of like an extra income. I do sometimes. I did a workshop at blur helping their their artists with lighting. I did a tutorial for imagine effects, I don’t do I do very minimum amount of freelance. Because in my free time, I am trying to invest as much as I can my time into making my own product, and trying to develop my own IP and universe. So it’s, it’s about the project called patent Miranda. I try to post of that from time to time. But that’s, that’s what I tried to invest all my free time in rather than doing some freelance work.

Iva Mikles

And do you share some of these also on your Patreon or not right now?

Atey Ghailan

Yeah, basically, Patreon is a way of like, if you want to see behind the scenes, I put up all the content there. And I kind of record like a journal each month, talking about like, what did I do this month? What did I fail with doing and how, what is my upcoming goals. So if it was interested in seeing behind the scenes, that’s like, where I share that,

Iva Mikles

Oh, nice. And so you do like a one video per week or so like, or you have one artwork per month where you do the journaling? Or how does it work for your Patreon.

Atey Ghailan

So basically, like I send it all out at the end of the month, and I put together everything, you know, I usually put together a video tutorial, I send some PSD s for some images, high resolution of the sketches I do. And sometimes I share, I share also there all the studies I do, because I don’t think I ever post studies anywhere. But I do a study every day. Whether it’s focused on portraits or character, I just don’t share that that’s something I shared exclusively to Patreon. And also, I recorded a journal kind of talking about, like, what I’m trying to do and where I what my goals are

Iva Mikles

so awesome, for nice. And so let’s talk about maybe the goals for the future, as you mentioned, like, maybe what are the, you know, the projects or finishing the project as a book or as a game, or what is the dream scenario in like, 10 years,

Atey Ghailan

in 10 years, what I want the project to be is kind of something that will live on for a very long time, you know, that’s something that can spend out in many different ways. And forms. I don’t see it as just making a book of this project, or just making a movie of this project I want it to be like, kinda can transform into many different forms. Like for instance, for this year, my focus is trying to make it a game. So we’ll see how it goes. But hopefully by the end of the year, that will that should be done. And then we’ll see what the next steps are. But I see it as a universe and then trying to make the pull from it and make different content, you know, and from Does that make sense? Yeah,

Iva Mikles

definitely. And I was just thinking like, what kind of game is it it will it be board game or digital game or everything?

Atey Ghailan

It will be for your phone.

Iva Mikles

Okay, so like something like an app or Yeah, okay. Yeah, cool. And when you are creating your own world did you start from a character like You know what world it will be living in and how they interact or was in the world. And then you boil it down to characters.

Atey Ghailan

It’s a lot of it’s a lot of like, What do I like? And I kind of like just I’d like to throw out everything I like. And then I take a step back. And look, does this make sense? Or does this makes sense at least start filtering, and then you throw in a bunch of new stuff, a start filtering it out. Because for me, like, I’ve never done this before, so I don’t know what the exact process is. And I don’t think he’ll really find a tutorial on how to make your own IP. It’s, it’s, I think it’s just trial and error and trying to have a clear vision of what you want to achieve. And then just filtering out things that are not pulling away from that.

Iva Mikles

Yeah. And so you will have like, a big cast of characters, or will it be just more world?

Atey Ghailan

It shouldn’t be a big cast of characters that you hopefully will, like,

Iva Mikles

Oh, awesome, perfect. And what about like, far, far future? And I would like to know, what would you like to be remembered for in like, 100 years.

Atey Ghailan

That’s, that’s difficult. I, I want to I want to, I always want to try to develop as an artist, I want to just, I want to see how much I can develop, within, you know, as much as I can during my lifetime. I don’t know what I want to be remembered as, but like, hopefully, as a digital artists during the 2000. Era.

Iva Mikles

So people would like like, Okay, this is cool. This is cool. Yeah. Oh, nice. And before we finish, maybe you can share, like, last piece of advice or key takeaway, and then we will slowly end.

Atey Ghailan

I think last piece of advice is like, you know, try to be honest with yourself, as an artist, do the things you like not, because what someone tells you to do. And once you start working professionally, I think I see that a lot is people who get a job in the industry, and they tend to stop doing their personal work. And that kind of that kind of stopped the development of your own voice. And I would encourage strongly, like, even if you get a full time job, it doesn’t have to be within art. You know, I always try to draw on your free time to develop who you are and your own take on things because that is super important.

Iva Mikles

Yeah. And so do you draw your own projects also every day? And also on the weekends? Or do you take maybe weekends off?

Atey Ghailan

No, I all my free time goes to painting pretty much. So

Iva Mikles

cool. So like 20 hours a day, also Saturday, Sunday, all the time?

Iva Mikles

Yeah, sometimes I go out with my wife on the weekends, because she’s like, we’re going out.

Iva Mikles

And you still take your sketchbook

Iva Mikles

and good, good, you’re gonna compromise. Yeah,

Iva Mikles

so you actually improved like, all the time, as you mentioned, like, even though you have a full time job, then you still draw?

Atey Ghailan

Yeah, it’s just important, you know, like doing the personal work, even if you fail, that is important. Because like, when you when you work professionally, like, you kind of don’t want to try stuff out and mess up. Because most likely you have a deadline and you won’t be able to deliver. So you kind of always go the safe way where you know, it’s gonna work. But that kind of stopped some things, stop certain things to develop as an artist. So that’s why you need to do things in your free time where you try the most crazy thing you can think of, you know, whatever workflow or method you want to try, that is super important for you to develop. That’s what I learned, at least notice. That’s always trying to do personal work.

Iva Mikles

Yeah, definitely. Totally agree. And, again, thank you so much for being here.

Atey Ghailan

Thank you. Thanks for having me.

Iva Mikles

It was super nice. And thanks, everyone who joined today as well and see you then. Thank you. Hey, guys, thank you so much for listening. I really appreciate you being here. You can find all the resources mentioned in this episode at artsideoflife.com. Just type a guest name in the search bar. There is also a couple of free artists resources ready for you on the website as well. So go check it out. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and leave a review on iTunes or Stitcher so I can reach and inspire more artists like you. If you want to watch the interviews, head over to artsideoflife.com/youtube. Continue to inspire each other and I will talk to you guys in the next episode. Bye.

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Hi, I am Iva (rhymes with “viva”). I am an artist, illustrator, founder of Art Side of Life®, and Top Teacher on Skillshare. Since 2009 I've worked as an illustrator, character designer, art director, and branding specialist focusing on illustration, storytelling, concepts, and animation. I believe that we are all creative in infinite numbers of ways, so I've made it my mission to teach you everything I know and help either wake up or develop your creative genius. Learn more about me.

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