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Astana, Kazakhstan • 04 November 2022

‘I was the worst in my class’: How Sofya from Karagandy Got Dream Job in Australian Game Company

‘Being an artist is not a real job’. A long personal story that proves it wrong

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all photos provided by Sofya Medvedeva
all photos provided by Sofya Medvedeva

In our industry, no one cares what your education level is, as long as you have a decent portfolio. If you're a great artist, education is a plus - but it's never the main thing. Even if you don't have a bachelor's degree, you can still get a job in the video game industry.

I had never worked on a computer before, as my background was in traditional art only. I had spent four years in art school and had been painting since I was a child. I didn't even have any Photoshop skills, so it was pretty challenging in the beginning.

I sat at my desk thinking ‘what if game design is not for me’, ‘what if I had made a mistake?’. I remembered all the words other people had said to me that I would never make it. And then I thought: I'll prove them I can do it!

Designing DiCaprio for VanArts (work in progress)
Designing DiCaprio for VanArts (work in progress)

I bought myself a big blanket from Costco [a low-price, membership-only retailer], laid out big drawing paper sheets on the floor where I would curl up in my blanket for a couple of hours. Then I would wake up and get back to work. Energy drinks and coffee were my saviors.

Tears, fears, and true gangster fits

The pinnacle of gangster fashion: sandals and striped sweatpants
The pinnacle of gangster fashion: sandals and striped sweatpants

Carrot and stick

I've noticed that at universities in my industry, people aren't ready to go to work after they graduate. They don't get the right skills and they don't have enough discipline. There has to be some kind of carrot and stick.

Not a cog in the machine

That job-winning render of Margot Robbie
That job-winning render of Margot Robbie

Those who don’t develop themselves and act like they know everything don’t last long in the industry.

Hanging out with Australian colleagues
Hanging out with Australian colleagues
Sofya also worked on a previous project of Motorsport Games - Kartkraft
Sofya also worked on a previous project of Motorsport Games - Kartkraft
Sofya today, working on her next creation
Sofya today, working on her next creation
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Success story
Designer
Game industry
Australia

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The Qazaqstan Monitor is a website informing about events in business, creativity and achievements in Kazakhstan and Kazakhstanis abroad. When working with materials of The Qazaqstan Monitor website, only 30% of the text with obligatory hyperlink to the source is allowed. When using full material it is necessary to obtain the editors’ permission. The Qazaqstan Monitor editors do not always share the views of the authors of articles. In case of violation of the terms of posting materials, the editorial staff of the site has the right to resolve disputes in a lawful manner.