Sunday, 13 October 2013

Get your first free waffles here

Hello, I’m going to introduce myself as Liv, however I have been called everything under the sun that a girl named Olivia could be referred to as, and I have to say the only one I object to is Olive (mainly because I don’t like olives. I mean why anyone would want something that tastes like a savory grape is beyond me).

Anyway, this blog is dedicated to the Game Art Design course I have just started at De Montfort University in Leicester and am thoroughly keen to get started on, even though the prospect of having to get SO good SO quickly seems way out of the estimate of my capabilities. I guess that’s why I’m here though, to show that I can do it, that I can prove everyone’s judgement wrong, even my own sometimes.

Before I start, you’re probably wondering why the blog title is ‘Free Waffles’ and yet there is not even a morsel of syrup covered waffle in sight. That’s because I’m actually referring to my own waffling which I find is often a nuisance when I've been told to be concise, so a warning to you now that my blog may end up seeming like a bit of a novel…or three. Also, this absolute Garden of Eden you've stumbled upon is all here for you to feast your eyes upon whenever you feel like it, so feel ‘Free’ to come back and check anytime.

So who am I? What’s my background? And all that jazz that I’m sure you’re so delightfully keen to know about. I come from Chelmsford, which is a recently dubbed city in Essex, and sadly is full of all the so-called Essex guys and girls you’re all probably so familiar with. I can safely say that I don’t sound or act anything like the stereotype that is thrust upon me as my mum would probably throw me out if I ever said ‘brup’. I have two siblings; a brother and a sister, and neither of them are anything like me at all, and both are worryingly uninterested in art. I do think having siblings gives you a certain tolerance for other people, and can give you a chance to be a team player sometimes, so I feel like I can get along with people even if they seem like they've been personally sent by the devil to wind me up, which is a good thing right? As for hobbies, I like climbing, skiing, cooking (I've been dubbed the Ramsey of my flat), and well basically, I like games. I could have spent an entire weekend trying to come up with a better way to accentuate what I feel about games but, let’s be honest, is there really much point? People like games. It’s why I’m here, it’s why you’re reading this, and it’s why everyone else on my course is sitting at home racking their brains whilst trying to figure out 3ds Max and shouting very unprofessional words at the screen as if it can respond.

The moment I was bought my first console I was quite obsessed with games. I grew up playing Crash Bandicoot at 7 in the morning before I went to school and leaving the console on the whole day until I got back to start right where I left off, shooting my parent’s electricity bills through the roof. My parents never really understood why I liked them so much, and I don’t really know whether they still do to this day, but they support me with all their hearts and would have done no matter what I had chosen to pursue. I know you probably don’t need to know, but my favourite game of all time is Jak and Daxter. I don’t really think I’ll ever be able to quite put it into words why I love it so much, but it was one of the first games I ever completed from start to finish, the no loading screen between areas was like a gift from God at the time, and it just holds a very special place in my heart because it was so incredibly fun. Also, I think it’s good to mention that games and art weren't always completely separate in my head when I was a lot younger, and that the passion for making them hasn't just come into play recently. As a child I tried to make my own games but with paper, which kind of sounds weird but they were like a board game only a bit more elaborate with levels etc. They were obviously all absolutely rubbish, but I’d spend ages making them as well as my own comic books and magazines, and I’d get my friends to play them or read them. That was all what probably started my love for art as a way of expressing myself, and before then I never really felt very good at anything but my friends loved my drawings so I got a bit of confidence for the first time. Then I went through school studying forms of fine art and by doing that I lost sight of my passion for games for a while and focused on traditional art. Up came the decision of what to do at Uni and then games suddenly came back into the equation. I considered Illustration, but I felt I didn’t really have as many motives to do the course as I do for Game Art. It just felt right in the end. Which is how I ended up here, I was just a girl who liked art, played games, and thought the idea of doing a course in Game Art was the most exciting prospect in the entire world.

I feel like it’s also important to mention that the girl who had her heart set on designing games was at one point told that she basically would not succeed. I won’t name names, I won’t even go into detail on the matter, but an interview that I had for a university went horribly wrong when they told me I wasn't good enough and that if any other university took me then they were making a huge mistake. As you can imagine, I was devastated and, with it being my first interview out of all my options, I lost all confidence and hope that I would manage to get anywhere. However, this isn't a sob story because I grew a lot of sturdiness that day, and went to all my other interviews and got offers from every other place. So even though I obviously want to do this course for me and my future, I also have that person at the back of my head telling me I’m not good enough, and that continues to push me forward and try to prove them wrong.

Now that I've finally managed to get myself here I’m going to enjoy myself, improve my skills to match the insane level some of my classmates have reached, and learn how to use a computer because I must admit I have practically the smallest amount of experience with PCs I have found out of any person who was accepted onto this course (I mean I’m not completely useless but I spent a long time trying to remember how to crop on Photoshop the other day…really). So basically, if you’d like to keep up-to-date with my work and just my life for the next few years in general, read on. Breaker breaker, over and out.

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