I Pursued my Passion for Arts Across Continents

May 5, 2024
Jude Christoper Roxas, Senior UI Artist

As someone whose journey spans more than eight years in mobile gaming, I've come to cherish every moment of my role as a Senior UI Artist at Ekipa2 d.o.o. (an Outfit7 subsidiary). It's a position that allows me to use my creativity, challenges my skills, and keeps me excited about art. Every day, I get to dive into a world where imagination meets innovation, all to bring experiences that bring joy to players all over the world. 

Hi, I'm Jude, and this is my Outfit7 story—a journey that took me from the lush greenery of the Philippines to the vibrant city of Ljubljana, Slovenia. It's a story of seizing unexpected opportunities, pursuing a passion for art, and finding a home in the world of mobile gaming.

A Filipino Kid with Big Dreams

Growing up in the Philippines, there’s this “the grass is always greener on the other side” mentality where we have this idea and dream of moving abroad to start a new life. And, in that respect, I was no different from most other Filipino kids. From early on, I had dreams of exploring new places, experiencing different cultures, and finding opportunities beyond what I knew at home.  After graduating from college, I spent some time working as a freelancer and working in design studios, but that need for something more was always in the back of my mind.

If there’s one thing I learned throughout my journey, it’s that having a portfolio is crucial. As a creative, I poured my energy into showcasing my work online. It’s one of the best things you can do for yourself. Early on, I knew that a strong portfolio could open doors and spark connections. But little did I know it would lead me where I am today!

Then came that fateful email - an invitation to move to Abu Dhabi in the UAE, of all places. At first, I thought it was a scam. Who would reach out to me, A regular guy from the Philippines, about moving abroad, totally out of the blue? It wasn’t until my mom encouraged me to reply that I took the chance. Next thing I knew, I had an interview and it seemed so real that I decided to give it a go, and that’s pretty much how I started. That was my first stepping stone into working abroad. 

Making Waves with My Portfolio

The culture and the environment in the UAE are very different to back home. Growing up in the countryside in the Philippines, I’ve always been very into lush green mountains and crystalline blue rivers. My childhood was basically playing in the river. And so when I moved to the urban jungle of Abu Dhabi, everything was different. After about a year or so working in Abu Dhabi, I decided it was time to move on.

I set my sights on Europe and started applying to companies that aligned with my artistic vision. That’s when I stumbled upon Outfit7 in Slovenia - both of which had a special place in my heart long before I even knew I’d end up here!

Slovenia’s Special Place in the My Heart

So, funny story, before starting at Outfit7, I had actually visited Slovenia before! It all started in college, where I was really active in student organizations. I met this online non-governmental organization that supports students from all over the world and started getting involved with their activities. Every year, they would host a gathering at a different spot that could be anywhere in the world, and they’d invite active participants. So, one year I got an invite to come visit the beautiful town of Bled.

And that experience was one of the main driving forces behind my thinking, “There’s a bigger world out there with lots of opportunities”. It was also my first impression of Slovenia, and seeing Bled and the rest of the country really set the bar quite high for me. It left me with a strong desire to return, but I never imagined it would be for work.

So, when I discovered that there is an Outfit7 subsidiary in Ljubljana, it felt like fate! You see, I used to play Talking Tom & Friends games a lot with my nephews. Everything just made sense. So, I applied. And the rest is history.

Despite there being no open art positions at the time, I took a chance with an open application. To my surprise, HR reached out, offering an opportunity in UI design—an area I hadn't fully explored. I took the leap, revamped my portfolio, and landed the role that would go on to shape my career.

From UI Novice to Lead Artist

My early days here were spent helping out with game updates as a UI artist on My Talking Tom and My Talking Tom Friends. It was a whirlwind of learning and creativity, adapting to an established art style and trying to add some of my own personal touches. 

Next, I was given the opportunity to be the lead UI artist for My Talking Angela 2.  That was the first experience of me being able to participate in the whole production cycle, like taking part in the research, going through pre-production, and making sure that everything was up to our standards and it was a really cool experience. In the end, My Talking Angela 2 became one of our most successful games and I'm really happy to be part of it. 

A Day in the Life of a UI Artist

So, what does a UI artist like me do? Imagine building a playground with friends. We gather in meetings, discussing plans for slides, seesaws, and safety measures. Each friend has a role. My job is to make sure everything looks beautiful and functions seamlessly, like designing a swing for example, and making sure it’s easy to use.

“The best part of working as a UI artist is seeing your art come to life!”

The best part about it? Seeing your art come to life! From the initial sketches to the final release, there’s a sense of pride in knowing that you’ve contributed to something special. When you’ve worked on a project from the very beginning, and you finally get to play the game, phone in hand, it’s one of the best feelings there is. And on top of that, whenever I share our games with my friends and my family, especially with my nephews and nieces, it’s one of the most wholesome and exciting things for me.  At the end of the day, I do this for them, because they're very important to me and it's just amazing to see the reactions on their faces. 

There's a misconception that UI design is simple, that you just create buttons and reuse them. In reality, it's a complex process that involves collaboration with lots of different teams. UI artists must balance how things look aesthetically with how they’ll be used practically.

Today, UI designers need more than just an artistic eye. They need to be skilled in typography and iconography and to know all the latest software. But what sets a great UI designer apart is empathy - the ability to see through the eyes of the player. Day in, and day out, that’s what I try to do, to make sure our design not only looks good but also enhances the gaming experience.

Embracing the Journey

My Outfit7 story wasn’t exactly typical. From a Filipino kid dreaming of working abroad to a Lead UI Designer on games with a truly global audience, it’s been an awesome ride so far. The culture of support and growth here has been unbelievable. The art directors have recognized my passion for illustration and have offered me opportunities beyond the scope of a UI designer. I’ve had the chance to explore things like character concepts, clothing design, and other projects that support me and my growth as an artist.

Outfit7 has become more than a workplace, it’s a place where I can be creative and explore new things, and where every day brings new challenges and possibilities.

And lastly, I wouldn't be here without the support of my family, my parents especially. I am grateful to them for shaping me into the person that I am today, and I always have them in my thoughts as an inspiration to keep me pushing myself forward.

I can’t wait to see where the next chapter takes me! 

🚀 We're Hiring a UI Artist!

Join Jude and the rest of our UI team in Ljubljana and help us create immersive mobile game experiences! You'll get a chance to collaborate with experts from our UX design, Art direction, and Development teams to help bring games to life. Click here to apply.

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