Fan art can often be snubbed as a legitimate artistic pursuit. While for many, drawing their favourite characters is simply an enjoyable past-time, others argue that as a valuable teaching tool, it’s one of the most effective ways to get into industry. But can fan art really help you land a dream job? And if so, how do you go about turning your passion into a profession? The story of character artist Jacob Ovrick is case in point. When Jacob was approached to work on video game, Spyro Reignited earlier this year, he had no idea a remastering of the original 1998 game was even in development. But being an avid games fan, he leapt at the chance.
A graduate in creative media from New Mexico State University, and of online school Animation Mentor, before working on Spyro, Jacob was working as a freelance animator – all the while uploading fan art online. It was his fan-fuelled 3D renders of Spyro characters that caught the attention of an online contact. Looking at the professional quality of some of Jacob’s work, it’s not hard to see why within 15 minutes, Jacob had landed a role working as a character modeller on the game at development company, Sanzaru. While Jacob’s journey is uncommon, we caught up with him to talk about dispelling the myths around fan art, how it must be used as a platform for originality, and his experience of working on the game.