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Meet the Graduate Makers 2021 – Nikolay Yordanov

In this blog series, we’re showcasing some of our 2021 graduate Makers and Creators. Nikolay moved from Bulgaria to study BA (Hons) Games Art and Design, and we meet Nikolay in his shared accommodation in The Factory.  Nikolay specialises in Concept Art and Illustration, influenced by the visual style of games such Bastion, Cuphead and Darkest Dungeon. 

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What is your work about, and how do you come up with your concepts?

My work primarily consists of 2D concept art and illustration with some extra bits and pieces on the side.

I’ve done a variety of different projects so it’s a bit hard trying to briefly explain what all of them are about.

Usually, a project for me would have some pre-existing limitations, so the focus would be effectively communicating an idea while staying within specific guidelines. 

All of the projects I’ve worked on so far have been executed with the specific goal of self-improvement, be it learning a new technique, new process or in some cases new medium as well.

How I come up with my concepts primarily depends on the project and its requirements.

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Work in collaboration with Lawrence Thorp.

What is the one thing you’d wish you’d known when you started your degree?

I honestly wish I knew not to put so much stress on myself at times. I’ve unfortunately burned out quite a few times during my degree which ultimately hurt me more than it helped.

This is my advice for people who are just starting, if you ever find yourself getting frustrated while you work try to calm down and accept that this problem you’re facing right now is just a stepping stone to becoming better.

Take a break and look for objective ways to resolving the issue you are facing, ask colleagues or tutors for feedback and try to not let it cut deeper than it should. 

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What inspires your practice?

This is going to be a bit of an obvious answer but it’s a combination of other artists and the world around us.

Inspiration comes from everywhere and everything, be it artwork, nature, or even something abstract and unseen, like a thought or a certain fact of science.

I try not to limit myself to specific things that inspire me. I feel like the amalgamation of different sources helps shape your unique worldview and when it comes to creating work, yields more interesting results.

Why does creativity matter?

Creativity matters to me because it can show us the unexpected and inspires us to pursue our goals in life. It is a fundamental part of our day-to-day and a driving force for progress and innovation. 

And finally, where’s your favourite spot in Norwich?

My favourite spot in Norwich would definitely be Norwich Market. There are some really interesting shops and amazing food stands as well. It’s a really good place to relax and pass the time. 

Explore the BA Games Art and Design Showcase (opens in a new window)

Photography by Denisa Ilie, BA Photography graduate & lecturer