AIE Alumni Spotlight: Corwin Waldron
Corwin Waldron was honored as a Valedictorian for the graduating Game Art & Animation class of 2019. Valedictorians are recognized for their dedication to one's study, and you can always count on their eagerness to exceed the status quo. They lead by example, and as a result, they prove themselves to be exemplary individuals cherished both inside and outside the studio. Corwin was part of the Major Production team Cafe Interstellar, the team that produced the chaotic couch co-op, Cosmechanics. Cosmechanics earned 3rd place at Pocket Gamer Conference's debut in Seattle for The Very Big Indie Pitch competition, and 3rd place for the Player's Choice Award at Seattle's Indie Game Festival, iFEST. Throughout his second year, Corwin served as one of Game Art & Animation's Teacher Assistants, a trusted and integral role for Game Art's student success.
Corwin has also made his industry breakthrough as a Game Artist/Designer at Playcrafting.
Corwin will be collaborating with the Playcrafting team to create a game for Bose augmented reality headphones.
Think back to Day 1, when you started your journey at AIE. What were your goals then?
Corwin: I wanted to be a career artist - to be able to have a full time job making art, and still have a good enough income to support a family.
Share your fondest memory while attending AIE. Where were you? Who was with you?
Corwin: I have a lot of fond memories about attending AIE. Walking into the programming room to see the engineers on my team huddled around a switch, playing our game. Laughing at surprising physics bugs. Seeing unabashed happiness coming from children who got their hands on Cosmechanics. Sitting with my fellow Teacher Assistant (Cody Decker) gawking over an obscure tool.
Now that you’ve graduated, what are you looking forward to? Has your mindset changed since you started?
Corwin: Two years is long enough for everything to change.
My goals are totally different from when I started. My life now revolves entirely around my desire to create.
What was the most important lesson you learned that you'd like to pass onto those starting their journey at AIE?
Corwin: My observation has been that the biggest blocker for many people is poor social skills. Good social skills are hard to learn, harder to teach, and absolutely essential. Some of the best advice I’ve ever received is encapsulated in two questions:
"Am I enjoying my life?"
"Is what I’m doing going to lead to me enjoying my life?"
It’s best to answer ‘yes’ to both, but "yes" to one can be fine. If the answer to both questions is "no", then it’s time for a big change!
Everyone suffers from compulsions. Some people play games compulsively. Some people eat compulsively. Some people are compelled to remain in toxic relationships. I make art compulsively. The only difference is that my compulsion is constructive. It’s hard to change your compulsions, but it is possible. This is the difference between people who are successful or not. Success is just fulfilling another kind of addiction.
There are a lot of students who come straight from high school, and some of them haven’t thought deeply about what they’re doing. Many high school students are tolerating the work because a high school diploma is easy to receive and expected. This attitude will not lead to success after AIE. No one will hire you based on your degree alone. It’s the skills learned at the school that have value.