An Artist’s Journey: From Intern to Art Director

As one of the world’s largest in-house team of specialist digital artists, Atomhawk works with the world’s greatest game developers. 

Atomhawk believes that real talent is worth nurturing; alongside structured career development and training pathways for all staff, they prioritize a positive work-life balance while focused on making great artwork, providing a collaborative environment, always learning, and celebrating the journey along the way. Their team has the freedom to chase freelance pursuits outside of work, and there is an in-house training and development program to help artists achieve their goals whether their focus is versatility, a specialization, or gaining leadership skills. Additionally, their Artist Matrix was developed for when artists want to move from Junior to Intermediate to Senior and beyond, supporting professional growth within Atomhawk.

In their four-part ‘An Artist’s Journey’ blog series on ArtStation, members of their incredible team share their insights on the Atomhawk trajectory from Intern all the way to Art Director.

Part 1 – In the beginning (of your internship)

A taste of what it’s like to be a concept art intern at Atomhawk as they nurture your talent and set you out on the journey to become an established concept artist.  Part 1 of the series outlines how they work with juniors to build the skills, mindset and experience required to be successful and fulfilled in the industry. This blog sets out how Atomhawk introduces interns to new ways of thinking about creativity, a new work discipline, and new processes, providing an environment in which you can develop all three. It covers what an internship should include, as well as what it should not, and we hear from two former Atomhawk interns both now working with them as Junior Concept Artists. Read the blog >

Part 2 – Moving up (from junior to senior)

Stepping up to become a Senior Artist is significant. The second in the series of career trajectory blogs takes a look at how Atomhawk supports new Senior Artists as teamwork, communicating with producers, digesting client feedback, and witnessing the creation of live games all become part of their day-to-day. It explains how the studio’s unusually diverse array of artist skillsets creates a rich source of learning for those at this career stage, and introduces the Artist Matrix. Read the blog >

Part 3 – Making it (as a Principal Artist)

The third blog in the series covers that point in an artist’s career where they have the communication skills, practical knowhow and carefully honed creative approach, to navigate any challenge successfully. It looks at how attaining a certain level of skill can afford you greater creative liberty, and why the very best artists are committed to learning and development as an ongoing proposition. Read how Thomas Stoop, who is currently working as an Atomhawk Principal Artist shares the practicalities of project management, taking care of a team and the different transitions from Junior to Senior, and from Senior to Principal. Read the blog >

Part 4 – This is the life (of Leads and Directors)

The final instalment in the series looks to the artists who have gone right to the top as Artist Leads or Directors. In it, two of their most senior artists, Charlie Bowater and Drew Whitmore, reflect on their quite different journeys into their current roles. Explaining how Atomhawk’s Artist Matrix provided the clear objectives and guidance they required to keep moving forward, the pair also set out the key demands of their respective positions. Read the blog >

Want to learn more about opportunities at Atomhawk? Check out Atomhawk job openings here. Or, if you’d rather level up your skills and get industry ready, watch the free e-learning course, StudioQuest, exclusively on ArtStation.

Follow Atomhawk on ArtStation to learn about their company, opportunities, educational content and more >

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