Q. Did you pay attention and stay out of trouble long enough to earn a college degree?
Leaping into Breaking In in a single bound this week is environment artist, Blake Low. If you've been marveling at the beautiful vistas found in Bungie's games and you're interested in finding out how you can be part of the team that brings them to life, get up close and personal with one of the supermen responsible. Ready to go? Step up to the ledge and let Blake Low sweep you off your feet and show you how he broke into our secret lair.
Q. Who are you and what do you do for Bungie?
A. My name is Blake Low and I fancy myself a superhero. But that doesn’t pay very well, so during the daylight hours I'm an environment artist who prides himself on creating awe inspiring worlds of artistic notoriety.
Q. When you're not suited up or in the studio, what do you do to keep yourself entertained?
A. When I am not being called upon to rescue a family from a swarm of stampeding ants or ravenous chinchilla, my hobbies mostly consist of sharpening my throwing soaps or eating foods that can easily become weapons if danger arises. Examples of such foods are long nunchuck like sausages, large whole fish, or anything with spicy sauce that could burn if it gets in your eye. I spend a lot of time reflecting on the success of my life and realizing how far I have truly come. Presently, my past self is really inspiring the me of the future.
Q. What about the you of the past? What did he want to be when he grew up?
A. A wizard.
Q. Hmm, seems like the magical role didn't quite materialize for you. What did your high school guidance counselors think you should be?
A. An artist, strangely enough. I spent most all of my school years doodling on any empty piece of paper I could find. I painted, I sketched, and I did some more abstract bits of art, but I always found myself in trouble for sketching instead of paying attention.
A. Technically, yes. After realizing that architecture wasn’t really the path for me I moved over to art school. I studied at The Art Institute of Dallas. And strangely enough right after I graduated, I ended up at an architecture firm creating 3d renders of the architectural plans for potential clients. Funny ol' world, I quit school for architecture to study 3d art and end up doing 3d art for architecture.
After a year of getting to know work flow and deadlines of the architecture world, I again decided that it wasn’t for me. I wasn’t having fun and fun was the most important thing to me. So I packed up my tights and cape, bid Dallas goodbye, and left hoping the city police would be able to handle crime without me.
After a lot of portfolio work, resume email sending, and costume sewing I finally got to sink my teeth into the games industry at Volition in Illinois.
Q. How did all that work and costume design lead you to Bungie's secret lair.
A. Oh, me and Bungie go way back. We use to hang out in high school. He was always hanging about, “Bungie-ing” it up, we use to say. It was just a matter of me calling up my old pal and inviting him out for a drink. This industry is a lot smaller than you may realize. Get yourself out there and meet as many people from anywhere you can. And if you meet industry people out at a bar or in a job fair, more likely than not you will run into them again very soon. Never assume that just because someone isn't in the exact field you want to be that they can't be helpful. A very large number of the people I work with here at Bungie I also worked with somewhere else before. Networking is the most powerful tool for someone trying to break in.
It is also a great tool for aspiring super heroes, you never know when you might need a sidekick.
Q. What kind of gadgets (or sidekicks) did you bring along when you took on the interview loop?
A. A Mohawk, a small Midwest family I thrice saved as proof of my valor, and a wand. I still had aspirations to be a wizard and I felt Bungie deserved the full experience of not only my current achievements but my future aspirations as well.
Q. What was the full experience like from your side of the table?
A. After several hours in the same chair answering very similar questions, the stress and knots in my stomach finally began to relax and I started to be myself. I was worried that someone might recognize me from my nighttime crime fighting, but with my nerves of steel I was able to really relax and soak in the fact that I was at one of the best companies in the world and they wanted me there. No one was trying to force me off the property with brooms and empty cans. Being yourself is the best advice I can give to anyone.
Q. In one self-styled sentence, describe what it’s like to work at Bungie.
A. I will do you one better, how about one word? Sufrasulistic. BOOM! I just made that word up because no word in the tongues of man would contain it. Inform Webster.
Q. Got any super advice for mere mortals looking to power up and have a sufrasulistic stay at Bungie?
A. Be passionate in every aspect of your life. If you want something, then do whatever it takes to get there. Don’t abandon your pursuit when the trail gets rocky or when things aren’t just handed to you. If you pay your dues and spend the time to learn the lessons that your really need to learn, then you will get there. Be self reliant when you need to be and surround yourself with others who will support you when you need it. Above all else, be patient. It takes a lot of time to sew a really badass spandex costume and cape.
I think we've had just about enough of spandex for one day. If you read through Blake's interview and you don't see how anyone could get sick of the ever expansive material and you want to put your own superpowers to the ultimate test in an interview loop (and you've paid your dues and learned your lessons), you should already be checking out the offerings we have on hand over at our Jobs Page
. We're hiring. Even if you don't rock the boots and cape.