Developer Interview - Jasper - 3D Artist

Hi Jasper! Thanks so much for participating in the interview. Could you please introduce yourself and let us know a little bit about your history with art?
Hey, my name is Jasper Chan, sometimes Jazzo, 22 years old, lifetime enthusiast of games and fantasy, recent graduate with a Bachelor degree in game art, and now have my first full time job at GGG making ‘art for games’, which still makes me grin when I think about it.

Throughout school I was always comparatively good at art, I say comparatively, because I wasn’t necessarily that great, but practically no one else was great, so compared to everyone else, I was pretty good. I would doodle gross stuff, gore, fight scenes, monsters, and would get reactions from classmates, guys would think its cool, and girls would be grossed out, which of course I reveled in.

With hindsight I think the reactions and praise was the reason I kept practicing, and continued to get better even if it was just doodling. A common story I think, and probably how most artists develop in early life. I was probably eight years old when I fully realised I was supposed to eventually have this thing called a job, and even then I knew I wanted to do art.

Later in life it became clear that people around me thought art wasn’t viable, it wasn’t a real job, which made me uncertain for some time. But in the end I stuck to it, and pursued a career in art.

The community first became familiar with you through your sculpture work. Can you tell us a bit about that and how it led to working with GGG?
I first found out about PoE in 2012, my last year of highschool, and everything about it seemed awesome to me. It was an independant company started by a few guys, a passion project, they believed in ethical microtransactions, the game was free, I played Diablo 2, the art style and themes were right up my alley, it was being made in New Zealand, where I live, so there was some patriotic pride, and it was new, in pre or closed beta, so there was that irrational hipster appeal of joining a small community early. And it was (is) just a great game.

Basically I was a huge fan. I was also an aspiring artist, so I wanted to make fan art.
Without any real sculpting knowledge, I just went ahead and tried making a Rhoa (one of the first creatures you encounter) because I thought they were cool, and I wanted to have a little one on my desk. I posted a picture of it on the forum, and eventually Chris saw it and shared it with the community. He also asked to buy it, which I was more than happy to do. I continued making these figures, including a few commissions for community members and for GGG. That’s how I inadvertently got recognised by GGG, which was a contributing factor towards being hired three years later after I finished my degree.

How did you end up working at Grinding Gear Games?
Well it was something I actively pursued, by the end of highschool (career searching time) I decided to do my best to get involved in game art, which lead me to studying at Media Design School here in Auckland. While I had some artistic skill, studied for three years to learn game art, and had genuine reverence for the game, and for art, I knew that didn’t entitle me to the job I wanted, so I kept my expectations reserved.

Right after I finished with my degree, I emailed Erik, GGG’s creative director, for a position that didn’t necessarily even exist, with hope, but realistic expectations that it might not pan out.
And he gave me a chance to prove myself, as a trial, for three months, a rare opportunity. After the first month they hired me, I was grateful, and proud that the goals I set earlier in life had finally been validated. Partly due to my own merit, but also outside factors.

What are the major differences between creating 3D art with a physical medium and digitally?
Traditional (physical) art, 3d or otherwise, is more intuitive and accessible, anyone can simply pick up a pencil, or block of clay and produce a tangible result very quickly, which can be very gratifying, but traditional mediums lack some of the tools and conveniences that come with digital. With digital art we can trivialize traditionally laborious things like symmetry, duplicating something using copy, paste, or undoing a mistake with ctrl-z, and using saved files.

However digital isn’t intuitive, you can’t just press your fingers into the clay, you need to figure out the tools and software that produce the results you want, which isn’t intuitive, and is something you need to learn through school, or internet research. In digital the satisfaction of having a tangible, tactile object isn’t there, but you can design, iterate, and visualise more efficiently. Also game art, and film CGI for example use the digital medium not traditional, so the two mediums have varying usefulness depending on the industry you decide to pursue.

But regardless of medium, digital or traditional, artistic knowledge, and a good design sense are the primary factors that make good art and are interchangeable between mediums.

Are there any unexpected challenges you've faced while working on 3D art for Path of Exile?
Being relatively young and new to the industry, I know to expect challenges, though it can be intimidating, they’re always things that can be overcome by working at it, and getting advice from the other awesome artists here.

What is your favourite thing you've worked on for the game so far?
I won’t say what it is, but the beast-animal thing up on the banner image was great to work on. Sculpting anatomy, and melding it with weird yet eerily familiar human features, making creepy and unsettling creatures is one of my favorite things to work on, and PoE does it well.

What can the community look forward to in terms of things you're working on at the moment?
I mostly make 3d models for uniques and microtransactions, both are huge collections of content that are constantly growing, giving players more and more unique options for customising their characters, which I think is always welcome because it’s no fun decking out your character, only to find someone in town that looks the same. Variety fixes this.

Making models for existing uniques is also satisfying, because it was always a peeve for me, the fact that some cool looking uniques didn’t have their own 3d models, so I get to scratch that itch.

Do you have any advice for aspiring 3D artists or sculptors?
While I hardly feel qualified to give advice, being one of the least experienced people at GGG, I think I do have a useful perspective, as someone who recently transitioned from aspiring to actualized.

My understanding regarding finding employment, is that your portfolio is key, regardless to what degrees, or passions you have, if the work you are presenting isn’t relevant, equal to, or better than the work they’re making at the job you want, then you have no business expecting a job from them, in my opinion.

How do you make your work better? Do more work, practice more, use reference, seek and absorb more critical critique. Those are the key points that creative professionals throughout various fields will consistently describe.

I’d be happy to answer any questions from anyone who is getting started in the field so feel free to PM my account, "Jazzo" or reply to this thread with questions.

You played the game before working here, right? What kind of builds were you playing? Was it strange to then see the inner-workings of how the game is made?
I absolutely played before working here! My favorite builds were always ones that were built around a unique item I found interesting. The two characters I played most were both face breaker builds, one infernal blow marauder, and one frenzy ranger. Quill rain-explosive arrow was fun too. It’s been a while since I played last, so I look forward to trawling through the new uniques on the wiki some time for a new build.

With the art side of game dev, I’m somewhat familiar, considering I went through education related to game art, and have worked with other game engines for small projects. Its cool though, to have access to the repository where ALL the 3d models are, and just browse through checking out the bosses and stuff close up.

What artists from history or the gaming industry are you inspired by or look up to?
It’s hard to say, there’s just so much awesome work out there. Go to, and there’s more inspiration for game art than you’ll know what to do with. The same goes for classical art, it’s hard to pick favorites when there’s just so much great work. Recently I’ve really enjoyed the atmosphere and monster designs in Darksouls 3 and The Witcher.

Have you done any 3D art or sculptures lately that you can show off?
Here’s a preview of some upcoming helmet microtransactions.

Last edited by Community_Team on May 15, 2023, 6:48:24 PM
Last bumped on May 18, 2023, 2:31:13 AM
thanks Jasper, you are the best ^^
3d art
nice job
no fun allowed by making a 1st comment ehh?! #FeelsBadMan
it's not that I didnt read through it...
well, great article tho :)
Trying to satisfy the whole PoE community is like telling a nymphomaniac to only have sex once in a week.

I think that's fairly accurate. :')
More 3D art, so much yes! Welcome to the PoE universe, Jazzo!
Interesting read. Thanks for the insight!
Very cool.

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