Womenize! – Inspiring Stories is our weekly series featuring inspirational women from games and tech. For this edition we talked to Liz Hubley, Lead Environment Artist at People Can Fly Studio. She shares her approach on managing and growing an art team remotely and how she found her own career path. Read more about Liz in this interview:

Hi Liz! When did you decide to specialize in Environment Art?

I started in university as a character artist and that’s what my first reel was! Though later, when I was finishing my degree, I was part of a group project that made a level in Unreal. It was a Norse temple, very cool. I lost the file years ago, but have always wanted to go back and update it. I got very into the project and switched my focus after that. I haven’t looked back!

The storytelling possibilities in Environment Art are my favorite thing in games. I’ve always loved when you’re playing a game and the artists have added a supporting storyline to the game without any text or VO. It adds a richness that takes a game from just fun to a really memorable experience.

You are leading a team that works from home permanently. How do you manage to provide expert feedback and manage growth digitally?

With 2020, the switch to work from home was a shock to the system for all of us. It took a bit of thought to adjust how I gave feedback from what I would do at the office, which was a daily “roll around” with all my team members, to a digital format. I book an hour of my day and check in with each artist individually and make sure they’re all on track and give feedback. These also serve as mini 1:1, so I end up knowing a lot more about what’s going on with them than if I was in the office!

A bi-weekly meeting with the full art team (not just environment!), including a group feedback session is also very useful. It helps the whole art team really understand the game, its look, and the team’s needs right now. In addition, I do find myself doing a lot more draw overs and reference pulls for them.

Having moved from America to Europe, did you encounter any major differences in game production?

There are definite differences between the US and Europe. Though my experience over here is a bit limited to be sure. I feel that in the US there is a lot more focus on company culture and the individual person’s development. However, in Europe we have a lot of different cultures coming together which leads to some amazing ideas and different ways of working. It’s been a fun challenge learning about different cultures’ working habits and how to guide that into a productive team.

Thanks for this interview, Liz!

Liz’s links: ArtstationPeople Can Fly Website

Womenize! – Inspiring Stories Feature by Sophie Brugmann