I owe a lot to my family. They are a beautiful amalgamation of artistic wanderers and tech junkies who fed my sisters and I a bright, healthy childhood filled with amazing memories and opportunities. My parents are two of the strongest people I know, and I’m proud to say that it was their love of gaming that got us hooked.
The story is an old one, but my family still enjoys telling it. When we were first brought home from the hospital, my parents would take turns caring for my twin sister and I throughout the night while playing The Legend of Zelda and The Adventure of Link. When we’d cry in our cribs, Mom or Dad would reach for the joystick and announce “Your turn!” to the other, forcing him or her to change a diaper or give us a bottle. Several years later, I started my own journeys on that NES as a way to pass time, beat records, and bond with family after dinner.
My elementary years were filled with title such as Tennis, Excitebike, Bionic Commando, F-1 Sensation, and more. One of my grandfathers headed security for the National Capitol building here in Washington, D.C. while we were growing up, so he had access to many wonderful advancements in technology. We had a hulking computer before many people did, amongst other crazy gadgets, and my grandfather bought us games he thought we’d like to play on it. We started our PC adventures with Putt-Putt Joins the Parade, the Myst series, and other educational adventures that we could not get enough of. Whenever we’d hit a snag and were stumped in a game, we would ask him for help or want him to beat it for us. He’d carefully hunch over the keyboard, take a long look, and step back. “No,” he said, “just can’t do it. You girls have to figure it out on your own!” He would shoot us a wink, sit back down with his newspaper, and watch us brainstorm. Apart from that, we enjoyed watching our uncles play on their Atari and Intellivision sets, which we still have and still play with to this day.
I was blessed enough to experience these memories that spawned a love of gaming. Through the years, I came to adore our N64. Titles such as Super Mario 64, Perfect Dark, and Mario Kart 64 kept me busy, but it was one
specific game that allowed me to realize a goal I am currently working towards – to apply my skills and talent in the arts to a career in Game Art and Design.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time came through the door with my dad waving it through the air. Once we settled in to watch him begin the quest,my mouth literally dropped. I was hooked not only on the game itself, but the
entire story arc. The creative vision of Hyrule and the 3D game play experience blew me away. Prima guides began finding their way into my middle school backpack, I had eight sketchbooks dedicated to characters from games I loved and there was always just enough time for another play-through with my dad and sisters after algebra homework.
Post high school life had me busy apprenticing in a tattoo parlor, designing children’s book covers, and digitally painting backgrounds for some feature films. While these films are still in their production phases, these have been amazing opportunities to have my creative talents put to good use! I even did a brief stint as a Gamer Model, promoting games and development companies at certain events, before I gave in to the call for video games to become my entire life.
Currently, I’m focusing on my Bachelor’s in Game Art and Design, a degree that had me seriously dormant in the gaming world for over two years, however contradictory that may seem. Amidst the frantic rush of project deadlines for school, I landed a spot as a student staff member on my Institute’s National Chapter of the International Game Developer’s Association. There, I became and still am the Guest Speaker Coordinator for student events and interviews. I’ve had the honor of interviewing some industry giants – a favorite being Bruno Velazquez, the Lead In-Game Animator for God of War II and III – and contributing concept art for a game that we students are working on. It is the art aspect of gaming that continues to reel me in, although I’m getting a whole lot better at 3D modeling and animation. I’m hoping to one day gain a Concept Art position within a developer’s studio.
Since I am nearly finished with my degree, I have been longing for the days I would hop onto Xbox Live, hang out with dear friends, and dominate zombies across a ruined battlefield. My love of cultivating relationships and the longing to get back into gaming led me to a group I've always been hearing about – PMS Clan. I believe in and support all that this group of devoted female and male gamers stands for. I’m hoping to contribute my joy of writing and artistic perspective to better enable the clan to soar even farther. I want to support this clan with my ever-growing network, love of writing and art, and passion for games through as many avenues as possible.