Welp, yesterday was officially my last day at Red 5 Studios. It was a lot sadder than I expected and I already miss the people I worked with. I could sit and rehash all the bad and weigh it against the good but I won't. There's no point, what's done is done and all that. What I will do is talk for a bit about the artists I worked with.
It started a few weeks ago when I was digging through my "artstuff" folder on one of my ever growing collection of hard drives. I came across several pieces I seemed to remember being pretty good and was shocked and appalled at what I saw. They were filled with mistakes, half finished and half hearted. Most of them were just lazy. A few minutes in photoshop could have fixed any number of problems. I compared it with my current work and realized there was a large discrepency between the quality and general polish of the pieces. What was the reason?
Now, before I continue, let me make one thing clear: I in no way, shape or form believe I've "made it" or crossed the finish line. The beautiful and frustrating thing is that with art these things don't exist. I still see plenty of problems with what I do, with how I execute things. I still see my "safe zones" and how I hide in them. I always will. But being around the artists I worked with, it's made me want to push past those limits and learn, learn, learn. On a daily basis, each and every artist around me wow'd me with what they brought to the table and fed off each other in a positive way. It's a strange emotion. Kind of like envy but without the self-destructive nature. It's more akin to wanting to keep up with the pack.
That said, I have to give the most respect to Anthony Waters, Sungbo Baek, Jon Ryder, Mongsub Song, Phillip Wang, Doug Gregory, Arnold Tsang, Joe Peterson and Bill Petras. These guys innovated and pushed me to do better, both with subtle encouragement and zealous excitment. I hope and pray I gave back to them in the same way and can work with all of them again.