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Jon Jones's Blog   Expert Blogs


Jon Jones is a veteran Art Producer and Outsourcing Manager in the video game industry with 35+ titles under his belt. He is currently based in New York City working as Outsourcing Art Manager for Avalanche Studios, a world-renowned independent game developer known for the critically and commercially successful Just Cause 2 and the recently-announced MAD MAX. 

In 2009, Jon founded and ran smArtist, an international art production management agency. Through smArtist, Jon managed a comprehensive network of international artists and art studios pulling from a wide range of skill sets and experience with all platforms. smArtist's clients included Playdom, The Workshop, Riot Games, and Sony Online Entertainment, and prior to founding the company, has worked with 2K Games, NCsoft, Vigil Games, and Ready At Dawn Studios.

His skillset, primarily focused on outsourcing, includes developing full-project art production plans, building and optimizing art pipelines, documenting and deploying technically complex proprietary tools and training external artists to use them, making schedules, creating budgets and managing large teams of artists of all disciplines. His mission is to source the best artists, hit deadlines, fit budgets and deliver on time via 24/7 availability. Jon's rapid responsiveness is accomplished through a wide array of secure cloud-based collaboration tools and every form of communication available: email, Skype, mobile and instant messaging from anywhere in the world.

Jon has a blog about art production at, and is also the creator of and, the internet's only repositories of video game art style guides and video game pitches and design documents, respectively.


Expert Blogs

Posted by Jon Jones on Wed, 06 Nov 2013 04:03:00 EST in Business/Marketing
I hear a lot of criticism of LinkedIn from game developers. What am I supposed to do with LinkedIn? Should I care? I'll show you why it matters, what not to do, how to get a pro-level profile set up, and power-tips on using LinkedIn to get a job.

Posted by Jon Jones on Thu, 21 Jun 2012 03:02:00 EDT in Art, Indie
Are you thinking of making the leap to being a full-time freelance contractor? Here are a few things you should know before making such a huge transition.

Posted by Jon Jones on Mon, 23 Apr 2012 01:22:00 EDT in Business/Marketing
With the spate of layoffs recently, I've been thinking of how to assess a studio's health so you can predict whether or not doom will come, and when. These are various ways I usually assess a studio's health and how to anticipate looming disaster.

Jon Jones's Comments

Comment In: [Blog - 12/23/2014 - 01:40]

Wow. Thank you. I never ...

Wow. Thank you. I never felt like this was something over which I deserved an apology or acknowledgement, and I hope it didn 't seem as though I expected one, but I sincerely appreciate this. I can 't imagine that this was easy to do. No worries at all.

Comment In: [Blog - 04/21/2014 - 11:46]

Great article And since it ...

Great article And since it 's relevant, I actually run a site called Game Pitches that houses the initial game pitches and design documents for a broad variety of games, both successful and unsuccessful. I thought I 'd mention it as a potential complementary learning resource.

Comment In: [Blog - 03/04/2014 - 11:58]

Congrats on finding a place ...

Congrats on finding a place that values you And I completely agree with never making a decision out of fear. It 's a damned hard thing to do, but it absolutely pays off going in clear-headed and being willing to say no to something you know isn 't right. r ...

Comment In: [Blog - 02/20/2014 - 03:39]

I emphatically agree with your ...

I emphatically agree with your points about information-sharing and documentation. In fact, I 've spent nearly 11 years blogging and writing about art production and outsourcing best practices for games to help develop and share best practices. r n r nHowever, man.. Alzheimer 's is a very unfortunate label to ...

Comment In: [Blog - 11/06/2013 - 04:03]

Just curious. Not trying to ...

Just curious. Not trying to poke holes in your point or anything. Some people prefer not to do the social media thing to the extent that others do, and I 'm always curious to find out why and to what extent. : I 'm a more passionate proponent than most ...

Comment In: [Blog - 11/05/2013 - 02:00]

Loved the article It 's ...

Loved the article It 's rare to get a production breakdown like that from outsourcing studios. Clever reuse of assets and use of resources. I 'm definitely interested in learning more about the requirements of making a hidden puzzle game and what your 2D overpainting processes are like. This is ...