Who are you and what brings you to Ex’pression College?
I am Michael Tam, a student at Ex’pression College in Emeryville, pursuing the Game Art Design program. I didn’t come here by accident, or on a whim, but to change my one and only life, for the last time.
I’d failed other colleges numerous times before, always because of anxiety issues (I’m Autistic). This time I made sure that I came prepared for that issue as best as I can, and have been driving ahead with all the effort I can muster to try and succeed for once. I decided to pursue a degree in digital arts, as I had always seemed to have an affinity for a bit of the technical as well as the arts. I know the chances of success are low, the job market, lower, but I couldn’t ignore the fact that it’s one of the few things that could give me a bit of happiness and fulfillment that I never obtained at other occupations. As someone who has chronic depression issues, it’s a matter of life for me.
What drives you creatively?
I usually take equal amounts logic and art to come up with creations. I tend to get inspiration from modern and abstract art–I tend to look more at the ideas from them, rather than the content itself. I then find a suitable base in some sort of logic to provide support, and then spring forth with applied imagination to test and postulate various artistic possibilities, tempered and filtered by my own opinions and judgement.
What would you like to be doing ten years from now?
I would like to be in a small tight lead group of developers for prime game content in larger software titles. I don’t really want to own my own company, as I know the issues with running a small business, and I don’t deal well with them as they are my weak point.
What are your biggest influences?
I was into a lot of Japanese comic and animation stuff when I was a kid, and still carry that influence with me strongly today. Although more recently I have taken to a more abstract realistic approach to my art, with influences from modern art and architecture. I’ve always liked futuristic mechanical designs as well, although I don’t draw them often.
What do you create?
I do a lot of photo work as the bulk of my activities, since it’s the easiest. I just run around being self-important while clicking a button on a machine that does the vast majority of the work. I also do some logo, and page layout design professionally. Not very often though.
A bit of web work, but I have mostly passed it off as something more for more involved people due to the time consumed, and difficult to manage budgets. On the side I draw comic stuff and sketch things to keep in practice.
I tend to do a bit of everything I can get my hands on.