Leading digital art magazine puts the spotlight on rising star Ellie

Date 2.07.2018

The future looks bright for a University of Northampton Games Art student after her work was featured in a major magazine.

ImagineFX, the world’s best-selling digital art magazine, devoted a double-page spread to Ellie Cooper’s portfolio – and she’s hoping the exposure will help her to land her first job in the video games industry.

“I’m really happy to be in ImagineFX, especially as I am featured alongside some brilliant other artists,” said the 20 year old from Towcester.

“I had a feeling my work was going in the magazine as they asked me for higher resolution images, and when the issue came through the post I handed it to my dad to open it.

“When he found my work in there, he, myself and my mum all went a bit mad – it was a surreal feeling. I’ve since had people online congratulating me, including some industry experts, so hopefully it has helped to get my work noticed.”

Ellie’s newly found exposure has given her CV a boost as she looks to break into the games art world – something she’s now concentrating on doing, having recently completed her final year of studies.

“The games industry is incredibly tough,” said Ellie. “My ultimate ambition would to be to work for Ubisoft, especially on their Assassin’s Creed series, as that’s the game that has always inspired me.

“But for now, I’m pursuing junior design roles and it may be that I will have to undertake an internship, but whatever it takes, I’ll do it.”

Ellie discovered her love for digital art when she was 10 years old, after becoming fascinated by an image of a mythical horse. Her dad, Mark, explained it was created by somebody using Photoshop. He gave her a copy of the program to experiment with, followed by a tablet so that she could paint her own images.

Ellie said: “I was at boarding school and spent two years there in my spare time creating artwork on that tablet and I started to think about designing my own art for video games.

“Having two older brothers meant there were always video games in our house and I preferred to marvel at the graphics and backgrounds rather than the gameplay. The game that really started it all for me was Okami, and then I progressed on to a love of titles like Uncharted, Tomb Raider and The Last of Us.”

After searching for appropriate university courses, Ellie discovered Games Art at Northampton.

“I’m so glad I found it,” she said. “I’ve learnt so much and grown as a person over the last three years.

“The lecturers are amazing. When I arrived I knew nothing about the industry and what I wanted to do once I had graduated. The lecturers demystified everything for me, and gave me plenty of time to time to discover what I wanted to specialise in, whether it was character, concept or environment art.

“I now feel fully equipped for that first job in the industry.”

View Ellie’s online portfolio.

Find out more about Games Art on the course page