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A Pipe Dream’s End: Welcome to Generator, Katie!

My name is Katie. I’m Generator’s newest Graphic/Web Specialist. And I must admit: I have an addiction.

I’m obsessed with creating fun, new things. All the time. I can’t stop.

It all started when I was little. LEGO, Play-Doh and K’nex were the gateway tools to blame, the culprits of many a child’s creativity. I built dozens of colourful buildings, contraptions and figurines, always feeding my craving to make gifts for people. At age five my parents bought my sisters and I our first video game system, the Super Nintendo. I was consumed with playing games including Super Mario World, Donkey Kong Country, F-Zero, and Mario Paint. Hooked on pixels, my parents had no idea that this casual video game habit would have a lasting influence.

In all the best ways, rest assured, an idea had been planted, growing into a daily desire to pursue visual art. So when we got our first family computer, I had found a new desire. I experimented with Microsoft Paint in Windows 95, later dabbling in Photoshop running Windows XP. My skills began to develop. There was something about the rush of learning new creative technology. I wanted more.

It was during my teen years I began to teach myself how to code. Learning the basics of C, then moving on to the fun visual languages such as HTML and CSS, I indulged in creating websites for friends and of my favourite things. I remember making a site to showcase my AMVs (Anime Music Videos). I even made a page for my cat, Dot. The possibilities were endless. It expanded my mind and widened my eyes to a new field: web design and development.

By the end of high school, I was still heavily into playing video games, but it wasn’t enough. I wanted to make them so I applied to Computer Science at the University of Windsor. Upon receiving my acceptance and being awarded a scholarship, I was over-the-moon happy, excited, and totally eager to immerse myself in the world of programming. My first year in the program was fuelled by a continuous, nerdy high, diving into the depths of programming, computers and their processes. But something wasn’t right. During my second year I felt a part of me was missing… I needed my creative fix.

I learned that graphic design combined both the creative and technical mix my brain needed, so I enrolled in the program offered at St. Clair College. My eyes widened at the possibilities of digital artwork. Not only could the skills I developed be used for websites and video games, but they could transfer over to the world of print and marketing. Gaining knowledge of typography, photography and design opened up my horizons. I felt like I had finally found home in this colourful, digital euphoria.

Having honed my skills in both technical and creative fields, I began my career as a graphic and web designer. While it proved to be a fun experience, I yearned for more. And then the ah-ha! moment came to me. Throughout my entire life, video games had remained a constant inspiration. I wanted to learn the skills to create games. Game Level Design at Sheridan College sounded irresistible and back to school I went. During the one year program I learned skills in designing, developing and creating video games from the ground up. I met awesome people who shared the same passions I did, and we passed around creative ideas, sharing similar stories of our drive to follow our video game-fuelled passions. Everything I loved had finally been rolled into one package.

With my skillset packed full, I returned to Windsor, Ontario; my hometown is a great city filled with new possibilities. After some searching I found a new place to call home, Generator. I’ve come to recognize it as a place where creativity isn’t stifled and flourishes under a relaxed atmosphere, powered by a great team. I happily spend my days developing websites, designing for print, and animating motion graphics. A place where I can freely express my personality, inspiration and ideas, Generator is an environment where I inhale inspiration and exhale the creative forces which have driven me since childhood.