Meet Chris Kinch, junior 3D artist at Magnopus (alumni insights)

From a PhD in Psychology to pursuing a career in 3D. Chris explains how and why he made the transition. 

Posted by Mastered on Jul 20, 2023


Chris Kinch


Tell us about yourself.

Before I got into 3D, I was actually in the middle of doing a PhD in Psychology. Like a lot of people, during COVID, I picked up a new hobby, and 3D became a little bit of an obsession! To make a long story short, I eventually withdrew from my PhD (which COVID had stalled) to pursue a career in 3D. Two years of self-teaching, many rejections, and 1 Mastered bootcamp later, I was able to land my first industry role as a Junior 3D Artist at Magnopus!


Why did you decide to join the bootcamp?

With no relevant qualifications or job experience in the games industry, I was looking for some guidance to help close the gap between me and the industry. Mastered looked perfect, but I was so sure that I wasn’t going to get a place that, at the time, I almost didn’t apply! I’m incredibly grateful to “past-me” that I did!


What did you like the most about your bootcamp experience?

The Live Creator Challenges were great. If 3D Art was a sport, these challenges were the Game Days. Put everything you know into practice to fulfil a brief under a time constraint. These challenges really force you to think about efficiency, time management, and how to prioritise the deliverables for the project. They were fun, and challenging, and produced some of my favourite portfolio pieces!


Blacksmith's workshop - A project by Chris


Tell us about your job search process. 

It’s no secret that getting a junior role is competitive. Sometimes it can feel like it’s never going to happen. What really helped me was listening to Hiring Managers/Recruiters explain how they whittle down hundreds of applications to a manageable number for the company to interview. I was occasionally landing interviews, so I knew I was ticking at least SOME boxes. When the self-doubt crept in, reminding myself of that helped. Also, looking back at my work pre- and post- Mastered was a very concrete way of tracking my progress.

Sometimes we don’t notice how much we improve, so comparing new and old can really encourage you to push on!


What’s your advice on building a portfolio that got you noticed by recruiters?

1) Have people who have worked in the industry look at your portfolio. Listen to their feedback and apply it. I heard this ALL the time before Mastered and never did it. Trust me, it helps.

2) For artists, post break downs of your work! The beauty renders are great but make sure you’re showing your UVs, wireframes, material passes etc!

3) Try and tailor for the studio/role you are applying for. Much like you’d tailor a CV. Have your best and most relevant work immediately visible so that recruiters don’t need to hunt for evidence of your skills! Put it in the spotlight!


Dragon Bone Forest - A project in UE5 by Chris


How important were networking and community building?

I’m pretty quiet, so networking doesn’t come so naturally to me! Mastered was really helpful because you showcase your work and check in regularly with fellow creators, so you get to know each other quite well. I know I’ve definitely connected with other artists and programmers that I’d be excited to work with in the future!

Ultimately, connecting with more people means more opportunities will be on your radar - I wouldn’t have been aware of my current job had I not been connected to people through Mastered!


What helped you most during the interview process? 

My biggest interview tip is to take your time when answering questions! I used to rush into answering for the sake of avoiding silence or looking like I was stuck. This just led to really empty, incoherent answers. Don’t be afraid to ponder your answer for a moment and compose a response that really addresses the question!


What are your tips for creators looking to become 3D artists?

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t meet every single criteria of a job advert - apply anyway. This isn’t to say you should apply carelessly, but if you see a position you like and feel like you’d be a good fit, apply! Even if it’s a no, it gets your name on their radar.


You can see more of Chris' work on his Artstation profile


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