Hello, world!

Who are you? What brings you to Ex’pression College? What drives you creatively? What would you like to be doing ten years from now? What are your biggest influences? What do you create?

你好,我的名字是李嘉恩。You can also call me Gabrielle. I’m a twenty-two year old college student currently studying Game Art & Design at Ex’pression College for Digital Media.

Artwork at Ex’pression – the tools I use to create!

For a long time, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I started out at George Fox University up in Oregon majoring in Communications. After a year, I returned home to the Bay Area and bounced around local community colleges. I took a lot of studio art and design classes. Photoshop classes were my favorite. In my spare time, I started brushing up on the elements of web design – HTML, CSS, Javascript, and even some PHP. I had always wanted to be an artist, but I eventually realized that I wanted to work specifically in the design field.

Playing a GBA game on my iPad emulator

As a child, I always loved video games, but my parents did not allow me any games. I got my first GameBoy Micro as a Christmas present when I was a senior in high school. Ever since, I have been hooked. I’m not so much of a gamer, surprisingly – I just don’t have the coordination. I do love well-made games, however, and I’d often play strategist while my sister gamed.

I eventually decided to choose Game Art & Design because it was a field that is both interesting and challenging to me. While I have had almost ten years of web design experience, I have not had nearly the same amount of experience with graphic design and media, let alone game art. This led me to search for schools in the Bay Area that had my major, and I chose Ex’pression. The school appealed to me – a small group of dedicated individuals who are passionate about their work. It’s the first place I’ve ever truly felt at home; the place where I feel that like-minded classmates are pursuing the same dream as me.

Art I created, based on da Vinci’s Il Condottiere.

What drives me creatively? My search for the perfect aesthetic. I see something and I automatically think how I could make it look better, work better. In my web design, I constantly edit my website to find the perfect balance of beauty, accessibility, and minimalism. I see beauty in the details and I enjoy pushing myself to create even better design work.

Ten years from now, I’d like to be working at a small but passionate game company and creating games that my family and friends can enjoy. I’d be working as a freelance web designer on the side and hopefully reading something awesome. Married, kids? Who knows? Those are the details I haven’t worked out yet.

My biggest influences include my father (who shares the same aesthetic views), my sister and mother. As far as web design goes, I admire Trent Walton, Jonathan Moore, and many others. Audrey Kawasaki has amazing artwork!

One of the walls outside my classroom

Most of what I create these days is design tailored for the web – you can check out my websites at Elletricity.com and gabriellew.ee. I also enjoy creating in terms of crafts – knitting, macrame, origami, among others.

I hope you enjoy my blog and what I share!

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3 thoughts on “Hello, world!

  1. I think its interesting that you bring up aesthetic. Many people (especially gamers when they compliment a game) forget about it. Its nice to know that there is someone that notices it. Aesthetic and graphics are different. Always keep that in mind.

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