I’m a 2D artist specialising in User Interfaces, HUDs and artwork for games on multiple platforms. I have over 5 years of development experience in console and PC gaming, and nearly 10 years working with mobile and Flash games.
My name is Lewis, and I love making games.
It took a few years for me to realize that I should be working in the games industry, not just playing them. In fact, I went through several careers before I ended up here. Let me explain…
Having inherited my mother’s love of drawing and my father’s love of cartooning, I was the kid at school selling drawings of Batman, Robocop and Judge Dredd for a pound each. I left school with Art and Media A-Levels, and went on to study Fine Art at the Somerset College of Art and Technology.
With my new diploma tucked under my arm, I moved to the Republic of Ireland, where my parents had emigrated after I went to college. Suddenly struck by the dramatic landscapes of West Cork and the vibrant art community, I taught myself pencil and watercolour rendering. This gentle medium, and a growing sensitivity to the marine scenes the litter the area, I established a reputation as a solid – if ‘commercially-friendly’ – local artist, and it wasn’t long before I had established my own gallery / studio. For three summers, I displayed and sold one-off and print runs of local scenery and was servicing a growing commission-based market for private clients and publications.
I was also experimenting with the ‘montage’ style as I ably demonstrated by Paul Calle in his book ‘Pencil’, as well as by my former tutor, John Nankivell. My father, a carpenter, created me a 4 foot wide lightbox to assist with complex composition plans, and it wasn’t long before I purchased my first copy of ‘Photoshop’ to plan my drawings (which were becoming more complex and experimental).
As the Internet was establishing a foothold, I was taking an interest in the opportunities this held, and, frustrated by the irregular income of a tourist-friendly artist, I set about teaching myself Web Design. Six months later I found myself employed by a Dublin-based agency, Websoft, and after 18 months of experience with them I was hired as a contractor by VISION Consulting to work in Edinburgh on IF.com, a brand new internet back created by the Halifax.
After a year of working and learning from some incredible brand agencies and usability experts, I joined VISION full-time, based out of the Dublin office, and spent the next 5 years working on some cutting edge web projects for Warner Bros, Irish Rugby Football Union and Aviva, amongst others. During this time I had established a love-affair with Flash as a tool, sparked by meeting some amazing Flash artists at a FlashForward conference in San Francisco. I had also combined my increasing passion for gaming by working on several modding projects, creating two very popular Flash games, and providing art for several mobile games.
Finally, the siren call of the industry became to strong to ignore; I moved back to the UK and joined ‘Timesplitters’ creators, Free Radical. With them, I worked on the HUD and marketing materials for HAZE, the front-end for Battlefront 3 (although this game was cancelled near its completion – sadly) and a Flash kids MMO which didn’t see the light of day, as Free Rad went out of business.
Nevertheless, my passion for games had found a viable artistic outlet, and I moved across the midlands to Eurocom, where I have had the pleasure of working on licensed IP’s such as G-Force, Ice Age 3, Vancouver Winter Olympics, Goldeneye 007 and Rio.
I keep notebooks of sketches and ideas for hundreds of games, and I am a passionate advocate of the positive aspects of gaming, creativity and social connections. I advocate user-centric game design on every project I am involved in and I genuinely believe that the best games haven’t been made yet; I don’t like industry-vet, seen-it-all-before cynicism.
When I’m not working, I enjoy playing FIFA, Tiny Wings, Braid, Limbo and Red Dead Redemption. I try to keep active by playing football and avoiding television, and I enjoy photography, music and history.