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In conversation with…Marcus Whinney, Senior Character Artist

Senior Character Artist Marcus Whinney graduated from BA (Hons) Animation in 2012. Marcus joined BA (Hons) Animation and BA (Hons) Animation and Visual Effects students on campus this week for a character sculpting masterclass, so he shared an insight into his career so far and tips for joining the industry. 

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BA (Hons) Animation students August Abrahamsson, Chrysty George and Tanje Kelesh in Marcus Whinney’s character sculpting masterclass.

About Marcus

Marcus has had a diverse career in animation and games since graduating, creating creatures and characters for film and games.

He has worked for Goodgame Studios in Hamburg, Germany and Avalanche Studios in Stockholm, Sweden, as well as joining MPC in London as a Texture Artist on major films such as The Lion King and Godzilla King of the Monsters. 

After spending the last few years honing his concept and illustration skills, Marcus decided to start his YouTube to teach and inspire others. 

Marcus’ tips for using YouTube and Artstation

Make an Artstation account and get your work on there and be seen – when industry professionals are hiring they go to Artstation first. A website is also important but second to Artstation for professionals.

Get on YouTube if you feel confident to – my YouTube beat my Instagram for followers within three weeks. And top tip – link all your accounts together! 

Are there any particular skills you learnt at NUA that have stood you in good stead in your career?

Learning 3D was the biggest step in my career – if I didn’t do that, I don’t think I’d be in the place I am now.

So I would strongly recommend learning the fundamentals of 3D animation if you’re an animator, or the fundamentals of anatomy for those interested in character art. 

Any advice for emerging animators and game artists wanting to reach out to industry?

When reaching out to people, don’t hassle too much. Get a LinkedIn profile, search for the studios you want to work with, find the people who work there or HR and send a message.

Some people will get back to you and others won’t – it’s just the unfortunate truth. Be patient and show you’re willing to work hard.

People in the industry (myself included) are very willing to help students, so don’t feel like you can’t ask for advice – there’s always someone out there who can help. 

What would you say to students about to graduate?

Be patient, and keep making and developing. Don’t be disheartened by other peoples’ success and don’t pigeonhole yourself into one thing – there’s a big industry out there and if you can show you can do more than one thing there’s more opportunities available for you.

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