Tatiana Quigley, Illustrator, 3D Modeler, and Artist
With over 5 years experience making games and toys, and a bachelor’s degree in cartoons, Tatiana has established a very broad skillset ranging from illustration, 3D product design, rapid prototyping, and more! Although her passion for learning and experimentation sometimes goes to the extreme, she is a professional who always gets the job done.
Her work is often inspired by characters she fall in love with while reading, with her biggest influences being fantasy and science fiction. While she aspires to be on the level of great illustrators like Dean Cornwell, Syd Mead, and JC Leyendecker, she's willing to take a little longer to make toys in her garage. Above all things she am passionate about art and making things, and she couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
JF: I stumbled upon your artwork on an art community group, and I really loved the piece. It was a fan art piece for Chai Tea by Steeped Games. Can you tell us a little bit about how your love of games and art intersect?
TQ: Thank you so much! I think my love for games and art comes a lot from just the stories I tell in my head while I play games. They are both a form of escapism for me. I also love genre fiction like science fiction and fantasy, and when I was young I would draw characters from books I was reading. As a got older I found that board games and video games let you actively participate in those worlds and I was drawn to that.
JF: Your Illustration work is extremely charming and beautiful. I especially love the Princess
Mononoke piece. Where do you get your inspiration from?
TQ: A lot of my inspiration comes from animated films, comic books, and other more established artists. I'm pretty good at drawing just from my head, but when I have these references in mind or in front of me while I'm working, the pieces turn out better every time. Really I just love to draw people, and fantastical, magical things. I'm a big history buff too so I draw from that when I can.
JF: I went on to your website and the first thing I saw was this amazing 3D render of Andy from Advance Wars. That game totally got me through the awkward teenage years haha. How did you get into 3D art in addition to your illustration work?
TQ: Advanced Wars is amazing! I think all of my favorite video games play like board games. I went to school for animation while I was interning at Goliath, and ended up falling in love with Zbrush and character sculpting while I was there. For a little while I was moonlighting at an animation studio called Theory Studios while I worked at Goliath and that helped to solidify my skills.
JF: Some of the 3D work you do is also printed and painted by you. Is the transition from 2D to 3D to 3D painting natural, or was there a learning curve?
TQ: No it is not! I was terrible when I first started, and watched a lot of Warhammer painting videos on Youtube to get better at it. Thanks Squidmar!
JF: As someone who is commissioned for various projects, what can budding art directors do to make your life a little easier when you are starting a project for them?
TQ: I think the biggest thing is... knowing what you need at the outset of the project and managing scope as much as you can. Having examples of what you want your final project to look like is very important as well.
JF: When you were growing your skills, what resources did you find the most helpful?
TQ: I am always growing my skills! As an artist it's really important to be a lifelong learner. Youtube has been a great resource for me, and it helps you find more specific education resources. I watch lots of video tutorials from other artists to see their workflows and see where I can improve or add polish. I'd recommend for 2D artists, find/buy video tutorials from your favorite artists and pay close attention to each step of their process (not their brushes!). Make a vision board for what you want your art to look like and stick to it as much as you can. For 3D sculptors, the pixologic live streams are an incredible resource.
JF: Haha I totally set myself up for that one. Art is definitely a lifelong learning process. What advice would you give to young artists looking to turn their hobby into a profession?
TQ: This is a tough one. At times commercial art can be incredibly rewarding, but it is also a very challenging job with lots of competition and very long hours. You need to always be improving and honestly evaluating your skills. That being said, if you are kind, communicative, and consistent I think you will always find success! Practice a lot, and network as much as you can. You never know where your next job will come from.
JF: I like that you mentioned kind. I have commissioned some rude people that I would never rehire. Being kind goes a long way! You also are a designer/3D artist at Goliath Games. How do you find balance with your full-time work, commissions, and free time?
TQ: The answer is...I don't haha. I work very long hours at the moment and things fall through the cracks (which I hate!). I finally made the change this month to be half time at Goliath for a few months while I finish my remaining contract projects. After that, I will go back to Goliath full time as a Toy Designer and only take limited contract projects in order to have a life. It's hard to find work life balance as an artist, but also very important.
JF: Can you share anything you’re currently working on/share an experience from a project you did work on that was memorable?
TQ: Right now I am working on a buttload of stylized miniatures and a really cool SciFi project with a game manufacturer, which I'll be sharing on my various social media accounts as I am allowed to.
JF: That's awesome. I’m looking forward to seeing all the great art that will come from you. Where can people learn more about you and your work?
TQ: This is the best place to see everything I'm doing: https://linktr.ee/tatianaq I also stream on Twitch and Facebook about once a week depending on how my schedule goes. As for memorable project experiences...I always love working with other talented artists and I am currently working with a sculptor named Anyssa Akridge on some of my minis projects and she is just amazing. I love how collaboration can really push your skills and help you see where your weak spots are. Her work is at: https://linktr.ee/digidolls
JF: Thank you for your time Tatiana, I'm glad we were able to do this, your work is great!