Artist Profile – Brennan Massicotte
What makes Blackbird Interactive such a fantastic place to work? The people, and the artistic and creative vision they bring to the studio. Today we share the first of what will be a series of employee profiles, meeting some of the incredible talent that make up our team here at Blackbird. Today we talk to Brennan, a senior concept artist here at BBI.
Why did you choose to work at BBI?
Like a lot of people who work at BBI you have to go back to the first time I cracked open a PC game called Homeworld. The art designed by BBI’s Aaron Kambeitz and Rob Cunningham blended romanticism and super serious sci-fi in a way that grabbed me immediately and wouldn’t let go. When I learned that there were artists that made a career in doing design illustrations for games like Homeworld I thought “that’s it, that’s what I’ve got to do.” Years later I was freelancing in Vancouver and Blackbird and Gearbox Software were ready to revive the franchise with Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak and a re-release of the original games. So they brought me in to help remaster the originals – talk about a dream come true. I decided working with this group was the right place to settle in and the rest is history.
What work are you most proud of?
The Homeworld franchise has a signature style of storytelling animations called animatics that we revived with the new Deserts of Kharak title. I’m incredibly proud of how far we pushed and evolved the style of these animations under pressure to finish the project on time for release. There’s a rawness and expressiveness to the quality of the art that I really appreciate. In a time when fidelity and quality in entertainment is almost overwhelmingly high I think people appreciate a bit of a look under the hood and see the hand of the artist.
What are the biggest challenges you face?
The artists at BBI share a lot of the same aesthetic tastes and styles, so it can be a challenge to find a unique idea or style that you’re bringing to the table. We’ve got really talented folks working here, and I think everyone having a strong individual voice makes the work a lot richer and deeper.
What is the most rewarding part of working at BBI?
Working with people I admire and have fun with every day. There’s always something inspiring going on at work that sends you home daydreaming and wondering about what’s next. You have the sense that the work you’re doing is contributing to something much larger and more meaningful than the work itself.