Personal Statement

‘My passion lies within interactive media, anything that requires a sense of immersion and connection between a viewer and an artefact. The main focus of my studies and ambitions lies within a prominent area of the interactive industry, videogames. This medium is a truly immersive experience for the player, as they encounter lavish and exciting worlds, meet interesting characters and in some cases develop experiences that relate and reflect their reality. Within this medium I am a writer, a crafter of stories, in which my focus is on all aspects of immersion within the concept. In other words it’s not just a simple task of adding dialogue and in-game text. I enjoy the creativity of videogames in terms of developing a functioning narrative that will appeal and entice and in turn adds value and player-connectivity. To bring the concept to life, collaborative work is often key, in which I work with a group of creatives to develop and test a games immersive values. The experience gained from working as a collective has allowed me to understand more in-depth about the technical specifics of games design. This knowledge allows me to adapt new projects with the confidence that they are going to involve an efficient yet still creative workflow.’

The above is my positioning statement that I wrote for the yearbook. I found the task of writing it very difficult as I have consistently struggled with where I fit in the industry. I think the statement sums up where I am and where I would like to be.

I am glad that I have done it because I have been able to utilise it on my website and other places to detail what I am about and what I do as a creative.

Social Media Presence

Throughout the year I have been slowly making my online presence known. So far I have added twitter, linkedin, tumblr, vimeo and youtube to my online empire!

Although I have not been fully attentive to some of these sites. For instance I started on vimeo and youtube paying full attention to them but as I have started specialising I have slowly left these sites as I havent had anything to put on them. I may in the future however so it is still relevant to keep the login details.

Twitter – https://twitter.com/ZoeLimbert

Linkedin – http://www.linkedin.com/pub/zoe-limbert/65/aa9/85a

Tumblr – http://zlimbert.tumblr.com/

In regards to my tumblr account, I set this up to link to my website, it offers a tumblr feed and one of the main pieces of advice was to include a blog on your website to charter current affairs.

AS part of my branding I have also got a logo and style of minimalist design that features across all my online media. The logo has been great for this as it offers consistency across all platforms. I just need to figure out how to incorporate it into my actual website!!

My next moves will be to find a media site or forum that specialises in written work!

GDD, Ipads as a format.

So, for the Game Republic event – competition and networking – I wanted a better way to show the GDD, instead of it being print based. At first my initial idea was to have it set up on a screen where you could see the GDD digitally. This was to engage the person a bit more and digital format tend to fit better alongside a video game as opposed to print. Mainly because print is perceived as more traditional and games are all about advancing technology.

After some deliberation I though it would be nice to have the GDD on an Ipad, this way the viewer can use the touch functionality to turn the pages creating a more immersive experience into the concept.

I am currently still testing the format and ability to do this, but my tests and experiments with InDesign so far are going well. It is easy to create a  document for Ipad use within the programme, so all I really need to do is transfer the content over to the indesign document. I also would like to add a background image that fits the theme of the game possibly uses the same or a similar texture to that of the game logo, just so the digital book looks more like a game info pack as opposed to a plain white background that makes the document look very formal and less interesting!

Who am I?

I am trying to figure out how I want to be perceived by other creatives and clients alike. So I have been looking back over my body of work from the past three years and also re-read my personal statement for the yearbook. From these it has become clear that I am into these areas:

  • creative writing
  • games design
  • conceptualization
  • idea creation

So after much playing with words I have decided to brand myself as:

Zoe Limbert: Creative Writer, Designer, Concept Developer.

With the idea of interactive media as an underlying theme so as not to become too specialised. Although this is mentioned within my about me statement, so it isn’t a secret!!

I’m glad I am finally content with a title for myself as this is something that I have been struggling with for a long time.

Under Construction

I am currently constructing my website using the hosting site Wix. IT is going well, as the site is easy to use and understand. I so far have been putting my research to the test and successfully made three of the pages of my site.

Here are a few images of the progress so far, sadly I cannot link the site yet as it isn’t ‘live’.

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As you can see I have taken a very minimalistic approach that follows the same colour scheme as this blog. I decided to stay minimal as I think it makes the information given more easier to digest instead of the viewer being distracted by endless images and asymmetry. Although saying this I have used some asymmetrical sections to utilise the space I had to play with.

For the font I have used the font Neou that I acquired on dafont.com, I choose this one as it is the same font used on my Business cards and it is simple, clean and crisp.

I have been trying to keep the site minimal and clean but with sufficient information about myself.

I also utilised my personal statement for the yearbook on my About me page.

My only concern with doing this all myself is that it is taking a long time due to my inexperience with web design and efficiency. Although it is very interesting and a really nice achievement to say I did it myself.

My next step with it is to get my images uploaded and in the right place. I also need to consider taking some writing excerpts and placing them online. Possibly even record the use of the iPad for game republic and promote my knowledge of that aswell.

My domain is http://www.zoelimbert.com check me out when I’m live in the next couple of weeks!!

Business Cards and Logo Designs

As I am not very good with graphic design I have asked a friend to help out with the designs for my logo and business cards. The first port of call was creating a logo that I could use across all branding fronts.

logo designs logo ideasI began with these, there are some initial designs for the original yoyo and crayons that I produced then some for my amended logo, and brand.

These started as the letters ZOE fitted into the space. After some thought this design developed as you can see into being focussed on the initials ZL. It also incorporated a lighter shade of grey for the circle so that the text stands out from it.

Below is the final design for my logo.Sticking tot he theme of minimalism.

logoFrom this I have created a variation including colour that will be used for digital purposes. Whereas the grayscale version is designed for the printed business cards.

logo for web

From this I have developed a one-off business card aswell seen here:

business card planTop image is the front, bottom image is the back of the card.

This is a simple idea of a business card that I would like to have, I am going to pass this onto my graphic designer friend who will be in charge of refining the idea and design.

Ideally what I want is to have a two-tone scheme for the business card that is very minimal. This will then be screen printed down at Vernon Street in batch on some very nice card. The card I want is similar to watercolor paper in texture so it feels slightly bumpy in your hand, and is off white in colour.

I think these screen printed cards will be used for both game republic and the end of year show as they are a more personal approach to the business card, whereas in the future, when I don’t have access to the printing studio, I will probably go for online sites that offer business card printing.

 

Writers Digest Article on websites.

Writer’s Digest Article: The anatomy of a writers website.

The link above will take you to a very nice article all about the ins and outs of a writers website. IT goes into detail about how relevant it is to the promotion of your work and why exactly you need to have a website in the industry.

The article features a list of essentials for a writers website, I have listed them below with a little bit of info and my view on each section.

  1. All about you – this section needs to highlight info about you on a personal and professional level.
  2. Contact Info – scream it loud and clear, in fact some of the sites that I am using as inspiration use social media icons on multiple pages as well as a separate contact page.
  3. A picture of you – this gives a person behind all the info – makes it easier for publishers and potential clients to relate to you.
  4. A press page – if you are selling a book a press page is a must.
  5. Testimonials – Testimonials offer credit to your work.
  6. Samples of your work – even clips and edits from longer pieces of work can offer an insight to clients at what your standard of work is. For this downloadable clips is best, instead of links to other sites. I reckon the best approach is using the online abode pdf reader.
  7. Buying – if your selling a book make sure there is a link to buy it on your website!
  8. Personality – make sure you let your personality show on your site.

Art Mirrors Life, Edge Article.

Found in Edge 252, April 2013, Page 18.

The Game of Life. An article exploring the reasons behind why indie developers seem to be finding creative inspiration in their personal experiences.

The article begins with an introduction to David S Gallant’s game I Get This Call Every Day. A game in which the player takes on the role of a call center assistant tasked with a snarky customer who wants to change their address.

The article confronts the idea of play and why the majority of gamers believe that a game needs to be simply fun. It states that

“Games ability to inspire empathy should make them a prime target for autobiographical scenarios…but […] the majority of players expect all games to be ‘fun’ in a rather narrow, frivolous sense.”

This shows a sense of obscurity within the games industry that subjugate’s and out rules an area that has been starkly neglected or simply not considered…yet!

Following on from my research for my dissertation, one point was clear within all games and their respective players: A player needs to feel connected to the concept of the game. They need to feel involved and a sense of understanding and focus, because this is what keeps them immersed. From looking at the comments that Gallant’s makes within this article, it has become clear that games are respective of reality to a high degree, and if we cannot explore these important albeit personal issues within the medium of games as an art form then that reflects a big gap in the industry.

The article also mentions the work of Anna Anthropy, the creator of Dys4ia, an explorative game that shares her experiences of gender reassignment. It expresses emotional and physical complexities but it does not simply tell a story, it lets the player interact and gain an understanding of Anthropy’s experience.

If anything I believe that this is what makes video games such an important medium, and I do think that they should be utilised more for issues that are often left on the backseat. Saying this Anthropy gives a good quote to summarise:

“There’ll be a day when they realise people are more interested in meaningful human stories than military-fantasies for game-literate manbros….It won’t be a victory; that’s not the goal. The goal is to empower everyone to be able to tell their stories without depending on a big publisher to fund them.”

I like this quote. It is all about taking the power and focus off of the money that comes from games and shifting it to the narratives and personality that can be inscribed into a games existence. Ultimately it is about sharing stories, which again ties into my dissertation!

As a professional hoping to get into the industry, finding this article has not only opening my eyes but it has also made me feel more content knowing that there are professionals out their that are focused on the same goals as me. It is nice to know that there are industry professionals that believe that if money rules the gaming world all it will produce are re-representations of the same thing over and over again.

I know that trying to overthrow the power of money will never ever work and challenging it at its root won’t either but as Mahatma Ghandi once said:

“It’s the action, not the fruit of the action, that’s important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there’ll be any fruit. But that doesn’t mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.”

Rightly I would much rather be content in the work that I produce than conform to the orders of people controlled by money.

Writing a CV

It has come to the time where I need to sit down and begin writing my professional CV. Due to the nature of my work I am going to focus on a writers CV as that is what I do! Plus if I say writing I have the most projects and experience within this area so win, win!

To help me out I did a little google search to find some advice on the subject matter. Specifically I wanted to know what to include on the CV and how to do it professionally as a writer would.

I found this little gem on Band2Write.com: http://www.bang2write.com/2012/02/putting-together-writers-cvresume.html

It offers up info on what to put on your CV and why. So for instance a good section to have is the projects section, as even if the projects didn’t take off or get published, if you did work on it, it still exists and can display valuable information of your ability to write, either specifically or in my case quite versatile when it comes to genre!

 

Branding

I have been considering what I would like to be known as within my creative field. As so far I have been under the alias of Yoyos and Crayons, a name that came as a nikname a long time ago. I do like this alias but as an individual professional, and especially within the field of writing I have found that most other professionals use their name as their brand. On further inspection this is down to the name being very personal and subconsciously it adds trust between the two parties. By knowing someones name you feel like you know them more closely than you most likely do.

So, after some though I decided to stick to my name, nice and simple.

These are some domain names I played around with:

limbert.com – which turned out to be dating website!

zlimbert.com – as seen in my tumblr name, this is a nice variation.

zoelimbert.com – this is the one I choose as I felt that it looks the nicest. It is easy to remember and it was available!

Creative Networks

Last night I attended the Creative Networks event held at Leeds College of Art. The guest speaker of the event was David Shrigley, a British Visual Artist, most recognised for his humourous cartoons.

Originally I was only going to the event as I have always been an admirer of his work, but it turned out that it was actually really useful to hear another artist talk about their practice. It sort of makes you try to contextualise yourself. So I spend the entire hour annoying the people around me by scribbling notes down as fast as I could. Note to self: next time take a dictaphone to record it!

One of the key things that came across was the fact that Shrigley always saw himself as a visual artist, he always has and always will do his drawings. Something that he mentioned was that this process of doodling has always been with him, even before art school and everything like that. He always did these drawings from a very young age, and to him attending art college was a way to contextualise his work.

He describes his work as a process rather than a concept. It is a response to his life, and he doesn’t necessarily disregard the context of it, but to produce it art in the first instant this isn’t his intention. I find this quite interesting as my methodology of work almost always stems out of a conceptual context, and even though as an artist I do self-indulge I need that context to understand my work. Which I guess may be the differences between artist and designer possibly?

“if people ask you to do something, they assume you can do it”- Shrigley

The above quote I found to be quite interesting. The context of it is that if you are approached as an artist and a client wants you to do something that you have never done before, i.e. Shrigley is a cartoonist, and he gets asked to write a script for a play, the client believes that you can do it. Shrigley’s view of this is that if this happens you should always accept. I believe this applies to my practice in the sense that I’m not really that defined as an artist apart from the general feel of my work is narrative based. Which Shrigley also says that it isn’t a bad thing to be undefined, all the way through the talk he never actually labeled himself as one particular title. He mentioned that others would label him as a cartoonist but he never said he was one thing, he is simply a visual artist. I can relate to this, as I said before, I am not necessarily one thing, I do a variety of different things to build up and communicate a story. So does this mean that I am a conceptual artist?

Something that was very interesting to me was when he was discussing his cartoons. He explained that he was interested in the relationship between language and image. What I found intriguing is that his language that accompanies the image often informs the viewer of what they already know. This intensifies the meaning of the image, because he isn’t leaving it up to the viewer to guess at what it is communicating. This interests me in terms of my level of communication especially in terms of narration as it makes me consider how much control you have over the message you are communicating.