Nova Scotia Expat: Hardwired for home, gaming industry animator illustrates why there’s no place like Nova Scotia
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Meet ConnectNS network member Darryl Purdy, Senior Animator at Eidos Interactive in Montreal, Quebec.
What’s your tie to Nova Scotia?
I was born and raised in Antigonish County.
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear “Nova Scotia”?
Home. No matter where I live in the world, whether it be Yellowknife, NT or Brisbane, Australia or Montreal, QC, Nova Scotia always feels like home to me. I think it has to do with all the great childhood memories I have growing up in small town Nova Scotia. The relaxed easygoing lifestyle in Nova Scotia is hard to shake. I believe it's something that stays with you for life. Which I am very thankful for.
What do you love most about doing what you do professionally?
I consider myself very lucky. There are so many things I love about the work I do but the one thing that trumps all others is being surrounded by artists and creative people. Video games and the entertainment industry in general is extremely collaborative. There is nothing more energizing than sitting in a room full of talented people, from all walks of life, and putting your brains together to create something. It's never easy but when it works it's magical. I love seeing one person's idea ignite the imaginations of their peers. A chain reaction of ideas, each one building on the last. Some ideas will stick and most will be rejected, which most artists will tell you, is completely fine and to be expected. You have to get the bad ideas out of the way so the good ones can flow.
What’s the best lesson you ever learned?
Don't panic. I think you can apply this lesson to almost any aspect of life. The animation industry may seem like a fun place to work, and it surely is, but it can also be a very demanding and stressful environment. With harsh deadlines and multimillion dollar projects on the line it can quickly become less fun. During my career I have supervised large teams on large projects where expectations are extremely high but always I remind myself that when things become overwhelming it doesn't help anyone if you panic. Remain calm, focused, and logically work though the chaos.
What’s the greatest asset Nova Scotia can offer your industry?
I think one of the best things Nova Scotia has to offer is quality of life. As I mentioned earlier, my industry can be very stressful at times. Also as a commercial artist there is constant demand to be creative, day in and day out. You need a balance in life. You need to be able to decompress, to slow things down when pressure is mounting. As an artist you need stimulation and inspiration. You need to be able to creatively recharge. Nova Scotia is a great place to do this; with friendly people, beautiful diverse scenery, energetic night life, a strong commitment to the arts, it’s all there.
What do you miss most about Nova Scotia?
For me I miss the ocean and the laid back lifestyle most. People there are not only driven, they also know how to manage work-life balance. I think that’s a result of living by the ocean. There's a calming factor to the ocean and this sense of calm can be felt everywhere in Nova Scotia. It’s wonderful really. I've experienced a similar sensation when visiting other coastal areas but obviously I'm biased – there’s no place like Nova Scotia.
Darryl Purdy is a member of the ConnectNS network of proud Nova Scotians, alumni and expats from over 40 countries. Get involved.