Exclusive portfolio tips from game makers CROOZ

CROOZ art Yoshiro Ambe character Tyrfing

We speak to an artist from the leading Japanese games studio about his art process, and the thinking behind putting together the perfect portfolio for CROOZ

The multi-million game-selling studio CROOZ is looking for new talent around the world to expand their most popular title Deity Wars globally.

They want to hear from you. But before you send them your digital portfolio, we thought we’d speak to CROOZ illustrator Yoshiro Ambe and the art director in charge of all illustrations used in Deity Wars, Daisuke, to get some techniques and tips on putting together a perfect portfolio.

Surprisingly, CROOZ is not looking for artists that ‘fit’ their look. “When putting my portfolio together to send to CROOZ for the first time, I chose all kinds of illustrations with different styles and motifs, because CROOZ work on a wide range of projects,” explains Yoshiro Ambe.

Now in charge of some of the highest ranked illustrations at CROOZ, Yoshiro included ultra realistic character studies and manga-style illustrations - loose background pieces to creature art.

Believe it or not, this is Yoshiro's 'basic' colouring stage!

It’s not all about blowing away CROOZ with range of styles, however. When Yoshiro handed in his portfolio to CROOZ, he included illustrations that  proved his abilities. “I always add pencil sketches to show my basic drawing ability, which can be deceptive in purely digital pieces,” he says.

Taking us through the creation of CROOZ character Tyrfing, Yoshiro reveals ways of ensuring high quality in illustrations.

This is Yoshiro's shading monochrome illustration, showing the contrast between light and shade.

"I always go through making the rough shading monochrome illustration before I colour it," he says. "This helps get the accurate shades and shadows of an object illuminated by a light source, which makes it easier for me to get the balance of the light parts and dark parts of the whole picture."

CROOZ line drawing
For Deity Wars character Tyrfing, Yoshiro started with a rough sketch, then produced a clear line drawing

Speaking about his painting of Tyring, Yoshiro admits that although he's a digital artist , much of his inspiration comes from the traditional medium.

"Digital illustrations can become too complicated with too much detail, because it's very easy to overuse features like zoom, textures, and layers," he says. "Because I usually work on digital art, it's important for me to look at the style and coloring of traditional art, made with canvas, paints and brush."

It's clear that Yoshiro has a particular way of creating art, and his own way of thinking about it. Various styles and approaches are welcome at the studio - as long as they work!

Art director Daisuke has seen all types of portfolios. Once, an artist sent him a portfolio consisting of a single dragon painting. But what does he look for in the perfect portfolio from someone wanting to work for CROOZ? A wide range of styles.

“Portfolios full of illustrations with various styles are impressive – that can be art ranging from manga-style to real life-style,” he says. “I remember seeing a portfolio that had the times that it took the person to create each illustration, which was very interesting. Speed is something that illustrators must always keep in mind when in a work environment.”

"Techniques and opinions are always being exchanged at CROOZ," says Yoshiro, "as there are loads of unique illustrators working in the same office. We improve each other's skills by asking for advice and also giving it."

The weekly workshops, where illustrators from all projects can get together, also help this exchange of ideas. "In these ways, the quality of the illustrations is always improving. CROOZ has an invironment that illustrators can improve their skills whilst working, in order to create high-leveled games. I am proud to be able to work with them with all the high-leveled artists as teammates."

Once you've selected your very best digital and pencil art work, send it to the CROOZ art team:

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