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Currently completing her final year in a Bachelor of Creative Technologies at Media Design School, ACG Parnell College alumna Caroline Tompkins already has a résumé many would envy. Embracing the broad range of opportunities she has encountered across the gaming landscape, her breadth of experience has made her a force to be reckoned with.
While always artistic, it wasn’t until Year 12 that Caroline began to consider her future options seriously. Deciding that she wanted to pursue a creative career, she began working towards that end and has since chosen to concentrate on the gaming industry.
“My degree specifically focuses on the production of art and assets for games,” she confirms. “I definitely want to work in the gaming industry, and a specific career aspiration of mine would be to one day produce art for Wizards of The Coast – a publisher that produces games such as Dungeons and Dragons and Magic: The Gathering.”
After completing her Middle School and College years at ACG Parnell, Caroline graduated in 2018. Confident she was well equipped to face the challenges of tertiary study, she fondly remembers her time at the school, especially the personal connections she continues to maintain.
“ACG Parnell College prepares students well for tertiary study in a number of areas,” she says. “I believe the independence, time, and self-management skills that the school fosters have been the most impactful and helpful in my own study.”
Though the move to higher education held no particular surprises for the talented artist, she has been particularly impressed with her lecturers’ knowledge, enthusiasm, and varied approaches when teaching specific creative topics.
“The expertise and passion of the lecturers is easily the best thing about Media Design School. And when you combine this with smaller class sizes, it means that you are easily able to receive feedback in a timely manner, and lecturers know the specific details of individual student’s projects.”
Involved in numerous activities during her time at the design school, Caroline counts many of the released game projects that she has worked on among her proudest achievements. However, she has also tackled several independent commercial assignments outside of the academic environment, most recently taking a hand in producing Robert Rakete’s much anticipated Kiwi Wiggles jersey.
Although a little different from her current focus on interactive gaming and voice-controlled storybooks, the digital maven was understandably thrilled to take on this commission. And while the fabric for the jersey was based on artwork created by young students at Robert’s former primary school, Caroline was responsible for the design.
“Nikki Rakete, my former art teacher at Parnell College, initially reached out to me, and I was honoured to learn that I was actually the first person she had in mind! A lot of the work I completed while at ACG had elements of costume design, and I was interested in working on something that would have a tangible, real end result.”
Both Robert and the Wiggles team were delighted with the finished product.
“Not only did Caroline do a brilliant job, but she turned it around very quickly,” adds the Kiwi Wiggle. “The final result is eye-catching and exactly what we wanted. She is a real talent and was a pleasure to work with!”
And for Nikki, it has been extremely satisfying to consult with a former student professionally.
“It has been brilliant working with her in a client/designer capacity, and she is showing all of the traits of diligence, hard work and creativity that she showed as a student,” she says. “It’s so good to see these skills develop and take flight in real life after school!”
Given her outstanding success, Caroline has this encouraging advice for all young game enthusiasts hoping to follow in her footsteps.
“Trust your teachers and keep working toward the career you want! The games industry is growing fast, so if you are looking to establish a creative career, definitely consider games as an option.”