An Evening With... Holly Pickering!

Holly Pickering, an Escapee and Art Director for Video Games Production company, A Brave Plan came to talk to us all about the industry, how she got into gaming and how you can follow in her footsteps.

Apply to be a Student Volunteer at Siggraph 2016. 
Apply to be a Student Volunteer at Siggraph 2016. 
Apply to be a Student Volunteer at Siggraph 2016. 
The SIGGRAPH 2016 Student Volunteer Program is a unique opportunity for students to engage in all areas of the conference while contributing behind-the-scenes to the overall success of this prestigious event. The benefits of being a Student Volunteer extend beyond the free full conference registration and include:
The SIGGRAPH 2016 Student Volunteer Program is a unique opportunity for students to engage in all areas of the conference while contributing behind-the-scenes to the overall success of this prestigious event. The benefits of being a Student Volunteer extend beyond the free full conference registration and include:
The SIGGRAPH 2016 Student Volunteer Program is a unique opportunity for students to engage in all areas of the conference while contributing behind-the-scenes to the overall success of this prestigious event. The benefits of being a Student Volunteer extend beyond the free full conference registration and include:
The SIGGRAPH 2016 Student Volunteer Program is a unique opportunity for students to engage in all areas of the conference while contributing behind-the-scenes to the overall success of this prestigious event. The benefits of being a Student Volunteer extend beyond the free full conference registration and include:
The SIGGRAPH 2016 Student Volunteer Program is a unique opportunity for students to engage in all areas of the conference while contributing behind-the-scenes to the overall success of this prestigious event. The benefits of being a Student Volunteer extend beyond the free full conference registration and include:
The SIGGRAPH 2016 Student Volunteer Program is a unique opportunity for students to engage in all areas of the conference while contributing behind-the-scenes to the overall success of this prestigious event. The benefits of being a Student Volunteer extend beyond the free full conference registration and include:
The SIGGRAPH 2016 Student Volunteer Program is a unique opportunity for students to engage in all areas of the conference while contributing behind-the-scenes to the overall success of this prestigious event. The benefits of being a Student Volunteer extend beyond the free full conference registration and include:
The SIGGRAPH 2016 Student Volunteer Program is a unique opportunity for students to engage in all areas of the conference while contributing behind-the-scenes to the overall success of this prestigious event. The benefits of being a Student Volunteer extend beyond the free full conference registration and include:
The SIGGRAPH 2016 Student Volunteer Program is a unique opportunity for students to engage in all areas of the conference while contributing behind-the-scenes to the overall success of this prestigious event. The benefits of being a Student Volunteer extend beyond the free full conference registration and include:

Holly Pickering is one of our Escape Studios protégée's.

The youngest in her class, and thoroughly outnumbered by her male classmates, Holly joined Escape Studios on the recommendation of a neighbour and has never looked back.

Now an Art Director at A Brave Plan - a video games and production company, Holly's role is to oversee the overall aesthetic of the video games they produce, devise the overall visual style of games they produce and ensure consistency and quality across the team of visual artists Holly manages. So, not much then...

Taking time out of her hectic schedule, Holly’s ‘An Evening With…’ gave Games enthusiasts, students and professionals an insight into the role of an Art Director, what skills are required, software is used and how Holly herself went from the classroom to the studio.

"It's a balancing act", Holly says. "You need have a range of skills; be highly competent, be able to critique work well, share knowledge and most importantly, be brave!"

When asked how she stayed inspired and motivated throughout her work, Holly said she takes inspiration from "literally anything and everything". "I use Pinterest a lot for collating research for a game, but you have to let go of your ego to find your vision."

So what is her top tip when it comes to breaking into the gaming industry?

"Communication is paramount" recommends Holly, "Make friends and you never know, they could give you a job!" she adds with a grin.

There are many tips and tricks to keep you on top of your game (like what we did there?), and Holly spared every bit of knowledge and every "Teachable Moment" she could: "Don’t be afraid if your work goes through an ugly duckling phase, and never underestimate lighting - it's more important than you realise."

So, down to the nitty-gritty - what software and skills does she use (and would you need) to complete her daily tasks?

"Maya for 3D Modelling, Unity and Photoshop are the key programmes. It's nothing too fancy, but it’s about using the skills you have and adapting them to match your goal."

Last, but not least - her stance on the future of gaming... "Everyone who makes games is excited about VR - it will happen eventually, it’s an amazing concept for gaming."

Well, there you have it - an insight from an Escapee who’s been there, done that and continues to every day! You can find out more about Holly on her Success Story page.

If you want to follow in her footsteps, find out about our Gaming Courses – Short, Degree and Master’s here.

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