Abandoned Throne Room - Blog 02

Work In Progress / 16 April 2019

Oh man, where to start...

So, first of all, I'd like to apologise to anyone that's been waiting for this post after their interest was piqued by the last one. There's been quite a few things going on since then, and I'll be discussing quite a few of them here for transparency and to discuss a few issues, that while many people discuss on Twitter, I've personally never spoken of publicly in an open forum.

So, what happened after the last post?

Well, I went to EGX Rezzed in London. It was the following day to the last post, and I remember getting perhaps 2 hours of actual good sleep that night because I was fretting over missing the train (I've maybe gotten 3 or 4 trains in my entire life, so as someone that prefers to drive everywhere, it's a bit of an event). I was up at 5.30am to drive to Stoke-On-Trent (where I attend University and where my friend and I were travelling from) and the train down was fairly uneventful.

The day as a whole was fantastic. I got some really good feedback from the Creative Assembly team that was there, spoke to a few Indie and AA developers and got some feedback from them as well. All in all, a fantastic day out and I couldn't wait to get back to work.

The following day, I was back in Stoke hosting a developer (Dan McCabe - Artstation: https://www.artstation.com/dannymac ) from Codemasters who was kind enough to come in and do a talk for the Game Development Society that I've helped manage since September. The talk was amazing, and I can't thank him enough for giving up his time for the day.

After the hectic week I had, Sunday I just shut down completely. Five years of pushing myself to the brink of exhaustion finally caught up to me and I began to experience the worst bout of burn-out I've ever had. Over a week later and I'm still struggling to even sit here and write all of this down.

I decided to take a week to myself, just chilling out and relaxing while going through my final week of the Semester (the week where all our work since September was due). Could I have spent the last week refining things for my hand-ins to make sure I get decent grade? Probably. Did I? Nope.

It's all well and good going to Art School or doing online courses, or even working on Portfolio projects, but the key is to look after yourself and your mental health above all else. What good is that degree if you practically kill yourself in the process?

For the sake of transparency, I had a total of 5 environments to essentially be done by this Semester, so essentially 24 weeks (ish?). It's funny, because I've spoken to a handful of Environment Artists over the year and most have had an aneurysm when told what I've been up to this year. It's possible, sure, but the problem comes in the form of quality over quantity, right? It's the same argument that could be made with fulfilling academic requirements vs a really nice, solid portfolio piece. 

I understand that all academic institutions need to hit certain criteria in which to provide you with a grade or qualification, but it can be a little nuts at times. In the three years that I've been at my University, I've never seen a level of burn-out and exhaustion across an entire year-group as I have with mine. Perhaps next year, it'll be better - maybe not. I hope it is. I've heard so many students, who are genuinely talented and inspire me in my own work say that they just don't care anymore. It's heartbreaking.

Luckily, there's been a few reasons that have begun to pull me back from burn-out, and I couldn't be more grateful.

I plan on getting back to my scene tomorrow, where I'll begin to rework my Trim-Sheet and incorporate more of it onto my models.

If anyone is suffering burn-out, take time for yourself. Do something other than 3D, or 2D or whatever it is you're working on and just rest up and enjoy life. You're only going to get one chance to live your life, so don't waste it practically killing yourself to always produce work. Take time for your health, be it physical or mental.