Alyss Forbes was the recipient of the SchoolTutoring $500 College Student Scholarship. We wish her every success as she pursues her education at Savannah College of Art and Design to become character designer for video games.
Tell us about yourself.
I grew up in a small town in southern Georgia, and I have a very big family. I’ve been homeschooled since second grade, which has given me a lot of time to pursue art. I think what has driven me to become an artist is that I love the end product as well as the process. Whenever I’m not sleeping, eating, or doing schoolwork, I am creating.
What was your best experience in high school?
I’d have to say my favorite high school experience would be the five week pre-college program I attended last summer. In this program, I learned how to create digital art. The programs I learned how to use in that one class inspired a series of faces, which all won state awards in the 2016 Scholastic Art Awards, and one was chosen for the Juried Congressional Art Exhibition for Georgia District 1.
What college will be you attending the Fall and for what program?
I will be attending Savannah College of Art and Design full time starting in the fall, pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration. I’ll be choosing mostly classes with relevance to character design and concept art, since that is my final goal.
What influenced your choice in major?
A few years ago, I discovered that there are people paid to make characters. I could barely believe it. They’re called character designers, and they’re responsible for creating the characters that we see in media, like animation and video games. When I found that out, I thought “that’s it, that’s what I’ve been looking for.”
How do you envision yourself in 5 years?
It’s been my dream for a long time to create characters for animation and video games. I would say my biggest inspiration would be Tetsuya Nomura, who designs characters for video games like Final Fantasy. He was how I discovered character design in the first place, even. So in five years I would like to be designing characters for a medium to large sized animation or video game company.
What do you hope to learn from your college experience?
At SCAD, I’ll be able to continue taking courses to polish my skills as well as broaden my horizons so that I have more to pull from creatively. Specifically, I’m looking forward to 3D modeling and sculpting classes. It’s also a great opportunity to learn how to present myself to potential employers.
What extracurricular activities do you enjoy?
In my free time, I like to experiment with vocal synthesizers, which are computer programs that simulate human singing. I make covers and occasionally original songs with them. I also collect dolls and stuffed animals, which fill several shelves in my room.
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