BY PAM STEVENS | MANAGING EDITOR
The contest requested a Valve/Nerdist mashup piece of artwork. Because Schwarzmiller won the contest she was awarded a trip to Las Vegas to the D.I.C.E. (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain) Summit, which was held at the Hard Rock Café & Casino last week.
“I found out about the Nerdist-Valve mash-up art contest through the Nerdist podcas t. Chris Hardwick [the guy behind Nerdist] interviewed Gabe Newell [head of Valve] about his company and games, and they put together the art contest. I adore the podcast and Valve, so I went onto the Nerdist website for more information,” Schwarzmiller said.
She spent a lot of time brainstorming and even second-guessed herself a little but in the end, her idea was obviously the right choice.
“To come up with ideas I always brainstorm. One of my teachers told me to come up with several ideas when preparing to do an illustration, because while you may think your first idea is fantastic, after brainstorming it’s very rarely the one you use,” she said. “I attached two pictures of the brainstorming/rough draft pages from my notebook.”
Schwarzmiller is an illustrator and is excited for all she learned while at the D.I.C.E. convention and for the chance to get first class treatment while she is there. Veteran producer, writer and director J.J. Abrams and president and co-founder of Valve Corporation (an entertainment software company out of Bellevue, Wash.) Gabe Newell were keynote speakers at the event.
“It feels fantastic to be the winner of the contest! Not only am I flying first class to Vegas—which is already amazing—I get to attend the D.I.C.E. Summit, which is like a dream to me,” Schwarzmiller said. “This is the networking opportunity of a lifetime. I’m an illustrator. So I’ll try getting the knowledge I can out of the other people at the D.I.C.E. Summit and, if I’m incredibly lucky, I could get a job interview or a scholarship.”
Schwarzmiller also makes t-shirt designs and has done other types of creative art as well.
“I make t-shirt designs — you can find some of my old ones at http://www.redbubble.com/people/vintzent. I am learning how to be a tattoo artist, and I have done ten tattoos so far,” Schwarzmiller said.