Supporting role

April 3, 2019

Corlen Kruger, principal artist at Gateshead-based Atomhawk Design, has been mentoring Phil Booth, concept artist, on new artistic skills and techniques to help develop his career

Corlen Kruger

Atomhawk is an ever-evolving studio that adapts quickly to change, not just to industry trends but also changes in how artists work and the pipelines they use. We try to accommodate and learn new ways of doing things all the time.

I think I first met Phil in 2017. He was quiet and reserved but a good listener and more than willing to learn and adopt new techniques.

He already had a very good grasp of the technical side of things, so needed very little in the way of technical guidance. The area I focused on most was design thinking and story building. Even though Phil’s first training piece was prop design, I was teaching him how every object has a story and a history, and how adding subtle hints into your design really helps people buy into it.

Phil quickly adopted this approach and the results were really clear in his work.

Phil has a great attitude and is always open to suggestion and guidance, and is going to go really far. He is very pleasant to work with and is always eager to take on a challenging design.

His success doesn’t just come from training, but comes from also having a positive attitude and a will to succeed. I’m very proud of him.

Phil Booth

Atomhawk had always been top of the list for where I wanted to work after art school. They have worked on some of the biggest films and games on the planet, so the opportunity to do the same, and learn from the artists, was very exciting.

Working in the art studio is awesome. Seeing your designs and art in the games you are playing is really rewarding.

Corlen mentored me in refining my workflow and pushing my art to the next level. His advice and experience have been invaluable in helping me grow.

The way we typically structure training is by setting a mock design brief, usually based on an existing client brief. Working through a design from the initial sketches to the fully refined final image allows you to practice the entire workflow and identify and target any weaknesses you might have.

Corlen will also do paint-overs of my work to show how I could improve it and give me advice on what work processes and software to use.

I’m really happy with what I’m doing now and hope to keep doing it for as long as possible. I hope that in 20 to 30 years time, I can say I am just as passionate about concept art as I am today.


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