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Passionate talk from former Art Director at RockStar Games


Ian Bowden, Self-caricature

HEART in conjunction  with Higher Level Skills Ambassador Ed Ryder have worked together to organise a series of high profile events branded “ShineOn”, a spin out from Ed’s Yorkshire Talking Heads business, inviting young learners from widening participation backgrounds to meet some of the most successful and inspirational business figures in the region.

Former Art Director of RockStar Games, Ian Bowden,  provided an inspirational and passionate talk about the route he took to enter the gaming industry at the inaugural Shine On event.

Ian discussed the importance of making the right choices early on and to create a portfolio of work as soon as possible to get ahead in such a competitive market place.  Although his degree subject was not directly related to game design, it provided an avenue to explore passions, seek out new opportunities whilst providing a positive environment for Ian to excel in his talents and seek new experiences.


Ian Bowden and Gareth Wadkin (Leeds College of Art) offering advice to young learners.
Ian Bowden and Gareth Wadkin (Leeds College of Art) offering advice to young learners.

Ians passion towards the formation of design was truly evident, advising learners to find out and explore their passions and to follow them.  Essential advice was provided from the former Art Director, advising learners that the gaming industry is thriving, always changing and still very much in its infancy and in order to keep up they will need to specialize within their subject choices.

In this ever growing industry Ian suggested many specialisms that are required including computer programming, art design, animation, motion capture, finance and marketing.  Ian described the gaming industry as “incredibly rewarding with so many possibilities, the notion of creating a form of entertainment in which users would spend hours and hours being part of it is truly beautiful”.


Ian Bowden in full flow.

The HEART team were joined by representatives from three partners, Leeds City College, Leeds College of Art and Leeds Trinity University to provide advice and guidance on the huge range of courses available across our twelve partners.

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Students Collecting Course Advice