Leaving home can be tough – especially when home is an entire ocean away – but for Louice Adler, she knew it was what she needed to do to take her career to the next level. A self-taught artist from the time she was old enough to hold a pen, Louice moved from Sweden to Florida to pursue a degree in Computer Animation.
“I wanted to seek out a career within concept art and graphic design, and I knew that I needed a degree to be considered anywhere,” says Louice. “I wasn’t interested in a traditional art education. Computer Animation sounded like a great opportunity to me because I could continue my 2D art studies while gaining experience in 3D graphics, which would make me a more valuable asset in the gaming industry.”
At Full Sail (which she was drawn to because of the accelerated, two-year bachelor’s degree program), Louice sharpened her skills, all while getting acclimated to life in a culture much different than the one she had grown up in.
“In Sweden you’re not afraid to walk up to a person and be friendly and give them a big hug, where as over here, it’s kind of like, ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa, what are you doing?’” says Louice. “But I’ve really enjoyed engrossing myself in the culture. My best advice for international students is to be open-minded and willing to learn new things.”
After graduating in 2008, she spent a year freelancing – designing advertisements, T-shirts, and logos for clients ranging from a fitness magazine to a dental office – before attending a game conference with the intention of making as many contacts as possible. One of those contacts was an art director at Tripwire Interactive, who, impressed with her portfolio, reached out to Louice about doing some contract work. She was hired as a full-time concept artist and graphic designer a few short months later.
At Tripwire, Louice handles all things 2D: designing advertisements for magazines, creating concept art, and developing logos and icons. While she’s definitely more focused on the 2D side of things, the 3D skills she gained at Full Sail have been a huge help.
“At a small studio, you wear several hats,” says Louice. “So the fact that I can pick up and help the texture artists with creating and refining textures is very helpful. I’ve become valuable to the company because I can help out in so many different areas.”
Tripwire Interactive, headquartered in Roswell, Georgia, is an indie game development studio known for the Red Orchestra and Killing Floor series. In 2013, the studio’s World War II-themed, first-person shooter game Rising Storm was named PC Gamer’s Multiplayer Game of the Year. Louice has been an integral part of bringing several of those titles to life, and while she could probably return to Sweden and find a job at a studio back home, she’s happy where she is now.
“My biggest dream since I was a kid has been to see my 2D concepts come alive,” says Louice. “It’s incredibly rewarding when you manage to draw something and someone’s like, ‘That’s it! That’s exactly how I saw it in my head!’ That moment to me is the best moment you can have as an artist. When I saw what I had created in 2D in a game, running around a level and interacting with other things, it was mind-blowing.”