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Meet Johnathan Mueller

Today we’d like to introduce you to Johnathan Mueller.

Hi Johnathan, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Hello, and thank you for having me. I’m an Indie 3D Props Modeler / Game Dev. I started my journey back in 2014 when I signed up for Facebook, found some friends with the same interests as me, and my first client + mentor Tim Vincent. I’ve been a part of games like Valiance Online, Legends of Etherell, WarBox: Camouflage, Binarium, Quest, Remnants of Chaos, and Neon D-Fence. For a long time, I wanted to make games out of personal curiosity. Never imagined that I’d be working on multiple MMORPGs, Mobile, and Web games!

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Well, I’d like to say “everything has been perfect, not a problem ever” but I’d be lying. There have been a number of struggles. The first starts with me. I’m an introvert by nature. Anxiety has been a huge battle to overcome. If I had let it control me I wouldn’t be anywhere near what I am today. I’ve always struggled financially. Early on I didn’t know what price to charge for my services + some clients couldn’t afford proper pay led me to worry about what my future would look like. Also, the tasks I’ve worked on have been more 3D Generalist vs just 3D Props Modeler roles. I’ve rigged, animated, scene layout, lighting, texture painted, sculpted, programmed, etc. My role was just supposed to make models, but yeah sometimes I’m asked to go above and beyond to get a job done (which I’m happy to do since I know it’ll be done properly vs potentially sloppy workarounds)

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
As a Freelance 3D Props Modeler I do a lot of technical stuff. I’m skilled in both 2D and 3D tasks mostly related to game development. I can edit images using Affinity Suite, 3D Model using Blender and 3D Coat, Texture Paint using Substance painter or 3D Coat, and make games in either Unreal, Godot, Unity, or Torque3D game engines (I have experience in a lot more game engines than those 4 though). Game Dev is both a hobby and my job. For a solid 7+ years, I’ve devoted most of my time to learn how it all works.

Networking and finding a mentor can have such a positive impact on one’s life and career. Any advice?
This one question is near to my heart. As I mentioned before that I started my journey after joining Facebook. Social Media is an amazing place for meeting new people/employers. All of my clients I met there except 1 but he was introduced to me from a Facebook friend. Find a social media site that fits who you want to chat with, join a group that’s in the field you want to get hired into, socialize with other artists, game devs, etc. You never know who might have jobs/clients that might hire you too. Mentors are tricky to find. It’s one thing to have a client that wants you for your skill, another to have someone that wants to see you grow. My first client/friend Tim Vincent was an amazing mentor. We had Skype calls every night for 6 years until he passed in 2020. I learned very useful skills, and owe my career to him. That said you don’t really need a Mentor for some tasks as Youtube, Google, Udemy, etc have a lot of information now, but if you can find a Mentor, go for it!

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