On Monday (June 2), Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) announced the winner of the 2014 Gamers in Real Life (G.I.R.L.) Scholarship, a program established in 2008 to encourage women to pursue careers in the areas of development and design within the video game industry. This year’s recipient is CalArts’ Character Animation student Erin Loelius (Film/Video BFA 16).
Loelius has been awarded a $10,000 scholarship to use toward tuition and other educational expenses. She is also spending 10 weeks on a paid internship at SOE’s headquarters in San Diego this summer working on two SOE game titles, Landmark and EverQuest Next. As part of the internship, Loelius will work alongside Rosie Rappaport, current senior art director for both titles and original art director for the classic game EverQuest.
Loelius has always found video game art to be a source for inspiration in her work.
“I grew up playing games, so inspiration from video games has always found a way into my art, and that’s what makes this internship opportunity so amazing and fitting,” she said in the SOE press release. “Someday I hope to collaborate on games with the same quirkiness and whimsy of the games I grew up on. I’d love to create something that pushes people’s imaginations and makes them remember their gaming childhoods.”
G.I.R.L. competition finalists were asked to submit two pieces of original concept art inspired by either PlanetSide 2 or the EverQuest franchise, and an essay discussing their views on women in the gaming industry. Loelius’s winning entry was inspired by the characters and environments in the EverQuest franchise. The images are above.
Fellow character animator Quinne Larsen (Film/Video BFA 16) won the scholarship in 2012.