Alex Alvarez is one of those people who obsessively played games and constantly doodled in a sketchbook as a kid. He studied art, but with no one career-oriented channel for that creativity, he didn't find himself making a living as an artist until he stumbled into a job working on comic books. A few years later, he was explaining software to movie studios and eventually opened The Gnomon Workshop, which provides training to artists who are interested in the entertainment industry.
Alvarez recently finished a six-month stint working on James Cameron's Avatar, and Gnomon just hosted the "Unleashed: The Art of Naughty Dog" art exhibit showing off works by many of the artists from Naughty Dog, several of whom went through classes at Gnomon. In this interview after Alvarez talks about the expanding reach of video games, looks back at his youth spent playing Ultima and Wizardry, and doles out plenty of advice for budding young artists.