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Grand Theft Auto artist offers tips on how to succeed in gaming

As former art director at Rockstar Leeds, which worked on many games in the Grand Theft Auto series, Ian Bowden knows a thing or two about the art scene in game development.

After the release of Grand Theft Auto 5, he transitioned to mobile and social game developer Gameduell. In an interview with trade site Gamasutra, he offers some advice to the many budding artists who are hoping to make a career in games.

"You don't want to copy," he said. "That's not the way to make good art, it's not the way to make anything different or unusual and better than anyone else's. You hold these [influences] in the back of your mind, but you steep yourself in them.

"The whole world is changing, the whole world is developing," he added. "We have to look at that rather than what other people are doing, and slavishly copying that."

ian bowden

He said that his success has been built on always paying attention to detail. "If you're going to make money at this game, you've got to maximize the amount of people who [play]. That's why making the most attractive little icon, and most attractive first experience is so important. You need detail. You can't just bang this stuff out."

Bowden (self-portrait above) said that he carries a sketchbook everywhere he goes, looking for inspiration. It also helps him try new ideas. "If you get caught up in one way of doing things, that's all you'll be doing. You'll never get out of that rut. You need to experiment," he said.

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