Meet our amazing Lead Texture Artist Adrian Mulryan! When he's not busy setting up Colour Keys and painting textures you'll find him glued to his wacom whipping up jaw dropping digital paintings! We managed to catch him for a few minutes to chat about all things animation.
How did you get into animation?
I was always drawing from an early age. Art and videogames were my passion as a child and I was lucky to have parents and teachers who encouraged me to pursue a career in the entertainment industry.
I studied animation in BCFE and DJCAD in Dundee, and while studying in Dundee I was introduced to wacom tablets and concept artwork, it changed everything for me!
Digital painting became an absolute passion in my life, studying light and shadow, showing forms with value, improving my knowledge of perspective and line quality, I will probably be studying all of this for the rest of my life!
How long have you worked in the animation industry?
It was difficult to get a start in the industry.The usual story of a decent portfolio but no experience. I always believed if I worked hard enough, constantly studying and improving myself as an artist I would finally get the experience I needed. After many years Brown Bag Films became that company, something I will always be grateful for! I have been with the company now for almost 3 years.
What's your current role and what does it involve?
I am currently Lead Texture Artist which means I paint a lot!
A texture artist adds all the wonderful colours to the show, we add texture and colour to help bring the characters and sets to life. A big part of the job involves doing Colour Keys.
I get a pencil drawing from the concept artist of a new character or prop, I add the color and texture in Photoshop, this helps overseas studios to texture and shade the new asset.
As a lead I also help newer texture artists on the team and deal with any arising issues throughout the season of the show.
What are your biggest influences/inspirations?
As a digital painter I am influenced by concept artists in the industry, artists such as Ryan Church, Scott Robertson and Feng Zhu, who have been a huge inspiration to me, throughout my days working on my portfolio and into my own professional career. I have always been inspired by their work ethic and dedication to their craft.
What’s your favourite tool to use and why?
I have to say Photoshop and a wacom tablet. Photoshop as a creative tool is unstoppable, it gives me the opportunity to be as experimental as possible. If I feel my work is getting stale and repetative I can experiment with new brushes, textures, photo scraps, filters, layer manipulation, it's endless!
It would be hard to find a cartoon, film or game made without the help of Photoshop in some way or other.
What advice would you give someone considering getting into animation?
I'd say just go for it, keep at it, keep studying! It may take years to land your first job in the industry. It can be difficult to get your foot in the door, to get that experience but just keep working on your portfolio, try and get some work experience, unpaid freelance work, it will all help you when you get an interview.
What do you like most about working in animation?
I enjoy being in a creative environment, learning from other artists, seeing different styles. A lot of work in the industry is problem solving, an issue you haven't seen before in production and working together to solve it. Every day can be a new experience and it's a good feeling going home after a long day with the problem solved!
What’s been the most challenging thing about working in animation?
Understanding the production pipeline, how we all work together to bring an asset from 2d design to a fully rigged, textured character ready to be shipped, to be ready to understand and problem solve any issues that arise. You don't really learn that in college, it takes time and can be challenging when you are first starting in this industry.
Outside of animation what are you most passionate about?
Outside of art I am really passionate about... ah..I spend way too much time sketching and painting in Photoshop to have other passions!!
Check out some of Adrian's amazing digital paintings:
Are you interested in getting into animation? Keep an eye on our Behind-the-Scenes and Tutorials pages for more interviews and #TopTips!