What is your name and your current occupation?
My Name is Shaun “Ormagoden” Patterson and I am a 2D/3D Artist & Producer working for a small video games studio in Prince Edward Island Canada.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
I’ve had lots of different jobs from: Art directing an Indie film, Working as a window dresser for a major retail company and even directing live to air stock car racing for a local TV station.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I just finished producing a game for a major brand in the states and that was a really cool experience. It fun any time you get to work with an established brand such as A&E TV shows and Six Flags.
How did you become interested in animation?
I have been an artist all my life and after realizing that I would blow my brains out if I spent my career in multimedia design, I found that I would be much happier working in the games industry .
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I grew up in Barrie Ontario and was living in Scotland in 2008, when I decided that Games was the route that I wanted to take. So when I moved back to Canada I harassed the heck out of every studio I could contact and got a handful on interviews and landed a job here.
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
In an art role I would typically spend my day working on some preset tasks and then having them reviewed an iterating on them. Production art is allot of doing things over and over again and having a thick skin about it. Art departments are face paced and deadline oriented. In a production role I would be just as busy, but replace the drawing and 3D with conference calls and hundreds of client emails….glamorous I know.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
Working in a place where wearing a Metal T-Shirt, Camo Shorts, being covered in tattoos and having a big beard is not frowned upon. Being able to meet and share with other artists all the time. Working with really talented people really makes you motivated to up your game.
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
The industry as a whole has a bad reputation for how employees are treated and its pretty well deserved. The hours can be crazy and the demands on people can often be unreasonable. The industry has allot of growing up to do.
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis?
XSI and Photoshop are my two best friends…But i never stray to far away from my sketchbook and a 2H pencil.
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
The reality of working in games is much different then the fantasy. You go into games wanting to make titles like GTA and you end up spending 6 months working on “Magic Fairy’s Pony Fun Time Adventure” . Its hard to feel super pumped about games that you would never ever play, but thats where the professionalism kicks in I guess.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
Not personally, but in this industry people move around allot, so their is always funny stories about a friend of a friend that worked with so and so.
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
I had a close friend at the studio here pass away about one and a half years ago and that was the first time that I had ever experienced that. It effected the whole studio and it took a long time before I was comfortable working in that space again and seeing someone else working in his desk.
Any side projects or you’re working on that you’d like to share details of?
I am just finishing getting my MBA from the local university and now find myself with free time that I haven’t had in years. Because of that, I am actively doing a variety of freelance work from Children’s Book illustrations to Heavy Metal album covers, all to help stretch myself. I also just re made my portfolio website.
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
I am a speed reader, which really comes in handy when having when having to read 60 page design docs or essays for school. I have never lost and eating challenge and my Mom says that I am the most handsome boy in the world…Does that count?
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
Do your homework: Research the crap out of the roles in the industry to help you find out what you want to do, and then make sure that you have the right skills at the right level. You need to be prepared to work hard and have rejection become your friend. I have seen lots of awesome artists that did not succeed not because a lack of talent but because they were not willing to work as hard as someone else. Dont be afraid to meet people, have fun and try not to always put up with peoples BS (if possible)