Here’s why we think Mauricio is swell.
Shawn Robertson, Lead Artist: I have been working with Mo for nigh on 12 years now. You would think that 12 years in close proximity to a native Spanish speaker would rub off on me, but according to Mo, speaking to me in Spanish is like “talking with a fucking 2-year-old!” Aside from being bilingual, Mo also has multiple talents in the art department.
He built the weapons you see in BioShock and BioShock Infinite, along with concepting them too. That cool Murder of Crows vigor bottle? Mo. The Rolston Repeating Rifle? Mo. The voice from Ammo Bandito in BioShock? You guessed it. The list goes on.
Most people aren’t aware that Mauricio is also an accomplished landscape painter as well as a kick-ass photographer. That’s the great thing about Mo, despite his many talents; he remains a humble and gracious artist.
Your title is Concept Artist. What does that actually mean?
Mauricio Tejerina: It means I create art assets for the game. I get to do concept work, and then I translate those ideas into 3D models with corresponding textures. It is a creative job where the freedom of creating an interactive game object starts at zero and develops into a full-rounded work of art. There is also a way of learning from the process of creating ideas. All the research makes you a little more aware of what’s out there; I study how things work. It amazes me when I find charts/blueprints of random artifacts.
What games have you worked on?
MT: I have worked on System Shock 2, Flight Unlimited III , Lost (unshipped), Tribes: Vengeance, BioShock, BioShock DLC, and now on BioShock Infinite.
Describe Life at Irrational in three words or less.
MT: Awesome Sky-Line ride.
What is your favorite game of all time?
MT: This question brings me memories of going to the arcade when I was growing up in Spain. Star Wars (by Atari, 1983) and Rygar (by Tecmo, 1986) were the ones that I really liked.
Name a game everyone should play once in their life.
MT: Call me old–fashioned but it is Twister.
What is your favorite movie?
MT: This one is a tough question. I like Jean-Pierre Jeunet films (Delicatessen, Micmacs, City of Lost Children) and Tim Burton (Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands). I am also a big fan of Die Hard and Indiana Jones. Also anything with Chevy Chase.
What are your hobbies outside of work?
MT: I am an avid photographer (do a lot of film in 35mm and medium format). I also paint (just got back to en plein air painting), sculpt, and sketch. Lately I’ve been enjoying aquariums (I have one next to my desk) and terrariums.
Do you favor film photography over digital?
MT: Digital photography has become so fast that people don’t stop to compose and understand light. When I have a roll of 36 shots in a 35mm camera, or even 12 shots with a medium format camera, I take my time to explore what I am seeing. I also like the anticipation of having to wait for film to be developed. I also like to collect vintage cameras…something that works. My favorite right now is a Rolleicord VA.
Tell your favorite story about life at Irrational.
MT: I have been working at Irrational for 14 years. Too many stories come to mind. I am sure that the old-timers at Irrational would have many anecdotes about me. But one of them stands out. That is the day I decided to make churros at work. Someone brought in a big deep fryer. By the time we finished, the entire floor smelled like a churreria (a place where you buy churros) for two days. After that day, people kept saying “I need to put churros in everyone’s mouth”.