Five questions for creatives

Stephen Molyneaux

Stephen Molyneaux started his career in the games industry before moving into cinema. He is now a visual affects artist in London, working on major feature films like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Prometheus, Guardians of the Galaxy, X-Men and the upcoming Disney’s Jungle Book.  Stephen excels at character creation and visual development and is an accomplished artist both digitally and traditionally. Stephen studied under world-renowned artists Steve Huston, Jeffrey Watts and Henry Yan and has work published for both digital and traditional work.

How did you get into the creative industry, and was there a defining point in your career that led you on that path?

I studied a course in computer animation and special effects at the University of Bradford. After graduating in 2004 I was lucky to land a freelance job creating some simple medical animations for a local plastic surgeon. This was a defining moment as this job helped me to develop my portfolio and I was able to land a job as a 3D artist at a small game company in Manchester.

Is there anything you would change in your current career and if so why?

As I have gotten older I have developed a strong passion for the fine arts such as traditional drawing and painting and I sometimes look back and wish I’d pursued a career in the fine arts from a younger age. But the reason why I have such interests is because of the people I have met along the current career path so I probably wouldn’t change anything.

Where do you see yourself, and your career in five years’ time?

I have worked within the film VFX industry for the past seven years. I’m about to start a new job working in a film art department. So I expect some big changes in my career and hope in five years’ time I’ll be an established film concept and visual development artist. I also hope to keep developing my personal portfolio.

Are there any rules or habits that help you do your job more efficiently?

I love to study, I always travel with my tablet and study daily. It became a habit the more I studied. I think it helps and supplements my professional work. I love to try and learn something new every day.

What tips would you give to anybody who is looking to get started in the creative industry?

Find a passion and have a goal, and study really hard to achieve it. Study daily and try to cut down the amount of time watching TV and playing video games. All the successful artists I have met have a terrific work ethic. If you work hard you create your own luck and don’t worry about talent – if you work hard enough you can achieve more than the talented person who doesn’t put the work in.

You can see Stephen’s work on his website: