PK 066: Hendrik Visser on Becoming a Theme Park Artist & Working on Side Projects

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Hendrik Visser works as a full-time theme park artist, but also finds time to work on exciting side projects聽such as video games

“So I read what they needed, and I thought ‘I can do that!'”

~聽Hendrik Visser

Hendrik Visser is a theme park artist who also works on exciting video game projects in his spare time.

In this week’s podcast,聽you’ll discover how聽a theme park artist works, how to meet up with like-minded creatives, and how Hendrik finds the time and energy to work on all his side projects!

Hendrik Visser: His Journey as an Artist

Hendrik Visser has been working as a theme park artist for four years now, but he originally planned to be a fine artist.

He says: “I聽tried to make money as a fine artist, but it鈥檚 super hard to do that. So, I started looking for art-related jobs and educated myself with what I needed to know.

“I started using Tweetdeck聽to search for keywords related to art and approached people looking for artists. I saw a vacancy, read what they needed and I thought: 鈥業 can do that!鈥 So I wrote a letter and I sent in some of my work.

” At that time, I was also working with a rock band, and I鈥檇 designed a stage with them. I was able to聽use that work to show my prospective employers聽how my designs had been developed into a finished product. It’s a good idea to highlight one particular part of the design process that鈥檚 relevant to the job you鈥檙e applying for.”

The company Hendrik joined was just starting to grow, and four years later, he feels it’s grown with him. He’s gone from working with a team of 12 designers to more than 40!

What Does a Theme Park Artist do?

Hendrik聽Visser explains: “Usually, we design the rides first, and then create the stories around them. You have to find a way to build the story around a ride and learn to design within a聽budget.

“As a theme park artist, I start with the story and a concept of how it should聽look, and then find ways to make it look realistic within the budget.”

Theme park artists have to base their designs around lots of different things, such as how high the fences around the ride have to be. They also have to allow for different regulations in different countries.

Hendrik says: “I recently worked on a ride for zoo, so we聽had to consider the animals too. It’s a case of constantly solving problems!”

Hendrik Visser on Side Projects

When he’s not working on theme park designs, Hendrik Visser likes to get involved with indie game projects around the world.

He says: “I’ve always been into video games, so I聽found some other people to make a game with, and we won third prize in a Game Jam. It was a really good experience!

“We’ve just finished working on a new game called 鈥楿nfaded鈥? There’s not always much time for these side projects, but we are all quite ambitious! It can be hard to juggle these聽with your聽full-time聽job, but it鈥檚 really good to do.”

How to Devote Time to Your Personal Art Projects

Finding the time to work on personal art projects can be difficult, but Hendrik Visser says it’s all about discipline and getting into a pattern of doing things. He was also able to drop a day at work, so he now works four days a week as a theme park artist and uses his spare day to work on personal projects.

He recommends Game Jam, workshops, Meet Up, and approaching local universities and colleges to find out about art projects taking place near you.

Listen to this week鈥檚 show and learn:

  • How to find suitable vacancies聽in your chosen creative field
  • How to聽find time for personal projects – even if you work full time
  • How to find other like-minded creatives to work with

People on this Episode:

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