Life and Practice
Sukinichi is a digital artist currently working in the Video Game industry with works varying on the multiple different categories of 2D art for games such as live animation via motion capture and other technologies, character design, character and prop illustration, background illustration, art concepts, user interface, and graphic design. She currently works for Ranida Games, a video game studio based in the Philippines that aims to enrich and assimilate Filipino culture and heritage through video games, ‘gameified’ applications, and live animation made by Filipinos for Filipinos. She believes that being exposed to multiple art forms will enrich her craft and being in the game industry, where multiple styles and art varieties are used, is a good step towards that aspiration.
As the pandemic rages, there has been an undeniable pressure to hasten the digitalization of everything. Society is being forced to transition from physical to digital as we scramble to find multiple ways to adjust and adapt to this change whether we like it or not. To most, digitalization has only been limited to services, but some have taken to transitioning their own persona into a purely digital platform. This segment of the internet is what I yearned to tap into through Pepper.
Through my own experiences during the multiple lockdowns, I’ve been led to think that virtualizing everything through the internet is not the end-all solution. Rather, it’s the escape to the reality that everyone is trying to deal with. It was thanks to this that there was a boom in the industry for virtual avatars and it led to me finding out about it. Like with other people who joined this community, I was looking for an escape not only from the current reality, but also from my own persona. As someone who suffered greatly from anxiety, I was all too ready to shed my skin and start a new personality even if it was behind a virtual mask. Contrary to what I had expected, though, wearing a mask online didn’t lead me to practicing a double life. In fact, my personality has improved significantly from gaining enough support and confidence through my online persona. Finally, I’ve found my voice.
This same opportunity is what I aim to give others when I conceptualized Pepper. There were two reasons why I pursued this project: one, to give others a platform to find their own voices the same way I did; and two, to finally make my contribution to the LGBTQIA+ community the best way I know how. If at least one person finds my project and tells themselves “I’ve finally found my platform,” I can consider this nothing short of successful.
Some animals, when trapped, destroy a part of themselves to be free from the shackles despite knowing that they’ll live their lives unable to recover. So for me—nay, for US—who felt trapped in more ways than one from current events: escape. Maybe through this, we won’t have to destroy something irreplaceable to be free. Shed the fear of being judged by feeling what it’s like to be accepted and embraced with open arms.
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