Peter Burroughs is forging his own artistic path.
When he was a toddler, he would sketch out whatever was around him. Now at 25 years old, Burroughs is creating art for clients.
Burroughs knew he wanted to work in art in high school. He said the arts program at Bowling Green High School was a strong one, introducing students to the many different mediums of art.
“For a lot of people, sooner or later, we find something that clicks with us. For me, it was digital arts,” Burroughs said.
After deciding to focus on digital art, Burroughs said he thought video games were a great area to work in.
After graduating in 2013, Burroughs went to Michigan State University.
During his time in East Lansing, Burroughs said he gained a lot of experience working for different video game design companies. He also taught middle school and high school students animation concepts as a camp instructor at a game development camp.
Burroughs graduated from MSU in 2017 with a degree in media and information and a minor in game design.
From his time at MSU, he learned what styles of art would be best to master for his career.
“It helped me settle on concept art, 3D and illustrations. They all go into game development,” Burroughs said.
After spending close to a year with Great Lakes Reality Labs in East Lansing, Burroughs moved back to Bowling Green to become a freelance environment artist.
He creates the concept art, 3D models and textures for video games.
Originally, Burroughs thought he would work with a company and stay there for at least a couple years after college. He feels that he took the opposite route out of college.
Burroughs said that freelancing has been better than expected. He is enjoying the freedom of deciding his own work hours.
“We will see what the future holds, but freelance is a lot more fun than I thought it would be,” he said.
Freelancing has taught him a big lesson in being efficient. Burroughs always has multiple projects to work on. Being remote, he has learned to utilize his time wisely and be concise with his communication.
Burroughs said that his time freelancing had him ahead of the curve when the pandemic struck.
He was able to help out his family, friends and clients in adjusting to working remotely. He said he had extra time from the pandemic to focus on his career.
Burroughs also enjoys working in video game development. Like in freelancing, every day is different for him.
The collaboration involved in video game development has been a plus for him. Burroughs said the different disciplines, or jobs, that are involved in making a video game fascinate him.
While working, Burroughs is still committed to learning more about art and his profession.
Along with freelancing, Burroughs is interning remotely at Blizzard Entertainment this summer.
He said he is slowly moving towards gaining industry experience. In the future, Burroughs hopes to experience working for a bigger company with a bigger team.
In 2020, Burroughs took a couple art classes at Bowling Green State University and CG Master Academy.
At BGSU, he took an animation class learning how to make visual effects. The class was a valuable experience for him.
“Seeing a completely different side of things was very eye opening. If for nothing else, it will help me talk to other artists in game development if you do that kind of thing,” Burroughs said.
At CG Master Academy, he took a class that was about how to make art like World of Warcraft. He learned a specific style of art taught by a professional from Blizzard Entertainment.
The classes helped Burroughs gain more skills to help succeed in an industry setting.
Burroughs enjoys many different hobbies that get him away from his computer screen. As a swimmer in high school, he still enjoys doing a lot of physical activity. He enjoys swimming, going to the gym and doing karate.
Art is still a part of his hobbies. Burroughs likes making props, especially book binding. He does make props and binds books for clients.
Having the experience in physically making art makes Burroughs artwork unique and attractive to clients.
“I see people getting into digital art and they might be only looking at games, animations or other media that exists. It could become a little familiar. With my hands-on experience making physical props and physical artwork, it lends itself a lot more towards the game developer,” he said.