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Jake Griffin

(He/Him)

Freelance Art Generalist

East Ghost Designs

Hi, my name is Jake and I have been a professional artist (Generalist) for nearly 20 years.

I was born and raised in St. Augustine, Florida as the youngest boy in quite a large family. I have 7 older brothers (full, half, step, and adopted) and 2 sisters, both step.

I got my love for art education at a very early age, from my brother, Nick. Growing up, Nick would often create art for little games that we would play together and watching him draw these amazingly ridiculous characters was a really positive core memory for me. At his heart, Nick is an unbelievably good teacher and he certainly wasted no time teaching me anything and everything he knew. From academic school work to art, I had my own private tutor for nearly my entire adolescent life.

In the summer of 1997, Nick and I moved to Tennessee to spend more time with our father and his wife and family. I continued drawing, but Nick decided to pursue computer coding. We would work together to mod games like Diablo 2 and StarCraft, me re drawing units and their animations inside of MSPaint, him working that code magic to make it all work. This absolutely sparked my love for Video Game Art and Animation.

To my surprise, in 1999, Nick decided to stay in Tennessee while I decided to return home to Florida. I no longer had my brother around to hold my hand through my adventure in to art, but I wouldn't let that stop me from growing as an artist.

In high school, I jammed my schedule with every single art related class I could take. Photography, Drawing and Painting, Dance, Creative Writing, and my favorite - Digital Arts. In my Digital Arts class, I excelled very rapidly. Earning my Photoshop class accreditations 2 years early in my Sophomore year. But it wasn't enough, so I asked for more advanced projects which led me to Daz3D Studio and Poser3D. In 2001, these programs were the best the school had to offer and I ate them up, learning how to create 3D poses and animations on premade characters and their animation rigs. I admit that I started to neglect my other classes pretty heavily, but I knew what I wanted out of my education and it was always ART. I completed every available art course that was provided. Then, half way through my Junior year, I decided I was finished with high school and tested out and got my diploma early.

I immediately dived in to the work force by landing a Baker's Assistant job at 16 years old and realized that cooking is just another form of art. For a few years, I focused on advancing my knowledge in the Kitchen, until I was old enough to start considering college level courses for 3D art. A few lifelong friends of mine were attending Full Sail, in Orlando and they spoke pretty highly of its efficacy, so I decided to try my shot there. I got a hold of programs like ZBrush, Cinema4D, and 3DS Max and began to rekindle my love for 3D art education. I was not able to afford to attend on campus classes so I took advantage of the school's limited online courses, at the time, and supplemented my learning with other free online courses for Game Art and Design.

The next few years were filled with kitchen work and learning as much as I could in the art world. I accepted a tattoo apprenticeship and got certified, during this time, but ultimately a back injury that caused nerve damage ended that adventure for me. I returned to my first love. Game Art.

Working on small Indie projects, becoming a freelance artist and animator, I was getting jobs in the field that I loved, but they weren't paying the bills on their own, so for a long time I had to keep working in kitchens to make ends meet. Then, Covid hit like a bus, and I lost my job managing a small restaurant. I had no idea what I was going to do, all of the restaurants were either closing or fully staffed. I had just gotten married, how was I going to help support my family now?

My wife and closest friends made me realize that I had not been able to put in the time and effort doing what I truly loved. So here I am, a full time Art Generalist and Educator.