Felix-Gabriel Bernard is a Concept Artist from Montreal, Quebec. For the last ten years he has been tackling art related shenanigans in the animation, film, and video game industries for companies like Electronic Art, Ubisoft, and Sega. He is currently living in Vancouver, Canada.
What is your background as an artist? What educationalexperience/background did you have coming into CGMA? Do you have professional experience?
I’ve always been into art growing up. I studied art at the college level and then went on to pursue a diploma in vfx at the National Animation and Design Center in Montreal. I started working as a texture artist at Big Bang Studio. In 2005 I moved to Vancouver to work in animation at Rainmaker Studio (formerly Mainframe). Subsequently I worked at Electronic Arts and Ubisoft. I finally ended up at the awesome Relic Entertainment Studio.
Why did you decide to take CGMA classes?
I think it was the desire to improve my range as an artist. I wanted to make sure that my creative processes are up to date with what was going on in the industry. I was the only concept artist on the team at the time and it was hard sometimes to know if my processes, techniques and decisions we’re the right ones. I loved the prospect of learning from talented professionals . With a full time job and family life the flexibility of online classes made it possible.
What classes did you take and why did you choose them?
At first I started with classes from the Environment Design Program. I think I Started with James Paick Environment Design 1 and had a great time. It was pretty much directly related to what I did at work at the time. Then I decided to go for the foundation classes which proved to be even more valuable. I fell in love with the Dynamic Sketching classes. I have been sketching pretty much every day since I took it!
How did taking classes help you refine your craft and help you along your artistic journey?
I think that art is all about Knowledge and practice. Having a framework for practice and critiques Is perfect to help progress your craft. Part of being an artist is staying an eternal student, there is never enough time to learn all there is to learn. Like Einstein said: “The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know”. But I don’t know about much more.
What did you expect from the class?
I Didn’t really have much expectation going in. But now I expect that if I keep going I will end up a much better artist, then when I started. Taking classes is now part of my routine and I’m always looking forward to the next semester.
What was your first big gig and how did you get it?
I’ve started in the industry by learning 3D. I remember at the time the industry wasn't doing the best so the prospect of finding a job was thin. It motivated me to work harder, I ended sleeping at school many nights. The first gig I got was as a matte painter\texture artist for a little studio in Montreal working on IMAX movies. It was a great and fun job., but I was always attracted to the more creative\design side of the business.
Why would you recommend CGMA to another artist?
Because you should never stop learning. Plus making and learning art is fun! When you look back at your work and to see how much you’ve improved it is incredibly satisfying. The way that the school is setup is convenient. Teachers are amazing and the classroom environment is very inspiring!
We would like to thank Felix for sitting down with us and sharing his CGMA experience. To see more of Felix's artwork you can visit his blog at http://felgab.blogspot.ca/ .