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Smash Art Spotlight: JP3

One of JP3's Latest Works

In this day in age, tournaments have surpassed the simplistic, bad audio and video quality streams and videos. Not only have we improved audio and video greatly, but we have added overlays and graphics to give the matches and tournaments flare and interest. These people are called Graphic Designers, and they have created some amazing works of art. Today, we have one of them with us to discuss what they do and what their profession is like. Take a look into the mind of a designer with this Smash Spotlight focusing on JP3.

Jay: Hello! Would you like to introduce yourself and tell us a bit about what you do?

Jesse: Sure! My names Jesse but I commonly go by JP or JP3 in the Smash community. I'm a graphic designer and I guess I specialize in stream graphics and packages for game broadcast. Mostly I work in the eSports scene, and specifically Smash!

Jay: Well nice to meet you, Jesse! So, I have seen you do stream overlays for people like Westballz. Who else have you done work for over the time you've been doing graphic design?

Jesse: Some of the first graphic projects I did in the Smash community was for the site All is Brawl back in the day where I did some banners and worked on the design team. After a break I came back and have done stream graphics, logos, and promotional pieces for people like C9 Mango, GimR/VGBootCamp, the Redbull gaming team, CLG, Chillindude and many more. It's been fantastic.

Jay: Can you tell us how those experiences impacted you?

Jesse: Honestly it's put me on a wild ride. I never would have thought I'd get this involved with a gaming community, and if I did I never would've expected it be through my passion of graphic design. It's given me a deeper appreciation for eSports and Smash and given me opportunities to work with people I would've dreamed about working with in the past. I've made countless new acquaintances and contacts, many of whom I'd consider to be friends. It's completely changed my life and pointed me in the direction I know I need to be going.

Jay: That's pretty great to hear that doing what you love had that effect. That actually gets me curious about something however. So outside of Smash and graphic design, what do you enjoy doing? Do you have a job outside of your online business?

Jesse: Yeah, I suppose so! eSports and Graphic design are definitely my biggest passions, but I am currently studying to get a degree in Computer Science and working full time as tech support at my university! I like working with technology so it's definitely a back-up if this stuff doesn't work out haha.

Jay: So, What are some of your future ambitions? Anything you want accomplish or a dream you want to achieve? Do you want to do something involving computer science?

Jesse: Honestly I just want to keep doing the graphic design stuff in the eSports community...Anything to help eSports grow is where I want to be. Obviously getting some work doing something more secure would be fantastic, but in the future, this is where I want to be.

Jay: Well having faith like that in eSports and having that passion is really good for the development of eSports as a whole. Is graphic design something you want to continue doing solo? Or do you want to work for an eSports company?

Jesse: Working for an eSports company would probably be the best outcome as it'd be more permanent, but I'll do whatever I have to 'til I get there. Here's to hoping it'll happen soon!

Jay: I like that, thinking brightly towards the future! How has the Smash Community impacted what you do today?

Jesse: Smash was the first competitive game I ever played. I left it in 2009 - 2010 to pursue some other competitive games but it was always on the back of my mind. I guess you could say Smash and the community really influenced who I am today. Both by initially feeding my drive for eSports competition and showing me that I can combine that love with my love for design.

JP3 was commissioned to work on the artwork for Pound 2016

Jay: What games DO you play now or have played from Smash and onward?

Jesse: Pretty much any competitive game, you name it and I've probably tried to get good in it haha. Mostly focused on console shooters like Halo otherwise, but I've played a fair amount of PC eSports titles as well. I think I'm addicted... I don't remember the last time I even beat a single player game.

Jay: Has competing in a non-traditional sense interested you? Like speedrunning?

Jesse: I think speedrunning is amazing but it's something I've never really dabbled in much. I think it takes a special kind of person to be both patient and skilled enough for something like that. I hope that it grows along with eSports though.

Jay: I think it deserves a spot somewhere and hope it grows as well. Now more back on topic, if it weren't for the community, would you still think you would have thought of going into the graphic design business?

Jesse: Well initially straight out of high school, I went to a design college and was going to focus on it. Honestly it seemed really bleak though. Graphic design is hard to find work in, that's one of the main reasons I switched to computer science. However I always kept at it and in the back of my mind. It was always my dream and it never really went away. I just kept pursuing and taking chances and improving and eventually things worked out. It really is important to pursue something you love, you can make something of it! So yeah even if it weren't for the community I still think I'd be doing graphic design stuff. I can't say it didn't work out perfectly though, I'm incredibly grateful for the community and wouldn't want to be this involved with any other.
Jay: Ah, this is an interesting question. Lets say you never did anything graphic design related, besides computer science. What would you picture yourself doing? So if graphic design was never part of your life to begin with.

Jesse: I'd like to say something to do with art, concept art or something? The only other thing I really love to do is cook. I actually considered culinary school at one point, so I dunno, maybe I would've been a chef.

Jay: Oh? I mean, cooking is a type of art in a different way. Do you face struggles at all when coming up with banners and overlays? Like a sort of mental block? If so, how do you overcome them and push forward?

Jesse: I definitely do! I think its something that's common place in all artist disciplines. Overcoming it is difficult; generally I have to take a step back and play around with new styles or browse the web for inspiration. It's rough but generally you become a stronger designer because of it. You want everything to feel unique and sometimes all of your stuff just starts looking similar, so sometimes you have to play around with no goal in mind to really flesh out new styles or ideas.

Jay: So in your opinion, has your style changed over the years? How often do you learn new things and what processes did you go through to get to know what you do today?

Jesse: It's honestly random. Sometimes I feel like my style changes every week, other times not for months and months. I learn new things every day, big or small and it all helps in contributing to making yourself a more expansive designer. There's still so so much I don't know, I would only call myself a mid-level designer at the moment.The best way I found to get to know what I know today is to play around in your software of choice and just try new things. You'd be surprised what you can learn just from exploring. And if you want to learn specific things then you have the internet right at your fingertips! People love to help each other out in the graphics community, just reach out!

One of JP3's Earlier Works

Jay: That's good advice, and actually somewhat answered my next question! For new designers, is there somewhere you would like to point them to in particular and or something you would like to tell them?

Jesse: It's really hard to give specifics on this type of thing, but I'd say reach out to other designers like I mentioned above and check sites like dribble and behance for inspiration. Otherwise just keep doing what you love and have fun with it. You'll find your place and your way eventually.

Jay: Well thank you! That is pretty much it! Is there anything else you'd like to mention? Any social media accounts or ways for people to contact you for inquires?

Jesse: Yeah definitely! People can reach me anytime on twitter @Jp3ilson, or by email at jp.wilson@unb.ca. I'd love to talk to anyone about eSports, graphics, or potential partnerships!

Jay: Alright, thank you for your time, it was a pleasure!

Jesse: Definitely, anytime! It was fun. Thanks again for the opportunity.

What did you think about this edition of Smash Spotlight? Leave a comment below! A special thanks to JP3 for the interview and to give us a look on how graphic designers are so important to the smash community! To see our last Smash Spotlight, take a look at out interview with MuffinBros Graphics!
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I really enjoy articles that give these unsung Smash community heroes some time in the spotlight! The Smash scene wouldn't be quite as big or exciting without people like JP3, and I'm happy when they get some recognition! Plus, I've been thinking of going into graphic design myself, so this has been personally helpful as well!
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