• Flashturn

Holly Pickering

From this point onward, she began to envision her rapidly improving skillset as the first steps toward a mould breaking career path in the world of digital art, long before many had recognised the career potential in such a realm.

Now working at legendary LEGO games makers Travellers’ Tales, Holly has had her designs put on a global platform, and is proud to inform us that one of her more recent character designs, has featured on the cover of LEGO’s Lord of the Rings.

"We design and build a lot of the characters from scratch ourselves, there are no character concept artists so as long as we stick within the constraints of LEGO, we pretty much have free reign within that."

Holly continued to speak with me about how her personal sat-nav directed her towards Games Industry Boulevard via the Escape Studios avenue.

"A friend of the family worked at Autodesk, and when I asked him about where I should go to study art creation for games, his personal opinion was that no university course in the country was quite up to scratch for what was necessary to get into the industry, the reason being that it’s hard for a university to keep up to date with current technology and techniques in such a rapidly moving industry, whereas Escape, with its short turn around, smaller classes and experienced tutors meant that my education would be as up to date as possible."

Holly now flies the flag for Escape on a number of different levels, having established herself in the gaming industry; she is also involved with Women in Games projects, recently having taken part and won, the first ever all-female game jam, the XX Games Jam – did we mention that Holly was the only artist on the winning team?

As with all of the successful escapees we catch up with, we asked Holly to divulge some of her industry gained knowledge to those thinking about entering such an environment, advice which we feel is priceless across all areas of digital art creation…

"…personality counts for a lot. So many portfolios out there are full of the same tropes that we have seen over and over again… be true to your own personal style and make things that you like. Your work will be of a much higher quality and will make you stand out from the crowd. Surround yourself with like-minded people and pick their brains, go to as many networking events as you can and get involved in online communities surrounding your craft. Don’t be too proud and precious. If people are offering their help, it’s only for your benefit. So even if you feel like someone just smacked your ego with a wet fish just remain objective and see what you can do to improve your work."

"Also remember that when it comes to interviews it's not just how good your work is, a majority of the reason you get an interview is so that team leads meet you, the person who they will be spending a lot of time with. You can be the most talented person but if you’re a nightmare to work with, it’ll be hard to get past the interview stage!"

It’s a true delight to catch up with yet another escapee who is thriving within their chosen industry, and furthermore it is great to be able to share golden advice to those considering similar career paths. We’d like to wish Holly further success in the future and will be keeping a close eye on her future conquests within the games industry!