For as long as I can remember I have always been drawing, probably from the very day I learned to hold a pencil. As a kid I had two main sources of inspiration: Batman and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and I would create scenarios and draw the characters all the time. When I was 4-5, my older brother showed me how to play Super Mario Bros and Street Fighter 2 and suddenly I had more inspiration and began to draw the characters from these games too. But I was still looking for more and wanted to create my own personalities and characters. Growing up, at some point, I discovered comics and fell in love with them! At the age of 16 I decided that I wanted to become a comic writer, and after finishing the School of Art and Graphic Design, I entered the Academy of Comics in Turin; and I have to say that playing video games has helped me a lot in designing new characters for my comics.
When I was little, playing a video game meant being at home, sitting on a couch or the floor, with a console attached to the TV and a controller in my hand. Then the handheld devices came, but they were still for serious gamers and not everyone had them. Nowadays games are integrated into everyone’s phones and tablets and we use them every day. There are millions of casual gamers now, with various preferences. This gives independent game developers a huge opportunity to enter the market, since there is demand for all kinds of games. But it also means a lot of competition.
As video games have always been a part of my life I always kept an eye on opportunities to enter the industry. I recently saw a competition announcement on social media networks; a team called Pluxon had an open call for designers and artists from all over the world, and after reading the brief, I decided to give it a try. I had never heard of Pluxon and because of this I was even more excited to take part in the competition, as I thought that if I was to win I would be part of a developing team and could have an impact on the industry of mobile app games. But honestly, I was not expecting to win and it was the best surprise for me when I received the email from the Pluxon team! I can say that a childhood dream of mine has come true: I am working as one of the game designers in a great team and I feel like I am already part of the family. I couldn’t be happier.
From a young age I have continously looked for inspiration. When I was young I was inspired mostly by Akira Toryama, Eiichiro Oda and Ken Sugimori. I still observe the way they draw, because they always find a way to improve their skills. I am inspired by Japanese animated movies, Japanese and American comics, and video games. I always buy the latest issues of comics and watch the latest news about video games on the internet and in specialized magazines. I do a lot of research about games I like as I want to know everything about the artists and the whole team that worked on them. I hope that one day kids will be looking at my drawings and researching my drawing style.
My advice to anyone who wants to get experience in the field would be to always keep a pencil and a piece of paper on hand. Draw all the time. It’s really hard to find a job as a comic writer, cartoonist or character designer, but my advice is to never give up and most of all believe in yourself even when nobody else does.
Simone a.k.a Adam
Concept artist at Pluxon