Role: Flash Animator and Illustrator
Hello, I am Chris, and I am 17 years old. I live in New Hampshire (US) where I attend Pinkerton Academy. I am not sure where my life is headed, but I am interested in Computer’s and Business. I also enjoy my English classes; we’ll see were that takes me. I am serious about my Karate (Shaolin Kempo) and am currently a first degree black belt. I also enjoy, drawing, making videos, creating computer games for myself and friends, listening to music, and hanging out with good company.
ThinkQuest was a completely new experience for me. I have never actually met anyone who lived in a country other than the United States and Canada. My involvement began when Mr. Poirier came to see my Web Page Design teacher looking for someone with talent in that area. She recommended me so we met and he told me all about TQ and the contest. I didn’t know such a thing existed, and I was immediately interested. I spoke to my teacher and my parents about the offer and signed on a few days later. I never imagined it would be as interesting as it is, interacting with talented kids like this from around the world. And win or lose, I think we have all made friends that will last forever. We have also picked up new skills and improved others and no one can take that away.
My first TQ team assignment was to draw a few sketches of a potential mascot. I came up with four completely different characters and the vote came back unanimous: “The blue one with no eyes.” I modified the sketch a few times with the end result being MM-19 who appears throughout our web site. We were also asked to come up with two ideas for the name of the website. I was tickled when one of mine (Manufactured Minds ) was chosen. The subject of AI really grew on me as the articles came in and the site grew. Chloe was charged with coming up with neat animation ideas to supplement the articles Amelia was writing and I blended MM 19 into Chloe’s ideas and made it happen.
I have always been interested in design and I love to entertain people. Collaborating with these guys helped me expand my knowledge in the design area and taught me how to use new mediums to reach people and make them feel and make them laugh. I learned how to animate using flash and also learned that when I really try, I can really draw. It also taught me some real life lessons on how to work as a member of a team, and made me realize that it takes a great team with a great attitude to come up with something extraordinary.
I had to overcome many challenges along the way. For instance, I had to learn flash quickly, but I got through it. And it was more than just learning new software: there is so much involved in being on a TQ team and it requires a lot of time. Finding enough time was a big issue for me but I overcame it with better time management, a change in my work ethic and support from the team all the way through. When we were in crunch time, lack of sleep got to me once or twice but TQ had to be top priority. I am glad I didn’t pass up this opportunity. It was a great way to meet awesome people and learn a ton, and have a great time doing it. Our individual time zones were widely spread, and it seemed that no matter when set up a meeting, we were inconveniencing someone or other. But we were all there when we had to be, and we got things done together when they had to get done. I leave you with the words we used to end all of our chats with: Good Morning, Good Afternoon and Goodnight!