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Taking Aim at Paul Steed '99

Vol. 2, Issue 5 
December 6, 1999 


And Tanya is just gorgeous in that picture.

Thanks. I like Tanya. It was one of my favorite pictures. You know what I like about that picture is the hands. You always try to improve certain things in your drawing.

You know what else that really comes out in your pictures is eyes and lips. You can really tell –

I spend a lot of time on that.

I think the first picture I saw of yours, you know what, was one of your pictures for your tattoo. I had to look at the face three times because I thought it was a photo picture and I thought, ‘holy god that’s really good.’ And that comes out in all your pictures. Because they’re all really cool that way. And you’ve done a lot of sketches from Playboy too.

Oh yeah. Yeah yeah yeah. I like the newstand editions.

A lot of different sketches, a lot of different poses.

There’s a difference. I don’t like Hustler kind of stuff. Back when they started strip clubs, I wouldn’t go to all nude places because it was kind of like somebody pointing a flashlight in your face. You know I mean? Don’t point that thing at me. It takes away the whole mystery of the thing. I think of women too much as like an art form. In today’s society they use the female form for everything. There’s a reason for that, because it’s just so appealing. On a really basic level, the female form is a provocative thing.

And it’s beautiful.

It’s beautiful.

Beautiful thing.

I know you’re a fellow philogyner so you know what I mean.

You know you kind remind me of that guy from the movie Skin Deep with John Ritter.

Oh yeah yeah. The glowing condoms in the dark.

Yeah exactly. He had a big problem with women.

Well I don’t really have a problem.

In his case it was a problem.

He had that whole sex-addiction thing, which I’ve never understood. Because everyone is addicted to sex. Jesus. It’s a problem. Why is it a problem?

Yeah this guy’s normal. What’s the movie about? Anyway let’s move on here or we’ll never get through. You first gaming job was at Origin. How humbling was it when you first got there and you saw the talent that was around you.

Jesus Christ I was depressed for days. Weeks. I was just devastated because I was so sure of myself, and so full of myself in the way I drew and the things I drew, and the things I thought about were so unique. I thought, geez, because I never met anybody who enjoyed those kinds of things, I guess. And man I go there, and man, it was like everyone there just completely kicked my ass. It was very humbling. But it was cool too. Because I love to be challenged.

And you got to work with these guys.

I didn’t start as an artist, I started as a gopher there. And basically, I became an artist by going in and trying to learn this stuff. And I tried to learn 3D first, and what I realized is that there weren't very many people that learned to do 3D. So it was kind of like, why isn’t anyone learning 3D? It was just a little studying and stuff. Evidently it was pretty intimidating.

And soon you were in a field by yourself.

Well there were other guys there that did 3D, but they did all the high-poly cinematic stuff. What I ended up specializing in, for no other reason than no one else wanted to do it, was the low-poly stuff. This was back in ’92. I did all the planes and stuff in Strike Commander. So, I just got in there and showed them my drawings and stuff, and came the big day and I wanted to apply to the art department. I brought my stuff in and the guys were cool and stuff, and I had already talked to them because they saw me coming in there at night and they asked me, ‘why you going in the art room’ and I said, ‘I want to learn, I’d like to do this too’ and they’re like ‘ok you go ahead kid.’ So, I applied. I finally got my stuff together. I got my 3D stuff, my 2D stuff, I did like some ePaint drawings. And they looked at them and everything and I was pretty proud of them. It wasn’t as good as they did and they knew it, but they saw something there so they go, ‘yeah you know, your stuff is pretty good. But are you cool?’ And I said, ‘what do you mean?’ And then they proceed to ask me all these questions about like what movies I liked and what artists I liked, and a little bit about my background –

And what’s your inspiration.

Right. What’s my motivation and everything else. And I was really impressed by that. Because it was like, ‘you got the ability but that’s not really what’s important. What’s important are you going to fit in with the rest of us?’ And I think that’s something that’s lost in the industry today. People don’t focus on the team mechanics enough. They just focus on the corporate aspect of it.

They got no heart.

Yeah exactly. That’s what it is. It’s heart. And the guys at Origin had lots of heart.

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Credits: Illustration © 1999 Kenneth Scott. This interview is © 1999 Russell Lauzon & Paul Steed. All other content is © 1999 loonyboi productions. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited. So don't do it, or we'll make you cry, sissy.