@pinkotters, 26 – Funded

You can see some of artist @pinkotters on her Instagram page and she has big dreams for her art in the gaming industry. This JBL Quantum Grant winner will be graduating soon with not one, but two Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees. Here’s more about this emerging talent and what keeps her motivated.

What is your dream in gaming and/or esports? 

My dream is to be a concept character artist in the gaming industry to help diversify the field and bring representation — one character at a time!

How will this award from the 1,000 Dreams Fund help you reach your goals? 

This award will help me replace my old faulty drawing tablet with a Wacom drawing tablet! This is HUGE for me because all of my professors really emphasize how Wacoms are the industry standard. Being able to afford one and the drawing programs we need will help me advance my career so much and help me prepare for working in a studio!

What does being a 1,000 Dreams Fund – JBL Quantum Grant recipient mean to you? 

It means I am closer to making my dream a reality. It means that people saw my dream and believed in me enough to take a chance on me. It means that I am a part of a community that wants to see me succeed and I am excited to be able to give back in the future! Thank you so much, 1DF and JBL!

Women are underrepresented in gaming and esports. What can we do to change this?

Sharing knowledge and experiences relating to the gaming and esports industry is essential for minimizing female underrepresentation in the field.

I strongly believe that many women are willing and ready to put in the work to develop a career in gaming and esports, but the lack of information that is readily available to them can be a huge obstacle to overcome. Sometimes it is the lack of knowing who to reach out to, what websites to read information from, or even what questions to ask that can hold many women back.

This is why I really enjoy the 1DF community and the MentorHer program, as it provides a space where it is safe to ask any questions and a platform for mentors and mentees to communicate and help each other out!

This is to say that if we work together and share information and experiences that other women may not have had yet, we can really help elevate each other and make our mark in gaming and esports.

What are some of the challenges you have faced along the way?

I have struggled a lot throughout my academic career because of financial instability. As a Latina and the oldest in my family, the household responsibilities would fall to me many times. My mother works really hard to support our family, which means it’s often just my siblings and me at home. I take care of the cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, helping my brothers with their schoolwork, and so on. This makes it difficult to balance my schoolwork with my home life, which has affected my grades in the past. It has also meant that I did not have any extra income for textbooks, school supplies, or any art programs/materials that I needed.

There was a point during my time at community college when I would drive to class, drive to work during my downtime (I tutored at a high school), pick up my brothers from school and drop them off at home, then return to campus for my second class. This was a rough time, needless to say!

Despite everything, I love my family and am so grateful for my mother. I am happy to say that things are a little better now, and Spring 2023 is my final semester before I graduate with two Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees!

What advice do you have for women who want to work in the gaming or esports industry? 

Talk about your passions, your goals, and your interests! The more you talk to people around you — especially people who have similar passions and goals — the more your voice will be heard. People will think about you when opportunities arise and will likely reach out. Don’t be afraid to network and ask questions; I think more people are willing to help each other out than you would think. Also, join 1DF! We want to see you succeed!

How do you stay motivated and focused on your goals? 

I think this often changes for me… sometimes, it’s my own determination and envisioning myself working in a studio. On other days, it’s the idea of being able to afford to buy my dog the yummy treats and puppucinos he deserves!

At the end of the day, though, it is the thought of one day being able to have a nice stable job in the field that I really care about and being able to pay off my mom’s house and treat my brothers to anything they want. That would make me really happy, and it keeps me going!