Interview with
Pablo Dominguez
What was your first introduction to art?
My first contact with art came from the movies I watched in my childhood, such as Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean, etc... Video games, too. 

Also, since I was very young, I've been lucky to have a family who loves to travel a lot. Growing up, I had the chance to see big museums and monuments all around Europe, which inspired me a lot, too.

How did you realize you could get a job in art?
When I saw the behind-the-scenes featurettes on the Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings DVDs.
When you first started out, did you have a plan for your career or did it develop organically? 
I was taught in my country that there definitely wasn’t a future in art, but I didn't care. I always knew that if there was any chance to work in art or movies, I would take it. In Spain, you need to start choosing your career path at around 15 or 16 years old, and I choose art without any doubt. I was ready to do any kind of art for a living. I didn't know being an illustrator or concept artist was an option back then, so in my mind, I was picturing myself pursuing fine arts.

Is there anything you struggle with now as an artist?
The only struggle I have is actually spending less time on my personal work in order to go out, but in general, I'm very comfortable with my life situation.

You live in the UK. Is it difficult to be away from home, or do you like that your job lets you travel? The nature of this industry is very migratory, so does the location of a job offer affect your decision to accept it?
I’ve lived in the UK for almost 3 years now. Whether I travel around or not depends on the job or the project, but since I'm a freelancer, I prefer to travel on my own and work from my own office. However, you never know what opportunities and adventures await you if you step outside of your shell.
You’ve mentioned that you like to work and have a strong work ethic, but does that ever interfere with your ability to make time for relaxation too?
How important is it for you to separate your work and personal life?
I normally have a strict way of working so I don't get mad: I believe I have to finish all my work before 6-7pm, and then I disconnect completely from it; take a walk, exercise or even practice other forms of art such as drawing, oil painting, etc.

Do you experience art blocks or burnouts? How do you deal with them?
I’ve never had one, maybe only a hint of it, but if you find you’re in an art block, I recommend disconnecting from it, and searching for new or old inspiration to reinforce why you choose this path. That way, you can come back to it with a lot of energy to work on new stuff.

What do you think is the greatest benefit of a studio environment? How does working for a studio compare to working freelance?
Sharing an office with coworkers and friends is one, for sure. Also, the social part of commuting from your house to your workplace is important. If you work in-house, you normally also have more stability in terms of income compared to freelance but on the other hand, freelancing can be more comfortable and relaxing to some.
What’s it like working for Terraform Studios?
Terraform has been amazing. I knew everyone in the team from before and the fact that we joined together thanks to Finn is incredible. We’ve been working on top projects non-stop for a while now, which is amazing. I believe the only comparison between us and other studios is the fact we are not in an office together, yet the work still feels the same as that of big companies.

Has working on big titles affected your relationship with art at all? Do you feel any pressure when working on popular IPs, especially about how the project might end up being received by fans?
Big titles are always welcome to me. I really like it when the product is out and people form their own opinions about it.
Also, it's a great moment when you can tell your family and friends that you worked on a certain project, because you know they’re going to be proud and happy for you.
I rarely feel pressure with any title because it's my job and, for now, my own workflow and way of thinking normally work very well for the projects I work on. 

Fans often only see the results but actually getting to work on the project behind-the-scenes is even more epic than the final game or movie itself, because you work with amazing people and meet new talent and artists with every new project. Even if fans end up not liking something, I know I still had fun making it and that I did all I could to deliver my best work with every project.

Can you name some artists in the industry who have influenced you and helped you on your artistic path?
There are a few for sure. My bud Pablo Carpio is someone who is always there for anything. Back when I was starting out, he actually helped me understand how freelancing works back in our country.

I’d also mention all my art directors: Jason Horley and Stephen Tappin at ILM, and now Finnian MacManus from Terraform Studios, who is a great help every day at work. Andrea Chiampo, Timothy Rodriguez, Bimpe Alliu and Richard Anderson are some other artists who have helped me a lot over the years. 

If I were to type out the names of all the artists who have helped me, it would be a very long list and that just goes to show how good this community is, that you can find so many good and kind people. I will always try to be like them and do all I can to help others too.
What’s the best art advice you’ve ever received?
Listen to your superiors and follow their advice. They’ll let you know when you’ve struck gold because they have the experience and know the field better than you.

What attracted you to CGCUP, and how was this experience different to your previous teaching experience?
I liked that it was kind of like a little game and a challenging way to push myself to make something different. Spiridon as a host was incredible too, and helpful in making things easy.