Gratitude and Growth: My Journey as a Mentee in the Creative Industry

Photo by Ashkan Forouzani on Unsplash

As a budding artist navigating the intricate world of the creative industry, I’ve been fortunate enough to embark on a transformative journey guided by the wisdom and support of mentors. In this blog post, I aim to reflect on my experiences as a mentee in the creative industry, expressing my profound gratitude for the mentors who have played a pivotal role in shaping my early career.

 

The Power of Mentorship: Nurturing Talent and Fostering Growth

Mentorship has been a cornerstone of my journey in the creative industry, providing me with invaluable guidance, support, and encouragement as I navigate the complexities of this ever-evolving landscape. From my early days as a fledgling artist to my current endeavors in the field, I’ve had the privilege of learning from some truly inspiring individuals who have helped me unlock my full potential.

At Think Tank, DNEG, EA, and Women in Animation, I’ve been fortunate enough to cross paths with mentors who have gone above and beyond to nurture my talent and foster my growth. Their wisdom, expertise, and unwavering support have been instrumental in shaping my early career and propelling me forward on the path to success.

 

Lessons Learned: Insights and Inspiration from Mentors

Through my interactions with mentors, I’ve gained invaluable insights into the inner workings of the creative industry, learning from their experiences, successes, and even their setbacks. Their guidance has helped me navigate the challenges and uncertainties of this competitive field, instilling in me the confidence and resilience needed to overcome obstacles and forge ahead.

One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned from my mentors is the importance of perseverance and self-belief in the face of adversity. Their words of encouragement and unwavering support have served as a constant source of inspiration, reminding me that with dedication, determination, and a willingness to learn, anything is possible.

 

A Grateful Heart: Acknowledging the Impact of Mentorship

As I reflect on my journey as a mentee, I am filled with an overwhelming sense of gratitude for the mentors who have guided me along the way. Their generosity, kindness, and unwavering belief in my potential have left an indelible mark on my career and shaped me into the artist I am today.

To all my mentors, I extend my deepest thanks for your invaluable guidance and support. Your mentorship has not only helped me grow as an artist but has also instilled in me a sense of purpose and direction in my career.

 

Conclusion: Paying It Forward

In conclusion, mentorship is a powerful force that can shape the trajectory of one’s career and foster a culture of growth and excellence within the creative industry. As I continue on my journey, I am committed to paying it forward by being receptive to guidance and support from others as I navigate my early career. By remaining open to learning and growth, I hope to one day be in a position to mentor and support aspiring artists, just as my mentors have done for me. Together, we can empower the next generation of talent and nurture their growth, ensuring that the creative industry continues to thrive and flourish for years to come.

10 Tips of Things I Learned from My First GDC Experience

Last year, I had the incredible opportunity to attend GDC thanks to a scholarship, and it was truly a game-changer for me.
However, navigating San Francisco during the conference posed its own challenges, especially given the city’s economic situation.

Here are 10 tips I gathered that might be helpful for first-timers:

🛌 1) Accommodation: 
Be mindful of where you stay, especially if you’re traveling solo. Research safe neighborhoods in advance.

💜 2) Safety First:
Sadly, there have been concerning incidents at after-parties. Consider skipping them and prioritize your safety. I opted for relaxing evenings at the hotel after the conference sessions.

💸 3) Budget Wisely:
San Francisco is notorious for its high cost of living. Plan your expenses ahead, including meals and transportation.

👟4) Comfort is Key:
Trust me on this one – wear comfortable shoes! The convention center is massive, and you’ll be doing a lot of walking between sessions.

💧5) Stay Hydrated:
With the hustle and bustle of the conference, it’s easy to forget to drink water. Keep a bottle with you to stay hydrated throughout the day.

😌 6) Patience Pays Off:
The last few days of the conference can get hectic, especially around the booths. Be patient and brace yourself for crowds if you’re eyeing some swag.

🗣 7) Prioritize Round Tables:
While all sessions are recorded and available in the GDC Vault, round table discussions are not. If you’re considering attending round tables, prioritize them as they offer unique, unrecorded insights and networking opportunities.

📸 8) Explore the City: 
If you have some downtime between sessions, consider exploring San Francisco. I personally visited the Walt Disney Family Museum and it was an unforgettable experience. Learning about Walt Disney’s story and seeing original sketches from beloved childhood movies was incredibly inspiring. Don’t miss out on exploring the city’s rich cultural offerings – it’s a worthwhile break from the conference hustle!

🎮 9) Explore Indie Games:During the expo days, I was in awe of the sheer number of amazing indie games on display. If you’re a fan of indie games, I highly recommend checking them out. You’ll discover unique and innovative titles that may just become your new favorites!

🏁 10) Beat the Badge Line:
If you’re arriving a day before the conference, try to visit the convention center to collect your badge. If that’s not possible, plan to arrive early on the first day, as the badge pickup line can get incredibly long.

Attending GDC was an enriching experience that not only expanded my knowledge but also taught me valuable lessons about navigating industry events.
If you’re heading to GDC for the first time, I hope these tips come in handy!
Can’t wait to see what GDC 2024 has in store for all of us. 🎮✨️

Entering the Gaming Industry: My Journey and Commitment to Change

Embarking on my journey in the gaming industry, I faced numerous challenges. As the lone woman in the development department, it was disheartening to feel unheard and see my ideas appropriated without credit. Additionally, confronting racial bias and cultural differences only compounded the difficulties.
At times, self-doubt crept in, questioning my abilities and sense of belonging. The lack of camaraderie and support in my initial experience left an emotional toll, casting doubt on my future endeavors.

Fortunately, every trial has its end. Transitioning to a more inclusive workplace restored my confidence and sense of self. It prompted me to give back, particularly to women and girls enduring similar hardships. Becoming one of the Ambassadors for Women in Games, I feel incredibly fortunate to advocate for change.
Recognizing the urgent need for a more equitable industry, I believe companies must cultivate environments that foster diversity and respect. By providing equal opportunities for growth, regardless of gender, we can empower all individuals to thrive. Through my involvement with WIGJ, I am committed to driving this transformative shift.

 

Women in Games: Empowering Change in the Industry

Established in 2009 by David Smith and joined by Marie-Claire Isaaman in 2016, Women in Games (WIGJ) stands as a beacon of hope for gender equality in the gaming sector. Run entirely by dedicated part-time staff and volunteers, the organization has expanded its reach globally.
As one of over 400 individual Ambassadors spanning 47 countries, I am proud to support WIGJ’s mission to eradicate gender discrimination. From hosting events and conferences to collaborating with partners on educational initiatives, WIGJ strives to inspire girls to pursue careers in gaming.
A pivotal moment at one of our conferences was 2020’s Avivah Wittenberg-Cox’s illuminating keynote address. As CEO of 20-First, she highlighted the gender balance disparity in the industry, emphasizing the importance of diversity. Despite comprising nearly half of global gamers, women remain vastly underrepresented in the workforce.

To truly effect change, we must all take a stand. Whether in the industry or beyond, it is incumbent upon us to challenge injustice whenever we encounter it. Let us be catalysts for a more inclusive future—for women and for all. Join me in supporting Women in Games today. Your donation or involvement can make a world of difference in creating a brighter, more inclusive gaming industry for all.

 

You and/or your company can support the work of Women In Games by making a donation.
If you’re interested in becoming an ambassador, you can apply here.