From student to lecturer at ARC Academy – the story of Ivan Spasov

Ivan Spasov is one of the favorite lecturers of the students in the 3D Art program. He was a student in the first class of the Academy and is one of our graduates who began a career in the game industry. Ivan is committed to the idea of ​​passing on the accumulated knowledge, so he joined the program as a lecturer. We at ARC Academy are proud of our students like Ivan, so we invited him to tell his story, which can inspire you!  

Image courtesy: Ivan Spassov, Snapshot Games

ARC: How did your journey in the gaming industry begin?

Ivan: I have always had a great attraction to the game industry. I love video games and the worlds they reveal to the player. As a student, I was very curious about how to do something like this. So almost 10 years ago I came across a studio that developed games for mobile devices, where I started working as a programmer. It was there that I first encountered the process of creating a game. What is more interesting here, however, is that I had the opportunity to find out what I really want to do. While I was part of this company, I had the opportunity to take a closer look at the 3D models and animations of the colleague with whom we developed the games. 3D Art inspired me very deeply and grabbed me so much that it hasn’t let me go since then. Then I realized that my path in the industry was not as a programmer, but as a 3D Artist.

After this fateful meeting with the world of 3D Art, I set out on a long journey of learning, searching, and self-improvement, which I am very happy to have gone through. I started taking drawing lessons, looking for 3D Software courses and generally trying to catch up on everything I missed. I wanted to be a truly competent 3D Artist, not just learn the products I work on, but also the theory and practice of the visual arts. I combined studying with work. Following in the footsteps of the 3D Artist, I have done many things, some of which are quite interesting. I was part of the world of martial arts and wrestling, where I developed and produced TV shows, commercials, marketing materials, and all kinds of multimedia content.

And so until the iconic 2019 for me, when I enrolled to study at ARC Academy. I was part of the first class of the Academy. I learned a lot, and I also managed to organize in my head the knowledge I already had. That’s how I started working as a 3D Artist in Snapshot Games while I was still a student at the Academy.

I would say that my path to the desired profession was very interesting – full of hopes, dreams, and a lot of emotion, but also with purposeful efforts and a clear endpoint.

ARC: How did your life change after graduating from the Academy?

Ivan: My life has changed only in a good direction, which makes me very happy and grateful. I achieved my dream to start working in the game industry as a 3D Artist and now I am progressing on the path to my next dream – to become better and better, to be able to solve visual problems more competently and quickly, in general, to be the best version of myself I could be. I also started teaching at ARC, which enriched my life a lot. I meet young and ambitious people who have also embarked on their artistic path, which inspires me a lot.

The Academy has strongly influenced everything I do and has given me the opportunity to go even bolder in the direction I am going.

Image courtesy: Ivan Spassov, Snapshot Games

ARC: What is it like to work in a game dev studio as a 3D Artist?

Ivan: It’s very exciting to be a 3D Artist in a game dev studio. In this profession, you work on the final visual product of the game. You develop what the player will interact with. You are part of the formative forces behind the final look of the game and how it will be perceived by the people who play it. In addition, you have the opportunity to touch the work of so many colleagues and be inspired by it – from the game and level design, through concept artists to animators and programmers, you have access to all parts of the production. This is very nourishing and gives a unique charge that helps you develop and to do the best job you can.

Last but not least, he is very pleased to be part of a team that breathes life into a collective idea. You invest emotions, ideas, efforts, and desire, which eventually materialize into something that another person will interact with and be able to enjoy. The feeling is great.

ARC: Being a lecturer in ARC Academy programs – how does that inspire you and are there any challenges?

Ivan: I love working with students. Each of them is unique and each has its own way of thinking, its own dreams, and desires. Listening to their stories and what they want from their art career charges me. It inspires me to see the homework and the projects that the students are working on. I see their efforts and I want to give as much of myself as possible to help them bring this homework and projects to a really good final product. 

I learn a lot and develop as a result of teaching. I want to know more so that I can give more, answer more questions, and be more confident and capable.

As for the challenges, of course, there are, but I would say that they help me develop as a game dev. As I said before, each student is unique, so the approach to each of them must be different, especially when giving feedback. From this uniqueness, as well as from their different desires, come different questions from them to me during the learning process. The questions can be as broad as the students themselves, and I don’t always have a ready answer that I can come up with right now. Sometimes I have to think more, sit down and study the question and come back with an answer later. But all these things help me develop both as a professional and as a person. I would say that my contacts with students enrich me as a person, which makes me very happy.

If you want to follow Ivan’s path and become a 3D artist, apply for the 3D Art program at ARC Academy until June 30, 2022! If you have any questions about the Academy, fill out the form and we’ll meet with you!