Here’s why we think Gavin is swell:
Lead artist Shawn Robertson: Here are some things you should know about Gavin. He looks like he should be driving a 1932 Ford Roadster. He postponed his start date here at IG so he could finish his tattoo sleeve (a ballsy move). And he can probably model a fully detailed character, rigged, complete with multiple materials, in the amount of time that it took me to write this paragraph.
Gavin came to us as a simple character modeler but quickly grew beyond his job description. If you look at our recent demo, you can see Gavin’s touch everywhere. From character rigging, to facial animation, down to the hats that our NPCs wear, Gavin was involved. Not bad for a quiet artist with a raging battle between a waitress and a horde of zombies depicted on his arm.
Your title is character artist. What does that mean?
Gavin Goulden: I model and texture characters and creatures, or objects that are related to characters (like statues, or hats and props the characters can hold). Most of my work the public has seen so far has gone into making citizens and enemy characters. I also try to help out on the tech art side where I can–assisting with pipeline development, weighting character meshes, and toying with our facial animation system.
What games have you worked on?
GG: Before joining Irrational, I was a character artist on Dead Rising 2 and The Bigs 2. I also contributed to Dragon Age, F.E.A.R. 2, Damnation and a few other titles including everyone’s favorite target shooting game, NRA Gun Club.
Describe Life at Irrational in three words or less.
GG: Stepping into darkness.
What is your favorite game of all time?
GG: Doom. I spent countless hours as a kid both playing and creating fan art for that game and consider it my biggest influence for actually wanting to make games.
Name a game everyone should play once in their life.
GG: I think everyone should play the original Fallout at least once, even if the graphics are considered dated. I mean, drug addiction and point blank shotgun blasts to the eye in a post apocalyptic setting–what more do you need?
What is your favorite movie?
GG: Reservoir Dogs.
What are your hobbies outside of work?
GG: I’m Canadian. I do what an average Canadian likes to do in his spare time: saving baby seals from the toothy maw of an orca whale, hunting bears with a spear, taming the wild moose of Cape Breton for our world famous Glooscap Parade, taking in a game of our national sport lacrosse, listening to the extensive catalogue of Celine Dion, playing high stakes poker, racing polar bears, snowshoeing from coast to coast. Other than that, I’m just a regular guy who likes tattoos, whiskey, and a nice cigar every now and then.
Can you tell us more about the tattoo hobby? Do you have favorite artists? What’s your decision and planning process for each new piece?
GG: For current guys, I have a strong bias toward the artist who has done the majority of my work, Breadman–a.k.a. Steve Cole from Sacred Heart in Vancouver. Lately, I’ve been following Shawn Barber, Vinny Romanelli (the artist who did my knuckles), and Marcus Kuhn, an artist Shawn recommended to me. In general, I’m a fan of old-school, traditional Americana style.
Very little planning goes into my own pieces. I like to give the artist a rough idea and let him run with it. I have full confidence that the artist knows what to do and, given the freedom, will make a piece he really wants to make. I research the artist’s work heavily before committing, so my trust is already built up. My Alice sleeve started with a simple idea of a few different elements–Alice, the Hatter, and the Cheshire Cat. It’s a fairly iconic story, so it was easy to tie in different ideas. While we were getting that done, Steve and I started talking about a zombie sleeve and more or less had it all planned out before my first sleeve was done.
What’s your favorite story about life at Irrational?
GG: My entire interview and new hire process was an epic journey. After meeting the team and seeing the project, there was absolutely no doubt in my mind that I wanted to be part of Irrational, but the actual process of picking up and moving from my home of 10 years was a crazy experience. Within the course of a month I had finished an art test, travelled from coast to coast (Vancouver to Boston) three times, switched jobs, finished my zombie sleeve, gotten married, gone through the visa application and immigration process, and leased a new apartment. It was a ton of life-altering events in one month. It was stressful, but totally worth it.