My name is Jonathan Hurd and I am a 3D artist from Rovaniemi, Finland. My interest in video games started at a very early age; during elementary school I was constantly over at my friend’s house playing Crash Team Racing, Spyro, MediEvil and Urban Assault. It became apparent quite early on, however, that completing the same game for the 4th time wasn’t exactly exciting and we didn’t have the money to buy new ones, so we started to draw all kinds of game levels on paper (most of them being impossible to get through) and created a bunch of game characters (that were probably too R-rated for any game of the time). Finally the day came when my dad brought a brand new PC through the front door, and after some trial and error I successfully installed my first game, Age of Empires. It blew my mind when I actually found a map editor where I could build my own maps and scenarios. I ended up spending countless hours creating my own maps and quests; that is when I realized that this was something I would like to do for a living.

After graduating from junior high school I had no idea to which high school I would apply. I had a strong artistic background because I attended a local art school where I had the good fortune to try oil painting and some basic sculpting (which would later come in handy), and during my free time I painted Warhammer figurines and played video games. By some lucky accident I heard that Lapland Studios, a local video game company, was giving 3D animation classes at Muurola High School; I immediately applied and got accepted. The animation class was only a secondary subject so it was only 3 times a week, but I didn’t mind because I was finally doing something related to games. At school we learned the basics of 3dsMax and Photoshop; in my spare time I refined my modeling skills and tried to figure out how normal maps work. Unfortunately, due to financial issues at Lapland Studios, the animation program was shut down in the middle of our courses, and after that I lost interest in school and dropped out.

For 6 months I was working full-time as a telemarketer and when I was done harassing people, I went home, sat down and started modeling. I was now pretty fluent in working with 3dsMax and Photoshop, but I had no idea what it took to create an actual game. I found out that there was a school specialized in game development in Pohjois-Karjala called Outokumpu Vocational School, so I applied there, not really expecting much. To my great surprise they asked me to come to the entrance examination, so I traveled to Outokumpu. From what I heard they had narrowed down to 400 applicants for the final tryout that you had to do in-person at their school. Thanks to some of the skills I had developed and my artistic background, I was one of the final 19 people who were chosen for the game development program. During the next two years I learned even more advanced stuff; I was already good at using modeling software, and now I learned how to make the model realistic: new software, sculpting, animation, texturing, unwrapping, skinning, and other important stuff.

It’s now my last year at Outokumpu Vocational School, and currently I am seeking a game development company where I could do my on-the-job learning (TOP). I am a hard worker simply because I love this job: I like to put time and effort into it. I work well with other people and like to do projects in groups, so that there are many people influencing the final product. I also have a very comprehensive knowledge of many modeling software programs, so learning new ones is no problem.