Designer Showcase: The Detailed Designs of Marv Riley

Are you able to describe who you are and what you do?

I’m from Reno NV and was trained as a 3d Artist at the Art Institute of Phoenix. I know live in Austin TX as of 2011 with my wife and two girls. We moved out here after doing a year and a half in San Francisco working at a production house that provided assets for Zynga, Playdom and EA’s Pogo site. Just to name a few. For a decade before that I was in Reno working in the Video Slot industry. I was raised there in NV where gambling is legal 99% everywhere so I sort of just fell into it.
The gaming (Gambling) field allows me to be a generalist in 2D, 3D and Motion Graphics. Every few months I’m working on something that doesn’t niche me into a particular style if you don’t want it to. A simple take on what I do would be re-skinning UI with custom UI development on occasion along with Symbol/Icon design. I love what I do and and have always sorta been a UI geek ever since WinAMP. Back then I use to collect the custom skins people would create or screenshots of a cool treatment here and there.

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How would you describe your portfolio?

My Portfolio is a many video slot design, with some of the better work I did for Zynga’s Mafia Wars. I have some good assets I’ve done for Farmville and Playdoms Market Street but I don’t care to post those as of yet. I have a few heavy modeling pieces that I’ve done for games ,but any more I tend only use 3D where it will accomplish a desired look more efficiently the doing it in 2D.
I’ve kind of always wanted to be an artist, but the fortune of unfortunately dropping out of High School the second week of my Sophomore year didn’t give me much choice later on. I’m regretful that I didn’t finish so that I might have gone and been an architect. I see architecture as a 3 dimensional version of User Interface design. So in the end I was forced to get my GED and toughed it out from there. I attended the Art Institute of Phoenix where I worked as a Lab-Tech for the school which allowed me to work on school projects in my spare time. I graduated with an AA in Animation Art and Design in 2003. and from there I went back to working in the gambling industry.

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When did you first decide you wanted to pursue a creative career?

I’ve kind of always wanted to be an artist, but the fortune of unfortunately dropping out of High School the second week of my Sophomore year didn’t give me much choice later on. I’m regretful that I didn’t finish so that I might have gone and been an architect. I see architecture as a 3 dimensional version of User Interface design. So in the end I was forced to get my GED and toughed it out from there. I attended the Art Institute of Phoenix where I worked as a Lab-Tech for the school which allowed me to work on school projects in my spare time. I graduated with an AA in Animation Art and Design in 2003. and from there I went back to working in the gambling industry.

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What is your favourite medium to work in?

That’s a hard one. I tend to get bored of being in one medium. This week its UI design in PS and Illustrator, next it’s building a low poly room in 3DS Max for Unity 3D, and then I’ll be creating symbol animations and environment Special FX for the a game I’m working on.

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How did you get to where you are today?

Sacrifice. I always feel like I’m one step behind everyone and I’ve had a couple of lucky breaks here and there.

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What is the biggest challenge you have found, being in the creative industry?

Not having the time to do everything I want. AD’s that have no talent and can’t communicate efficiently. Non-talents thinking they know best and always feel like something needs tweaking when it doesn’t.

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What inspires you?

Clean Design well thought out design. Whether it be an well fashioned in Victorian Steam-punk UI, Tech design, or some awesome character. Right now I’m loving the IOS app designs out there that really utilize the rounded corners of the Icon and transform and distort almost anything into that shape while keeping it believable.

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Do you have an all time favourite piece of work you have created?

There’s a game right now I’m working on that I would be able to share for another 5-6 months that I feel I’ve really started to come into my own. It’s help me see that I can almost take on anything someone throws at me design wise.

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If you could give some advice to aspiring creative minds, what would it be?

Have fun and love what whatever you’re doing!!! I use to see my field as a dead end, because I work with a ton of industry burn outs. Dudes who are out to make a paycheck and not to prove themselves in the industry and usually bitter to no end. Yet I realized that if I’m in a production house working on cutting edge design or in a slow paced studio with lots of money to burn its really up to me to push it to the next level.

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Is there anything else you would like to add?

Have fun and love what whatever you’re doing!!! As long as it’s fun it will always be fun.

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