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Queens of the Kingdom - Meet Riana, Art Director 🦸🏻‍♀️

QueenMiaQueenMia Posts: 9,594 Community Manager
edited March 11 in Discussions

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All great Saga needs all sort of Heroes 🦸‍♀️

As part of Women's day (on the 8th of March), Tiffi would like to take the opportunity to celebrate some of our strong and talented women at Candy Crush Friends 💪 This week, we'd like to introduce to @RianaM, Art Director - We sat down with her, asked a dew questions and here is what she's told us.

Sit down, relax, enjoy the read and come back next week for more!

"Hi! I’m Riana McKeith, art director in Candy Crush Friends Saga. I’ve been working in the games industry for over 10 years and before that I worked in animation. I’m from Ireland, lived nearly five years in Berlin before moving in London. 

As an Art Director, I’m responsible for leading the artistic vision of the game, as well as hiring and managing the art team".

1 . What was your dream job as a child?

I always wanted to be an artist, though originally I wanted to work in animation. I loved cartoons and animated films. Growing up in the 80s there was a real revival of animation and I desperately wanted to be a part of it! I would spend hours drawing, creating worlds and characters.

2. What is your favorite game? 

I don’t really have a favourite, there’s so many amazing games out there that I love for different reasons. But some of my recent favourites are ‘Return of the Obra Dinn’, a fascinating mystery game on a ghost ship, ‘Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’ the incredible open world adventure, and ‘Night in the Woods’ a sweet, original story dealing with mental health.

I love games which surprise and challenge me, that makes me think and allow me to explore new stories and worlds. 

3. What do you like about your position?

 I can remember when I realised how lucky I was. Early on a cold, dark Monday morning, I was getting ready to go to work. I had just started in the games industry and it struck me how much I was looking forward to going to work, and how alien that feeling must be for most people. 

Even if my day has been challenging, I never complain because I honestly love my job. I come to the office every day, surrounded by incredible, talented and fun people, creating a game loved by millions around the world – I don’t think it gets much better than that.  

4. What are your challenges as a woman in the gaming industry?

It’s a sad truth that women face challenges in practically every industry, and games is no exception. However, while I can’t speak for all women, I know I’ve been incredibly lucky in my career – my challenges have definitely been minor in comparison to many others I know and I’ve been supported throughout my journey. 

I think there are still some major areas to address. In my case, I’m often the only woman in the meeting room, and there are very few female role models in my craft to be inspired by. You can have the uncomfortable position of feeling responsible for representing all women, in that, you need to be harder working, more talented, more perfect, to be taken as seriously as the men in the office – and if you fail, you’re confirming a stereotype that women just aren’t as good at this then men. It certainly adds extra pressure and I think it’s no surprise that women are more likely to be working late, to suffer from imposter syndrome and stress.

It’s getting better by the day, and even in my 10+ year career I’ve seen the industry change dramatically. 

5. Any advice for the women out there wanting to join a gaming company?

 Join us! If you’re interested in creating amazing experiences that brings joy to millions of people, then what are you waiting for? This is an industry is full of amazing people, where you can have an extraordinary impact. As for advice, take the time to do your research, there’s so many different kind of roles, so many different kind of companies – do you want to be a programmer, an artist, a designer? Once you know what you want to do, you can tailor your CV for the role, focus on learning specific skills and reach out to people doing those roles for advice.    

6. Do you have a motto? If yes, want to share it?

 You’ll never know what you might achieve if you don’t take a risk and once you take that risk, don’t look back. There’s always so many reasons not to try something, not to apply for the dream job, but I believe you’re a lot less likely to regret trying and failing, then not trying at all. 

7. Who Inspires you and why?

There’s so many! Though if I had to write about just one thing, I’d say I’m incredibly inspired by the art team in Candy Crush Friends Saga. Each and every one of them is an amazing artist, who’s work inspires me every day – I’m humbled to be their art director.

🍭 Well thanks so much for answering our questions, Riana! It's amazing to see your passion and inspiration. You truly are a source of inspiration yourself! 🌟

I you have any questions for her, please ask below!

Happy day everyone 🍒

More women's interview from King here!

We will post personal interviews with some of the Kingdom's Queens every Wednesday during the month of March, so that the Community is filled with their strength, their values and their girl power! Stay tuned!

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