What is your name and your current occupation?
My name is Hethe Srodawa and I work as a concept artist for Trion Worlds.
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Nothing crazy, just normal jobs like dog grooming, construction, data entry, working in a bakery ect.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
I really enjoyed working on Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption and loved how that game turned out. After seeing the new trailer for Grand Theft Auto V I have to say I’m proud to have worked on that one as well. The entire production looks amazing.
How did you become interested in animation?
I love art and stories and always have. Ever since I saw this stuff as a kid I wanted to make it, to be a part of it. The interest started as a kid with books and the pictures in them, cartoons, comic books and movies. Essentially it was the exposure to this world that hooked me.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I’m from a few different western states but after college out here in Southern California, and a few odd jobs I got a job as a concept artist at a small start up studio. I was drawing most evenings and just about every lunch break before that and putting my sketches out on the internet. That practice and exposure led to a job offer.
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
I’ll often get a written or verbal description of something needed in the game and I’ll start thinking through the design challenge. I’ll do some research and then start drawing. As a lead I have other duties as well such as scheduling, reviews and a few meetings.
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
I love when I get to draw and paint because that’s just what I love to do. Those are my favorite days.
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
I don’t like too many meetings, scheduling people or really any of the duties that come with being a lead but somebody has got to do it so I’m happy to help out the team in that role. If I had my way though I’d just paint and design all day every day.
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis?
I paint on a computer using photoshop and a cintiq. Nothing more.
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
I take my second job as a father and husband very seriously and the entertainment industry can, like many industries, consider those roles unimportant. It can be challenging to balance the two jobs.
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
I’ve met many greats living in southern california and attending the different conventions. Most of us have here. While at Rockstar I had the opportunity to work with a few out of this world amazing artists like Steven Olds. They shaped me as an artist in profound ways as my first real artistic mentors.
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
I’ve experienced things that felt tough but compared to what others experience around this planet I hesitate to call them that. Jesus Christ supports me through all things and I trust he always will. I’ve watched a few close to me experience really tough things in life and through their relationship with Jesus find everything they needed to survive and even flourish despite hardships. Hard things happen and can happen to any of us and if they come my way I want to be able to handle them like I’ve seen the Christians around me handle hardships. I’ve never seen anything like it.
Any side projects you’re working on that you’d like to share details of?
No side projects these days but I need to start something soon. The itch has started.
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
Ha, ha, no, I’m not a very talented person.
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
Well, the jobs are given to those that can do them in a highly skilled and exciting way. So the best way to get a job like that is to hone your craft until you can compete with the professionals that inspire you. Careful practice makes perfect. Dissect your work finding what isn’t working. From that compare to an artist who succeeds in that area and copy what they do until you understand how to succeed as well. Do this constantly and you’ll continually improve.