Post #15 - Get to Know the Team - Amanda Cook!

Hey y’all - Erin here! Most of the team is coming back from CTN this week and we’re real tired. But we get to learn about how awesome one of our Amandas is! The other Amanda is cool too but this isn’t about her right now. We call this current Amanda Zori sometimes because her middle name is Zorianna and that’s badass. She is one of our amazing look development and concept artists. She also does a lot of super awesome shading/texturing and lighting, aaaaand she loves Pusheen. Let’s learn more Zori Facts!


Like the rest of the Broom Kids, you started your 3D journey at the University of Washington. How do you think that experience has affected you and your goals as an artist?

When I started taking classes that involved 3D computer animation, it completely changed my career path. I never realized how much I loved the field and that it could be a career for me. I wouldn’t be where I’m at now without that experience and probably still be seeking out art careers I feel like I fit in most. I’m very happy as a look development artist creating shaders and textures for characters and assets.  

“Short Changed” color studies from the UW.

“Short Changed” color studies from the UW.

“Short Changed” textures.

“Short Changed” textures.

You’ve completed some online 3D pipeline related courses. What has been your experience with those, and what is the most valuable thing you got from them?

Thanks to those classes I have a better understanding how my work in the pipeline will affect other parts of the pipeline. You work as team and you understand how each team in the pipeline is important. I also have a better understanding what parts of the pipeline I enjoy most. I know now that rigging may not be my thing, but I enjoy lighting and shading.

“Mother and Child”

“Mother and Child”

Where do you think your passion for art and animation comes from?

Art is a part of me and who I’ve always been. If I didn’t draw, paint or create, I would feel meaningless. I’m just fortunate to be raised by family who supports me and my art. Both my parents would support my efforts in art and enjoyed every piece I’d make, whether it was good or bad. My dad always hoped that I would make a series of paintings he could sell at festivals.

When I was 4 years old, I remember watching Toy Story for the first time and being blown away by it. I wondered how they made the film and studied the lighting and textures. Pocahontas came out around the same time and I fell in love with the film based on the colors and lighting. It was beautiful. I just never thought of it as a career, until I took 3D animation classes at the University of Washington.

“Studio Room”

“Studio Room”

Are there any people (artists or otherwise) that particularly inspire you in your work?

Loish has been a great inspiration for me since I was 13 yrs old. That when I got my first DeviantArt account and found her work. It’s kind of cheesy, but her drawings and illustrations touches my soul. The colors and line art are beautiful and I always feel something different in each piece she creates. I’m constantly studying her work and it would be a lie not say that my work is influenced by her.

Claude Monet is another artist that inspires me. I love expressionism and his use of colors and lines and shapes are genius. I loved his series of painting that are the same scene but with different colors and light depending on the time of day.

My freshman year of high school I had to select a famous artist and do a master study of a piece they made. I chose Monet to study his use of color, line and shape and painted Lady with a Parasol.

“Reflection”

“Reflection”

You were our Project Lead for our awesome kick ass game Detective Corgi and the Mysterious Mansion. How was being a Project Lead? What drove you to propose that project?

Whenever we start a new project, everyone has to propose a project idea. I’ve always wanted to make an interactive story game with Twine and thought it would be cool if we did that as a month long project. I LOVE CORGIS! So I pitched the idea of making a Twine game and that it would be about a corgi. I didn’t have a story in mind at the time. Ben Schiffler came up with a list of awesome stories for the corgi and one of them was about a detective corgi and I loved the idea.

Being a Project Lead was alright. It definitely had its challenges. We had a month to create the game and a lot of people were out of town for summer shenanigans. So coordinating the project where we can get all the content done, schedule meetings and meet our deadlines to a lot thought and effort from not only me but the entire team. I’m proud of what the team made in such a short amount of time.

Poster for Detective Corgi and the Mysterious Mansion.

Poster for Detective Corgi and the Mysterious Mansion.


What do you enjoy most about being a Broom Kid?

Since the projects are a wide range of animations and games, I’m always trying new artist things that I normally wouldn’t do. I’ve enjoyed getting to make 2D animations, pixel art, 2D game assets, and make unique shaders and textures for films.

I also love how everyone has a voice in what projects we work on. We also can pitch thoughts and opinions during production on what we want to work on, what would be cool to have in the project, as well as voice concerns we may have. It’s pretty open where you can speak up if you need to.

Lastly, everyone in studio is fun to work with. It’s a great environment when you work with people who are talented and are are like family to you.

Background for Detective Corgi and the Mysterious Mansion.

Background for Detective Corgi and the Mysterious Mansion.

What are your goals for your career as an artist?

I hope to move further in my career as a shading/texture artist and make it into full feature films. Afterwards I would also love to work for a company called Polyarc that makes VR games. I fell in love with their game called Moss, and would love to be a part of their team to make great VR games.

What’s your favorite vegetable?

That’s easy! The potato! Potatoes are delicious in any cooked form. They’re a great comfort food that I’ll eat any day. :)

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Where can readers find your socials and see more of your awesome work?

I’m on a lot of social pages. My instagram is the most active page and all my work can be seen on tumblr.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/zoriannaarts/

Tumblr: http://zoriannaarts.tumblr.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ZoriannaArts/

ArtStation:https://www.artstation.com/skyzer04

Also my website:
Amandazoriannacook.com