An interview with: Atomhawk
Atomhawk's Founder and Director, Ron Ashtiani, set up Atomhawk in 2009 with three other artists following the demise of Midway Games where Ron had previously been Art Director. Their aim was to provide outstanding digital art and design for the video games and digital media industries and to challenge the way that creative services within those industries were being delivered. Since then the company has been flying high working with global companies such as Warner Brothers, Sony and Marvel. We caught up with the team at their office in Gateshead
- What drew you to base your office in Gateshead?
We had great support from Gateshead Council in providing us with affordable office space and access to the finance we needed to get out business off the ground.
- What do you specialise in?
We specialise in creating digital art and design for the entertainment industry, from games, film and TV to theme parks. We work with our clients to create ideas for new worlds and characters then bring them to life through art, design and animation.
- What makes you stand out from competitors?
We have a team of highly skilled artists and designers drawn from across the world who all work in house together in our studios in Gateshead and Vancouver. We also have a brilliant production team who help to facilitate world-class work and deliver an outstanding service to our clients, meaning we're able to sustain long-term relationships and retain our reputation for being a high-quality service provider.
- Do you have any exciting news to tell?
We've recently been listed in Creative England's CE50 list of the best up and coming, innovative and disruptive companies in films games and digital tech as well as being nominated for a games industry Develop Award for Best Visual Outsourcer. We're also proud to be involved in the 2018 Great Exhibition of the North with some of our artwork being exhibited at the Great North Museum: Hancock as well as our Founder/Director Ron Ashtiani speaking at the museum about our work on Guardians of the Galaxy.
- What are your thoughts on PROTO, the new R+D Centre for Emerging Tech in Gateshead?
We're excited to see how PROTO will impact on the growing digital and creative sector in the North East and look forward to seeing some innovative and exciting new projects being developed so close to our own home.
- How (if at all) have Gateshead Council supported your business?
Gateshead Council supported Atomhawk in getting started as a small start-up and has continued to aid the company's growth by allowing us to take on increasingly more space within the Northern Design Centre and helping us to create a positive and personalised working environment for our team.
- What is a common misperception about the North East?
I think a common misconception is that the region is stuck in a past that was wholly reliant on industries like mining and manufacturing when the reality is that there's a growing number of digital, tech and creative companies who're really looking to the future and changing the culture and expectations of what the North East can offer.