Studio Art Director
Would you like to work on some of the greatest franchises in gaming history? Certain Affinity is an exclusive Austin studio; we’re a tightly-knit group of experienced industry veterans working at an entirely independent company. We’ve co-developed games in the Call of Duty, Halo, and Left 4 Dead franchises, and are now creating compelling new games of our own.
As Studio Art Director you will serve as advocate for, and manager and mentor of Certain Affinity’s art staff studio-wide including Character, Environment, Tech Art, Animation, Concept, and VFX. You will provide a project-agnostic voice for the art team to the company’s executive leaders, advocate for the team’s needs, and serve as a conduit between the art team and other departments. You will help members of the art team at every level with skills development and career guidance, with an extra emphasis on finding and mentoring artists at early stages in their careers
Ultimately you will play an essential role in helping an incredibly professional, unusually talented and experienced group of no-nonsense artists transition from co-developer to lead developer and IP creator. Come make great games with us!
- Identify and recruit art talent at all levels and oversee on-boarding and integration of new team members
- Promote company values within the department, and collaboration across departments
- Develop and promote a strong art-focused culture that encourages creative problem solving
- Institute a framework for coaching, mentoring, and education for continued skills development
- Develop career ladders and other growth resources for all disciplines within the department
- Ensure managers are providing regular, quality feedback and oversee quarterly and annual feedback and reviews
- Mentor across all levels, and outside of the discipline, where appropriate, on art quality, process, and best practices
Optimization and Efficiency
- Ensure Artists are helping each other and collaborating across projects
- Drive identification, trial, and adoption of new technologies and techniques that improve quality and efficiency
Management and Leadership
- Partner with department leads across all projects, providing support as they manage their teams and solving issues as a collaborative, well-aligned art management team
- Manage the top-level leaders in the department, including project-level leads and shared service leads
- Develop succession plans, manage risk, and identify growth opportunities for future leaders
- Backfill as an Art Lead when necessary
- Advocate for the department, communicating successes, challenges, and points of view and championing consistent processes
- Promote the company externally, with emphasis on the talent and accomplishments of its artists
- 10+ years overall experience and 5+ years running an art team that has shipped multiple AAA console and PC titles
- A strong eye for artistic quality with an ability to critically but respectfully dissect work and suggest ways to improve it
- Expertise and understanding of the entire development process
- Knowledge of game engine technology and art-related middleware solutions
- Experience mitigating and resolving risks
- Excellent communication skills (verbal and written) and time and project management skills
- Highly organized, self-directed, and capable of instilling that characteristic in others.
- Ability to multi-task and handle many discrete tasks at once without losing focus on any individual item and without missing a stride
- Understanding of technical constraints and budgets in games and proven ability to work within them.
- A solution-oriented change agent accustomed to accountability and driving improvement within organizations, with examples to share outlining improved team dynamics and performance within diverse environments
- A diplomatic leader able to have crucial, and at times sensitive conversations.
- An inspirational leader who can “rally the troops” and seize opportunities through improved communication and organization
- A strategic thinker with excellent analytical and implementation skills
- Experience working, partnering and fostering productive relationships with established brands and IP holders
- Strong hands-on abilities in traditional art, drawing, painting, illustration, and/or concept art
- High level of proficiency with 2D and 3D game development tools including, but not limited to: 3ds Max, Zbrush, Maya, Photoshop, Substance, etc
- Experience working successfully with one or more outsource partners as an integral and visually consistent part of the project pipeline
- Previous experience in co-developed projects
- Experience with UE4
- Avid gamer on multiple platforms