Introducing Nicholas King aka Nickels, creative director who specializes in computer graphics animation.
It’s a pleasure having your attention to talk with us. Can you briefly describe your background, where you’re from, how you got started in the industry?
Hey! Thank you for the opportunity on this quick talk. My name is Nicholas King but some know me by ‘Nickels’ on the internet. I’m American, from Florida specifically but I travel the world depending on the work. I’m usually based in Dubai for the most part since my team of super experienced artists are there, but I jump around for remote supervision when needed. I went to school for Computer Programming in Penn State, but after 2 years realized that I needed to do something more creative, so I enrolled in an art school in Tampa, Florida. After receiving my Bachelor’s in Fine Arts, I got started in the professional industry as an intern. Moved up to Junior Motion Graphics Artist, then 2D/3D Artist, then Senior CG Artist, CG Supervisor, and finally Head of CG.
Your work looks extremely realistic, can you tell us how you’ve achieved the sense of realism?
Honestly, each project is different. True, I always use the fundamentals, but the path and angle that I go by is always different. I couldn’t tell you a sure-fire way of how I achieve it, and it doesn’t matter what tool you use, just as long as it looks right!
On average, how long does it take to finish one of your videos?
I would say 2 weeks. Around a week to create the concept / model and around a week to execute it. This is all after I’ve met with my collaborator, decide on an idea, and shoot the video.
Did you always know you wanted to be an artist or did you discover this later on in life?
I’ve always had an itch for creativity. Whether it was drawing, making books, creating film or stop motion with my first camera. Whatever it was, I just wanted to create. I got crazy in to video games (as any kid usually would) and I thought that’s it, I wanted to create games. I started programming at a young age and enrolled at Penn State for Computer Programming. On the side I would make websites and supplemented the graphics with things I would create in 3D. I realized after two years that I wanted to do 3D fulltime, so I transferred to an art school in Florida and the rest is history.
How do you market your services to acquire commissioned projects?
Actually, my whole instagram page is a big exposure hub for me and my collaborators. Most of my work comes from those videos since they tend to go semi-viral. With that said, any of the commissioned projects (music videos, visualizers, and commercials) will be brought to my CG team so I guess in a way I am also a producer, or client manager?
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I love this industry, so I know I will be doing this. A lot has changed in the past 5 years so I really don’t know. I just know that I need to constantly be moving towards bigger and better things. Never stop growing!
Thank you Nickels! Your success in the industry is inspiring to our readers. Consider checking out Nicholas King’s work!