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Heather Poon

VC Mobile Entertainment, Inc.
Creature Quest

Heather Poon is a multifaceted artist and veteran video game developer with over 15 years of experience. Traditionally trained, she attained her BFA at Otis Digital Media (’01), returning to Otis to teach 3D from ’11 to ’14. Heather is now Art Director at game developer VC Mobile Entertainment, where she leverages her wide range of skills to oversee the entire visual production of games and marketing. Heather and her team just released their first game together, Creature Quest.

Please give us your name, company, and position

Heather Poon, VC Mobile Entertainment, Art Director

Tell us more about your winning Into the Pixel piece – what does it showcase? What was the inspiration behind it?

The winning piece showcases the wide variety of creatures we have in our game, Creature Quest.  It’s a collaborative piece with our outsourcing partner West Studio.  We put a lot of effort into concepting and creating our creatures, making each of them unique and different, but at the same time be able to exist in the same world.  The piece is a simple yet effective way to display that .

Each creature features an incredibly distinctive design—how does your team go about creating a brand new creature?

When creating a brand new creature, we first decide what type of creature we want.  Is it a hardcore, boss type of creature, a small and fun one, or everything in between? After we have that developed, we start to look for references, come up with ideas and concepts, unique features we want the creature to have, color palette, visual effects, etc. Once we have all the basic ideas, either our outsource or in house artists will bring them to life.  It always takes several iterations before we finalize the look of the creature, making sure it’s as unique as we wanted, and be able to coexist with all our other creatures.

Creature Quest 

Having worked (and taught) in art and games for many years, how has your time as Art Director of Creature Quest been unique from your past experiences?

It’s a much more hands on experience, managing all aspect of the game. In my previous jobs or teaching, my role was relatively focused, with very specific tasks and responsibilities. As an Art Director in a small studio, I have to handle everything that relates to art and visual. I have to know and manage everything from creating art assets, UI, VFX, outsource, as well as all our marketing materials. Being an Art Director of Creature Quest is an overwhelming, but very satisfying experience.

What/who are some of the biggest influences on your art?

There are many things in life and in my past experience that influence and inspire my art.  It could be something from an art history book, or just being out in the woods. I believe it is important to be open minded, observant of everything around, and never stop learning.

What tips would you give to students/aspiring artists that want to enter the gaming industry?

I used to always tell my students in the first day of class – Skills can be acquired; ideas, knowledge and experience has to be learned and earned.

Where can fans follow your work online or via social media?

I just switched from website to Instagram for my art, the account name is heatherp.art  It’s empty right now, but I’ll slowly start populate it with old and new work. 

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