I got the pleasure of speaking to a very ambitious guy who has been working incredibly hard to get noticed. Train2Game student, Lee Pearson, has worked through many obstacles to get his character designs noticed.
You can listen to part one of the interview here: http://audioboo.fm/boos/1471396-train2game-student-radio-speaks-to-lee-pearson-part-1
Or you can read the transcript below:
Hello my names Lee Pearson, I’m on the Train2Game Radio forum, talking about my work I’m doing for the indie game scene, in the USA.
Alright Lee, how you doing mate?
Yeah not too bad mate
Excellent. So, tell me a bit about you then buddy?
My name’s Lee Pearson, I come from Ashford originally, I was born and raised in Ashford, Kent. I spent the last thirty years in education full time and all that. I’ve been drawing since I was born. My obsession with monsters began when I was watching Ray Harryhausen films and I started drawing loads and loads of monsters, loads of gory stuff. My Father used to bring home loads of the old VHS Videos and I got inspired by drawing that and that’s how it all started.
Yeah, the good old video nasties?
Yeah the good old eighties, I was probably only about five but that’s what inspired me to draw really and I just used to do it for my own enjoyment and just kept doing it and doing it. It was extremely violent, it worried my dad a little bit, and I just kept drawing and drawing them because I loved doing it. It’s what I have gone back to doing today now.
I’ve always had an interest in working on Movies and Video Games but I haven’t found the exact thing to get there at the moment. I’m still needing a little bit more experience yet. I did courses after I left school. I spent from 1994 to 2008 doing all these art courses and all that but I just felt this isn’t exactly what I want to do. I want to do something in Video Games and Movies because I’ve got such an imagination designing creatures.
I’ve had it hard with my courses because I’ve had special needs, I had to deal with a lot of family problems helping friends out, mental health problems and a lot of other things I’ve had to cope with.
I finally graduated in 2008, with an HND in fine arts with nine distinctions, including photoshop, and I was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome in 2008.
I left college from 1998 to 2008 just doing stuff for DJ scenes, just to calm myself down a bit. I always wanted to do Video Games though and my mate called James Sacker had this little card for Train2Game calling out all the Games Designers, I thought this looks interesting. I looked into it and my Dad said, “don’t do the course Son because it’s going to cost you a lot of money”. So I had some guys come around to my new flat that I am living at at the moment and we spoke about it and watched the Video and I thought to myself, it’s something I really want to do because I love Monsters and I love Gore and I love all that stuff. Without telling my Mum and Dad, I signed on to Train2Game.
I assume they now though, do they, you parents?
Not yet at the moment, just keeping it a secret
OK Lee, that’s all good that you did all that before so it’s 2013 now. What are you up to now?
At the moment I’m just working in some indie game companies in America, just doing it online. I decided to grab a copy of Photoshop CS 5, I’ve spent an awful lot of my money on computer equipment out of my benefit money, I had to sacrifice food for it. I bought Graphics Tablets, Scanners, Printers and all sorts of stuff. I’ve been practising and practising with the Graphics Tablet and over time I’ve mastered it in about ten months really, my graphics tablet.
I’m doing mostly Horror games. I did one last year before I started learning the Graphics Tablet. I went on the concept art OEG and I was flicking through all the games adverts and there was one that caught my eye, called Richard Lee, he was a guy looking for a guy to do his art work for a cult Horror game in America based before Jesus Christ. I applied for it and he liked my work so much that he said, yeah I’ll give you the shot.
It wasn’t done by a graphics tablet, it was done with A4 paper and pens and I started drawing all these really gory demonic characters. We worked on it together for a couple of months and then sadly he gave me an email saying he had to stop to go back to Trucking because of money. It’s a shame because I thought it would be a fantastic project to work on.
You’re getting some good work experience out of this projects now then?
It’s mostly just one on one really. It’s mostly just Indie stuff really and I just got my work out there by Facebook. I was just getting all my art work and spamming it and spamming it. I was then talking to someone on the Train2Game course and they said, why don’t you try deviant art?, so I got all the recent work I’ve done and spammed it and got it out there and it caught the eye of another guy in America called Mark Wemm, which I am working on at the moment. He told me to create my own character, so I created a Teddy Bear that got possessed by an Alien, Demonic Spirit that turns it into a hideous monster and it’s really really gory. I’m working on that at the moment and I don’t know how long it will take but I’ve been asked to do all of it by Photoshop and I’ve been doing all the landscapes and all the concept art and all the weaponry, it’s just great fun, it really is.
Yeah. It sounds like your enjoying yourself.
Oh I love it! Loving it to bits, it’s really, really good fun
Excellent, so you mentioned before that you had Aspergers so how is it studying and working with that, do you find you get prejudice against it or what?
No, I’ve got to the stage now where I don’t really care about my disability. I just have a laugh like my dad does, just enjoy it. I don’t really care about money I just love and enjoy doing it, it’s great fun.
So what are you wanting to do in the future then Lee?
Well before I go to America, I’m going to America just to have a holiday with my Step Mum, Dad and my family. I want to come back home, get a bundle of computers and PC’s, get a load of Photoshop, all the packages, Zbrush, 3D Max and I just want to go completely character mad. Create characters in Photoshop, to 3D Max and draw them, hand paint them, everything. Bring it all together and that’s the sort of thing I want to do with the rest of my life really. I can’t think of anything else.
I’m going to have obstacles that I am going to have to over come, like the Train2Game course, I realised because I was pushed behind a year, I am going to have to do this course. I am going to have no choice but I definitely want to do more, more, more character designs. I really enjoy doing it, that’s the future for me. I want to try and expand all over the globe. Doing the stuff in America and I sent some stuff off to Japan. I did a picture of Cammie on wall paper and sent it off to Japan, but I definitely want to start doing lots of characters, monsters, vehicles just for games really.
That’s beautiful. You sound like you are incredibly ambitious and just want your art work to be seen absolutely everywhere.
Yeah, definitely. It’s just good fun, just enjoy the ride! I just love doing characters, back in the day it was all done by hand and I was just fascinated by characters. I had them in my head everyday, sometimes even talk to them! I think the future for me now is definitely the Video Game industry.
Well, I think that is all we’ve got time for today Lee, it’s been a pleasure talking to you!
Yeah, it’s great, it’s fantastic!
And I will talk to you soon mate, alright?
Yeah will do mate
Cheers mate, Bye!
Thank you, bye