Hi, my name is Rosie Jarvis and I am a 25-year-old freelance environment artist in the UK. I’ve been working in games for 3 years and like to bring my background and love of traditional art into my 3D artwork.
How did I get here?
I was around 16 years old when I decided I wanted to pursue art as a career. I had always loved video games but my love for art was what was driving me; what I ended up creating didn’t really bother me as long as I could do art all day for something I cared about.
I ended up doing a fine art foundation degree where I was life drawing every day and focussed on traditional printmaking and oil painting and quickly fell in love with telling stories, expressive mark-making, and colour. Because my figure drawings had a lot of movement and life to them, I was recommended by others to do a degree in animation.
On my degree, I did a small amount of 3D modelling but my main focus was 2D animation. In my final year, I directed and animated a short film that ended up getting into film festivals and took me to Germany to see my film being shown in front of hundreds of people. It forced me to come out of my shell, start networking and talking to other artists. During my final year of university, I did a 6-month internship creating motion graphics, animation, and 2D artwork for a software company.
After university, I got my first games job as a concept artist. I worked at that studio for 2 years but around 1 year in I started doing small 3D tasks and worked closely with a great and very patient artist. He helped me so much with developing a base level of knowledge in 3D so that I could start teaching myself. I spent every evening for around 4 months studying 3D and found that my passion was in 3D rather than concept art, although I still use my 2D skills heavily now.
I left that studio to become a 3D artist in London, doing stylized art for an MMO at an indie studio. I learned all about Unreal Engine and kept practising 3D in my spare time, learning different softwares and developing my art skills. I decided a year into that job that I wanted to hop around on different projects that interested me and set my own hours and started getting regular offers for freelance work. I took the plunge a few months ago to quit my full-time job to become a freelance environment artist, and that’s where I am now!
I really love trying to create the charm and appeal of traditional paintings but using modern techniques. I discovered a love for 3D artwork being made to look like it came out of a storybook when I created this piece:
I am now starting to experiment with stylized PBR more. Right now the software I use is Photoshop, Maya, ZBrush, Substance Painter/Designer, and sometimes 3D-Coat. I had to start learning Substance Designer for a freelance contract I had and have started to bring this into my personal work.
Here is an example of some of my work using a more realistic approach whilst still being very stylized:
If you are familiar with my work you may notice I like to add music to go with my artwork. I believe that sound creates a whole new level of immersion, believability, and world-building to a piece and I like to create custom soundtracks to accompany my work with my boyfriend. For example, this cat-themed afternoon tea set I created for a dessert Sketchfab challenge has a soundtrack based on “everybody wants to be a cat” but played in waltz time to give the feeling of being in an English garden and with added cat and cafe sound effects.
One of the main challenges I have faced with my relationship with art is being consumed by it and not giving time to anything else.
I have never related to artists talking about struggling to find the motivation to do personal work, it has been the total opposite for me. I have to constantly remind myself to slow down, make time to see friends and family, and relax. Especially during everything with the pandemic, I have had to make a very conscious effort to not become a total recluse, totally obsessed with my artwork and improving my art skills.
I would definitely tell artists just starting out in their art career that staying up until 4 am every night and working all the time is absolutely not sustainable. It ends in wrist damage, losing relationships, losing the love for art you once had, and burnout. I am very happy with my relationship with work and art right now—going freelance and being able to pick my hours and projects has helped a lot.
Another thing when starting out was feeling like I had to make work that I didn’t particularly like to find a job. I now realise it is the total opposite. It really shines through when you are creating art that you are passionate and care about. I used to constantly think I had to learn how to do more realistic art, make weapons, make vehicles, make more “gritty” art to find art jobs but actually, my more painterly art and work I care about has got me all my jobs so far! Plus I am getting jobs doing work I actually want to do!
Sketchfab has been a great platform for me during my time learning 3D art. I love getting involved in the challenges. Getting prompts forces me to think creatively and be involved with something where I can see other artists’ take on the themes. I like how my work looks with all the post-process settings and how easy it is to get a project looking good quickly. Plus there are lots of benefits like being able to embed the models in ArtStation, and Sketchfab asking me to write articles and run challenges for them. I think Sketchfab is a really great company and platform that helps a lot of artists at the start of their journeys and provides a great service for all artists.