Introduce yourself and tell us what you do, in AIA and your job!
I am an artistic supervisor for the Creative Team in AIA. I’m responsible for reviewing work, designing mood boards, and organizing the color palettes for illustration. As a supervisor, I’ve also created the background style guide for our team. I’ve also continued my passion for mentorship from college through organized mentorship events with AIA.
Outside of AIA, I work as a Game artist at a small game studio specializing in illustration slicing. I also do a little bit of marketing, advertising, video editing, animation using a program called Spine 2D, background art, and some character and weapon concepts. I have a minor in computer science, which also helped my current responsibilities.
Share a little bit about your journey. How did you get to where you are?
I applied to the University of Michigan to learn 3D animation because I was inspired by Raj Brueggemann, an alumnus who’s now at Disney! However, I realized that more than 3D animation, I enjoyed painting backgrounds and designing character concepts.
As I was preparing to break into animation, the pandemic hit. It was rough, but then a friend told me about an opportunity at a small game studio. He knew that I could paint and draw, so he told me those skills would easily translate to game art. Since I joined a smaller studio, there were many opportunities to explore skills I was interested in. You could say that breaking into the games industry was a complete accident!
Can you tell us more about working in games and grappling with changing your ambitions, working on things you didn't expect to?
I stayed away from the video game industry throughout college because I didn’t feel like I was represented or belonged. However, I realized that you have the power to make space for yourself—your work is as valid and valuable as anyone else's regardless of background.
As for changing ambitions, it's disheartening when you pin all your hopes and worth into one thing, but my journey has made me realize you are so much more than just one type of product or idea. I stay motivated by imagining what my future could look like because I have limitless possibilities in both fields. Combining experiences that are unique to you is a great opportunity to develop your own identity as an artist.
What advice would you give to your past self?
What are you looking forward to in the future?
I think it would be great to develop my skills in my gaming-animation niche and a unique voice and style as an artist. And, it’s kind of a pipe dream, but I think it would be so fun to work on a production at a different company outside of the USA—like in Japan, for example. Artists I follow on Twitter have worked outside of the USA, and they inspire me to one day be a part of different productions across countries.
Interviewee: Deeya Chaturvedi
By Ashley Whang