I had three life changing experiences, all before the age of 10. I’ll tell you about them, as they led me to where I am today.
Two of the experiences happened when I was 9 years old. My parents moved us from China to the U.S. People with disabilities were not given the same opportunities when it came to education. Right after we moved here, my parents bought me a computer to help me learn English. Instead of learning English, I discovered the magic that was Photoshop.
I couldn’t believe a program as awesome as Photoshop came free with my PC. I began my creative endeavors where most kids did in the 90’s, on GeoCities! I made banners for my favorite bands, added OG emoji’s (alt codes anyone?) to group photos. I even created my own logos, all before I learned a word of English.
Then the last life changing event happened. I watched Star Wars for the first time. I was BLOWN AWAY at all the special effects/magic/voodoo, what was this called? How did they make the movie? My research on Google lead me to visual effects. I read all the books on visual effects from our public library. I attended my high school’s computer lab daily to use the creative softwares. There, I made art, everyday. My enthusiasm, art portfolio, and perfect GPA (Asian parents) caught the eyes of the people at USC, and I was lucky enough to be given a spot in their animation program.
After USC, I got my start as a visual effects compositor for TV shows. I freelanced for years, before I opened up my own shop, Alpha Studios. Now I spend my days with a group of talented digital artists making art.
Organizations that I belong to:
1 IN 4 Coalition
Academy of Television Arts & Sciences
Visual Effects Society