Forbes Magazine‘s annual 30 Under 30 list recognizes the outstanding achievements of young professionals in a variety of creative, technical, and business disciplines. Released this January, their most recent annual roundup included 15 different categories, and among those selected in Games & Apps was Full Sail Computer Animation and Entertainment Business graduate Keith Guerrette.
Keith is an artist in the video game industry – acting as visual effects lead at popular gaming studio Naughty Dog, where he’s been since 2008. His credits include the realistic graphic effects seen in Uncharted 2 and 3, as well as the studio’s acclaimed 2013 title The Last of Us, winner of numerous industry accolades. Keith was nominated for the Forbes list by two industry colleagues, and the news of his inclusion was obviously a pleasant surprise.
“I only found out about it the day before the article was released,” he says. “The truth is that being included in this year’s 30 Under 30 has left me incredibly, whole-heartedly, honored and blown away. I come to the office every day, good and bad, sit down, and work hard on something that I’m passionate about – it never really occurs to me that other people care about the work I’m doing on such a personal level. This has been one of the most meaningful and redeeming honors that I’ve ever been granted.”
Keith is currently deep in production in the next chapter in the Uncharted series, which is being built exclusively for the new Playstation 4. Speaking about the closely-guarded project, he explained how the recent recognition has only inspired him to work harder on the game’s next-gen visuals. “Since I found out I’ve just been pushing myself on my projects,” he says. “I’ve already been given this honor, but I feel like I really need to earn it this year.”
2013 was a big year for Keith, which also saw him mark the tenth anniversary of starting his career path at Full Sail. The Forbes honor has given him a moment to reflect on all that’s happened since his first day of class, and the amount of hard work and creativity that helped him get to this place in his field.
“Ten years ago, when I first started at Full Sail, I never would have dreamed of being in the position that I am at Naughty Dog, making these games that I love, let alone being distinguished as an individual for the work that I’m doing,” he says. “I look back on it, and I know I’ve made the right choices for myself. And apparently Forbes agrees.”