If you’ve been following my journey online, then you are probably aware that I am engaged to this amazing human.
This is Albert Tran. My biggest supporter who is trying to make it in Esports Photography as a professional photographer!
Photography is his passion, he has spent years honing his art and technique, and provides something different with his use of bright colors, ability to capture audience and player emotion, and his lighting technique. *All photos by Albert Tran*
Right now, Albert is shooting on a Nikon D800, and it is beginning to show it’s age. In the world of technology and photography, staying on top of current market upgrades is highly important! The camera that he is looking to get is the Nikon Z 6II FX-Format Mirrorless Camera Body w/NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/4 S with adapter so that he can continue to use his current lenses and focus on just upgrading to a new camera body.
Your support will show him that he deserves to pursue this as a career, that his talent isn’t a waste, and that you believe in him. There is only so much I can do, and with your help, I know we all can make his dreams come true!
Donation Goal: $2,500
For any donations over $200, I will personally reach out to you and work to schedule a shoot with you and him (based on his schedule and location preferences**, no weddings*, 30 minute-1 hour shoot max*).
UGC: User-Generated Content. Created by people (individual creators), not brands.
UGC is a part of marketing, and allows brands to connect with individuals to get their product in front a specific demographic. It’s similar to influencer marketing, but different in that the brand can utilize the content for their own accounts on social media for advertising purpose. Helps brands build authenticity and trust within their target market!
UGC includes a variety of opportunities for engagement, from developing quality copy to attract keywords and engagement, to photography and video.
Some examples of UGC are: Product demos (Photo and Video content) Product Testimonials Brand Partnerships (Shout outs on YouTube) Product Photography (images) Unboxing Get Ready With Me (GRWM) ASMR Vlog – Day in My Life What I Ordered vs. What I Got Before & After Voice Over
Where does it come from?
Employees, brand loyalists (those on your email subscriber list!), Customers.
What do they do? Create brand assets for you to utilize. Help reduce your overhead compared to working with traditional influencers or celebrities. Increase your engagement, reach, and trust with the public.
Is UGC PR? UGC would be considered a small aspect of public relations curated between the brand and an individual, usually the individual is already aware of the brand and is able to speak honestly on the quality of service provided.
But by breaking down each of these questions into a simple alignment and quiz, it becomes much easier to begin to recognize patterns.
Who Am I?
Defining yourself can be as simple as analyzing your interests and hobbies to looking at your Astrological chart and Bryer-Miggs personality test.
Who you are is defined by your own personal values. Here’s an easy template to help guide you on defining yourself. I recommend getting a piece of paper, or opening a notepad and working off of this quiz.
Are you religious or spiritual?
No, not Religious
No, not Spiritual
Are you more conservative or are you more creative? (This has nothing to do with political stance) Extremely Conservative, Conservative, Moderate, Average, A little creative, Creative, Extremely Creative
How much does your appearance matter to you? Not At All, A little bit, Average, A lot, Extremely
Do you like color?
What do you like?
What do your interests say about you? Your interests will often reflect what you buy, what you’re drawn to, and what you’ll wear. An anime fan who is interested in fitness may be drawn to leggings and hoodies with characters on them, while a yoga instructor who is conservative may wear more traditional athleisure clothing.
Write a list of your interests and create a word map to see if there are any connections you can make. It also helps to look at your current closet to see if there are any repeating patterns, colors, or shapes that appear.
What Looks Good on Me?
Often styles you like or see in magazines, or on TikTok, Instagram, or Pinterest are reflective of current trend cycles. Which often only flatter a small portion of the population. (I can’t pull off cargo pants no matter how hard I try.)
There are a few ways to figure out if something looks good, flatters you, and fits your style.
If you like color, then you’ll probably see more in your wardrobe. But to find out if that color suits you, look to the blood vessels in your wrist. Do they appear cooler (blue/purple toned) or warmer (Green/blue) toned? Or do they appear mixed between?
Look better in silver, jewel tones, and deeper shades.
Look better in gold, peach, orange, sunset shades.
A blend between the two!
Find Your Body Type (Part One)
Everyone has a different body type and structure. All bodies fit into a different category. There is a lot of research into this, but I’ll break down the basics.
Measure your shoulders, bust, waist, hips with a measuring tape like this one, and take those measurements to see which shape matches you best below. Next week, I will break down what clothes and styles flatter different body types!
Rectangle: Your hips, bust, and shoulders are all roughly the same size.
Triangle: Shoulders and bust are narrower than hips. Slim arms and defined waist.
Spoon: Larger hips, bottom-heavy. Defined waist. Can carry weight in upper arms and upper thighs.
Hourglass: Legs and upper body proportionate. Slightly rounded shoulders. Defined waist with hips and bust equal size (or near equal)
Top Hourglass: General to hourglass with a larger bust.
Bottom Hourglass: General hourglass shape, but larger hip measurement.
Inverted Triangle: Larger shoulders and bust, narrow hips.
Round: Large/full bust, full midsection, narrow hips.
Diamond: Broader hips than shoulders, narrow bust, fuller waistline.
Athletic: Not curvy. Shoulder and hip measurements are the same.
You can take all of this information and work to form an ideal fashion style that suits you and represents who you are.
If you’d like help with this, contact or leave a comment below.
Alt Title: Picking a degree to match your career field and what you really want to do.
I’m going, to be honest with you, most programs right now that are popping up with a “Bachelors in Esports” you should be wary of. If they do not come from an accredited university, there is a chance you’ll get scammed in the long term.
An example of this would be everyone who went to Devry University, The Art Institute, and the plethora of other diploma-mill colleges that were prominent from the 1990’s-2010’s. “A diploma mill (also known as a degree mill) is a company or organization that claims to be a higher education institution but provides illegitimate academic degrees and diplomas for a fee. The degrees can be fabricated (made-up), falsified (fake), or misrepresented (practically useless).” (Wikipedia)
So how can you pick a college or career in esports and what do you do? I made a quiz to help you at least work on a path that you can take towards your ideal career to start. Keep in mind, most people job hop every 1-2 years now, and may even change career paths every 7 years. So if something doesn’t work out now, just try again!
So! Let’s get into it. How can you break into the Esports and games industry?
A quiz to help you determine your path.
One: Do you want to be a professional player? A) Yes! Absolutely. B) Professional Streamer, please C) I’d rather do something else. D) No
Two: Do you play team games or solo games? A) Team Games B) Solo queue all the way. (Including fighting games) C) Neither. I like cozy, casual, simulation (insert non-competitive game style) D) Board/Card games
Three: How many hours are you spending gaming? A) 12+ hours a week B) 7-12 hours a week C) 2-6 hours a week D) 0 Hours
Four:What has your skill increase looked like over the past six months? A) I’ve noticed a steady improvement and increased skill ranking in tournaments/matches. B) I’m top level in my rank and working to improve every day. C) My skill has not improved and I’ve not grown in ranking. D) Not Applicable
Five: If you could do any of these jobs, which would you pick? A) Player/Streamer B) Programmer (coding) or UX/UI Design C) Content Creator/Media Relations D) Other
Okay, so add up your totals and see which one fits you best. Which category do you fall into?
Mostly A’s (or A/B): Professional Esports Player
Streaming and gaming huh? Well, you have to be dedicated, skilled, and personable. The good news is you don’t need a degree to pursue this, but you do need access to a powerful PC/stream setup (which is still more affordable than university).
Mostly B/C: UX/UI, Programming, Tournament Organizing, Research
You probably like really organized plans, data, research. There are also a ton of opportunities in this area as it’s a growing field. If you’re on this path, then you will want to look into coding programs or a degree in computer science, research (in a science field including social sciences), and/or connect with your local community.
Mostly C/D: Content Creator, Community Manager, People relations!
You most likely are drawn to the creative and people side of Esports and gaming. The great thing about this is you aren’t limited in your options or choices! Degree options can look like: marketing, public relations, communications, English majors, business majors, journalism majors. For freelance work focus on building a brand, and consistency.
So which avenue will you take?
Deciding a path can be scary, challenging, and difficult but I know that you can do it! Interested in learning more about each of these career options? Leave a comment below and let me know!
I Love, Love! And as I plan my own wedding, seeing that one of my all-time favorite games, The Sims 4, is dropping a wedding game pack is very exciting.
The Sims 4 My Wedding Stories Game Pack will release on February 17th, 2022. It will feature pre-wedding festivities, from an elopement at City Hall, to planning pre-wedding parties. There is even going to be an option to use Create-A-Sim to select a ring.
I’m most excited about the option of incorporating toasts, speeches, and choosing a Sim of Honor!
They’ll be doing a live announcement on February 11th at 11AM PST, 8AM EST on their Twitch channel. You can find out more about this here. Let me know what you are most excited for?
Personally, I hope that they announce more dress and formal wear options, as well as some new furniture! It seems that food and dancing will be incorporated in the game pack too. Maybe even a customizable wedding ring?!
I really look forward to this pack and can’t wait to play it!
Going to school online can be hard. You need good internet access, you need time, and you need a tablet, laptop, or computer to truly be successful.
When I switched to remote learning, it was before 2020. I had teachers who didn’t communicate, and I was truly lost!
These are my tips on how I made it through Community College and into University-all completely online.
Create space in your environment to learn.
For me, great space is clean, colorful, and organized. I have my textbooks within reach, I have journals, and I often have some word document programs open for note-taking. It doesn’t have to be huge! My space is literally a corner of my room. But I started out with a simple desk and fold-out chair, and a tablet.
Schedule your learning in blocks.
Unless you have a required lecture, meeting, or class time you can typically schedule your learning around your own life and schedule.
I hate being up before 8:30AM, and I hate doing any work before 10-11AM. So I typically don’t schedule any meetings before then, and I’m not available to anyone before I want to be. (This is obviously a privilege, which I’m completely aware of, but adjust to your needs and life accordingly.) From 11AM-3PM, I focus on one subject for an hour and a half before switching to another subject. Sometimes, if I feel motivated or I’m super deep into a project I can work later or into the evening.
I always make time for breaks. Lunch, dog walks, sometimes a nap, and a yoga session.
Listen To Your Body
It’s really easy to want to get ahead, but you can overdo it. Listen to what your body needs and take those breaks! Rest, relax, take a sick day. Trust me, learning happens even when you aren’t studying. I have often found myself pondering a problem or thought while I’m doing something else that I enjoy, and that is where learning truly happens.
Learning happens when we sleep
There are actual studies that have proven we are most effective when we are well-rested, well taken care of, and able to meet all of our functions. Staring at a screen all day will not make you more productive or educated in the long term, and it will be a waste of your time. Staying busy doesn’t make you smarter.
Schedule a meetup and note taking with other students!
If you’re struggling, or just not able to make all of the lectures. Reach out to some classmates and share notes. Create a shared OneNote or Google document where you can each provide information, and fill in each other’s knowledge. Combined knowledge is power and you’ll be more likely to pass that test. I have actually done this with a fellow student in one of my classes and we both wound up passing because of it! Seriously, I wouldn’t have been able to succeed without them!
If the quiz is open note, keep your notes open!
This is pretty self-explanatory, but even in the “real world”, you’ll always have access to information and knowledge. This is the era where knowledge is available. Obviously, for practical exams, this doesn’t apply, but for more theoretical work, it’s often the case.
Reach Out to Your Professors
Contact them to let them know what is going on in your life. Not everyone will be accommodating, but you might be surprised by the ones that are. Quite a few times I have had my computer crash, or internet crash and I would lose my progress and work. This once happened during a final, and I mad-rushed emailed the professor with who I had built a good connection and communication during the quarter, who allowed me to retake the quiz. This saved my grade.
Utilize Disability Services
Each school has a different method for disability services, but if you have a disability (and can often prove it), then you can get accommodations. Some that I request are: Additional test-taking time, Note-taking, Allowing notes for finals/quizzes, and I’ve even asked for things like PowerPoint slide documents, or closed captions to be added to lectures. ADA services aren’t a “cheat” or a way to “get ahead of other students”, it’s just a way to make it so you can be at the same level as someone able-bodied. 🙂 There is no shame in it, and the only people who know you use it are between you, the department, and your teachers that you give permission to know. (And they won’t know your condition or why you need it, just that you’re requesting services!)
If you liked this blog post, be sure to subscribe to my feed! I’ll be dropping one or two new posts each week on topics like this, gaming, and more!
Color Code Your Notes
This might be a personal thing, but I LOVE color coding. I actually love to use OneNote (free if you’re a student with a school that has Microsoft Education access!) because I can section things out by course (class), and by lecture, information, or anything else I want!
As you can see from the picture, I have my topics or courses under “Section” and each page I have dedicated to book chapters, lecture notes, and theory. OneNote has become my favorite tool to utilize for school, and I also use SNIPPING Tool (On PC) to clip images from the internet, lectures, or videos so that I can refer back to them later. This also saves space on my hard drive and PC because I’m only keeping knowledge on the cloud server, and can then access this on my phone, or tablet as well!
What I don’t Use: Flash Cards
I don’t learn well from them. I don’t like rote memorization. I am much better at engaging with a topic, speaking about it with peers or educating someone else on it (to further retain the knowledge I just studied myself), than I have ever been on making flashcards and doing memorization tricks. I also find them to be kind of wasteful in both space and practicality, but I can see them being great for specific subjects and K-12!
This is really a personal preference, but every time I’ve bought the cheap paper, I have hated it. I won’t touch it, and I will gift it out because it does not bring me joy. Spending about 6-15$ on a journal that I like, if I want something physical is worthwhile to me!
Going back to school was a major life decision for me but this was something that I had always wanted to do. Getting my bachelor’s degree isn’t only a wish, but a necessity to get ahead in most fields in the United States when you come from nothing. In this post, I go into my own personal achievements, as well as the steps that I take to succeed in an online learning environment (Which are totally applicable to in-person learning too!).
My personal achievements and education background:
Over the past year as a student at EWU, I have really grown into my own and feel far more confident in my abilities to connect with others, collaborate, and ask for help! I made the Dean’s List for my second time (the summer quarter doesn’t count, unfortunately) and have maintained a solid GPA of 3.7-3.8 since Spring 2021! I am so proud of myself for the hard work and dedication I have put in with Eastern Washington University and I look forward to starting the winter quarter next week!
As a remote student, finding a good in-state university that is accommodating (for students with disabilities, low-income students, and who are LGBTQ+) was a big challenge for me, but when I came across Eastern I just fell in love with it. For the first time, I felt welcomed and accepted for who I was, not what I was.
I’ve always loved school, but being disabled has made attending classes in person a real challenge, and being immunocompromised means that I can’t be around sick people without a serious risk of illness. When it came to Covid-19, many schools had to adapt to online learning but they didn’t have the processes in place to really help students in the process. Or the schools that were online utilized proctored testing services, overpriced fees, and webinars and ebooks to teach. There was little, if any, support for people like me.
The online program with Eastern was different and has actually been structured well. While each professor has a different teaching method and style, they all are easy to access from a smartphone, tablet, or computer! Most of my classes have been without any lectures, but I have had at least one with a daily zoom lecture that required participation. This participation actually did lead to a better grade and allowed me to chat with other students and share notes.
I can’t speak on the 100 level courses aside from ASL, which has mainly used video modules and weekly chats with other students and quizzes. ( I transferred from a community college and if you’re interested I’ll write more on this later and what I would have done differently.)
Eastern has really allowed me to communicate with my professors, join clubs (PRSSA), and feel like I’m a part of the college experience all while being fully online and away from campus.
What it’s actually like being a remote student and handling virtual learning:
I will be the first to admit that learning how to learn, in a virtual environment, requires having a good grasp on the best ways you learn, the communities that you require to learn, and the environments that make you successful in gaining knowledge.
Some people learn best with others, with a teacher guiding them and instructing them, with intimate conversations. Others prefer books and video lectures. Online learning is extremely independent and not very intimate. It can be really lonely, and you have to be self-disciplined.
Online learning doesn’t really allow that intimate community you get from in-person opportunities unless you facilitate that. You have to reach out to classmates, to your professor, to anyone that you want to connect with, and make that step because they won’t. In-person classes, you can be introverted or a social butterfly and still develop friendships without sending messages or emails. It’s harder to build a connection online, but it is possible!
Building Quality Study Habits for 2022:
Set a daily schedule for yourself.
Whatever that looks like, or is, you need to dedicate at least 1-3 hours a day to educational work (with 2-3 days off).
How you structure your day is completely up to you, but for me, I find working from 11AM-3PM or 4PM with a break or two is best for my own health and schedule. Sometimes I do work at night, or early in the morning, but mid-day is actually my favorite.
Create an educational map. “ButWhat IS an educational map,Marina?“
Educational Maps help you outline your goals and can be broken down into weekly, monthly, or quarterly structures! Just write down your motivation, your goal (intended outcome), the steps it’ll take to get there, and your reasoning or purpose for achieving your goal. By setting yourself up in this way outside of saying “I want to pass my class”, you can actually see how it’s achievable!
I’ve been using this method for a little over a year now and it really has made achieving my goals that much easier. I’ve actually been able to take on more projects, including the Queer Esports mentorship program. (Sign up for their Spring 2022 cohort here: https://www.queeresports.org/mentorship)
Defining your motivation and purpose really does make a difference because it can tap into the reward center of your brain. Yeah, passing your classes is cool; but now what?
Ask yourself: How can I utilize my knowledge? My skills now? Hopefully, with the educational map, you can really dive in to your own personal reasoning for the courses you’re taking!
This would have helped me immensely when I started school in 2017, but I didn’t even have the knowledge at the time that this strategy could be useful! Needless to say, I struggled a lot on defining goals, figuring out plans, and wound up taking the really hard route of self-discovery through community college and university.
Hopefully, with this, you can avoid all of that (and save money long term so you aren’t picking useless courses that won’t benefit you long term)!
Be kind to yourselfand don’t procrastinate.
This tip may seem like a no-brainer, but as a person who struggles with perfectionism, I wasn’t always the kindest to myself. I viewed a flaw in a grade as a failure in myself, and that affected me. Learning to be kind means accepting that even if you fail, you can still try again and that your path isn’t over just because you’ve had one setback.
It also means learning to ask for help when you need it. From working with a tutor to creating a group study meetup through Zoom, Discord, or Microsoft teams. It also means informing your professors when you’re struggling, when something happens, and not waiting until the last minute.
Procrastination might seem like an easy answer, and you might even get away with it for a while, but you won’t be learning to your full potential, or engaging with that educational community which could very well help you reach your next goals in life post-graduation.
Finding the education style that works best for you can take some serious planning and time. But if you’re an online student like me, then welcome! I’m here to help. If you like this post and want to see more like it, be sure to sign up for my RSS feed and leave a comment or share with your community!
Feel free to download and utilize my own research for your needs!
The video presentation will be uploaded in January.
Diversity in Esports, and the FGC is vital for growth as a community and from a business standpoint.
Current data reflects that women make up less than 50% of all gamers (Statista), but have over 81% buying power on all purchases. (Top Media Advertising) By not making them a priority market for your event, tournament, or organization, you are ignoring a major demographic with money to spend.
Focusing on safe events for women and LGBTQ+ audiences would allow your event, or business to flourish and grow.
It’s important to hire marginalized voices and people because their input and stories would create a better connection and impact to reach these people and attract new potential gamers, players, and competitors.
Color theory is a process by which creativity and science mesh together. It’s an important thing to understand for good design and something that will dictate how a finished object can look.
The colors that make up the prime three are: Red or Magenta. Cyan (a shade of blue) Yellow. Prime is equal to 3.
Primary Colors: RGB. Painting and Web-based projects should be worked on in this format. Red, Yellow, (Royal) Blue. These usually used are considered “additive” based colors, as you can mix them together to create another color, and relies on how light reflects through them. According to Pantone:
“The visible color spectrum, what we know as the rainbow (RGBIV), encompasses light wavelengths from approximately 380 to 720 nanometers and breaks down into three primary colors: red, green, and blue. We can mix these three colors in various combinations to create millions of beautiful colors. When we mix them in equal quantities, we perceive the color as white. “
Design Primary Colors: For printing. CMYK uses a subtractive method. Cyan Magenta (Or Circadian red) Yellow Black. This format is more or less meant to be used for printing processes, but you can also use it for traditional art forms if you so choose.
The depth of color theory is exhausted in the transition of light, and how electromagnetic waves move. In 1704, Issac Newton published the primary color theory by studying the wavelengths of light and how they reacted on prism surfaces. While his conclusion differed from Munsell’s mathematical results, neither has been discredited.
There has been discussion that Munsell’s theory can be expanded on into the realm of how light and dark play together. I question if it’s possible to develop a digital algorithm that could inherently help us understand light and art better? We have: Hue, Value, Brightness, Saturation, Darkness, and thus the opposite. “White” isn’t even a color, and the term we really should be using is “bright or dark”. This is where shades and value come into play.
Shades and Values:
Within hair alone, we use “levels” to demonstrate bright to dark. 0-Black. 10 to 12-White/Light/Silver. If we are only able to see the colors up to a “level 10”, could there be further colors beyond our eyesight that we haven’t evolved to see? After all, dogs only see in shades of grey, cats and owls can see at night. Paper is used to demonstrating “Whiteness”, but if you look at all the varying levels of light, this can change from white to off-white, to appearing yellow or silver, based on hue, undertones, and the colors that we see around us. *Tip, go to a salon with good light sources that use both artificial and daylight (Windows). It’s the easiest way to find a color that should match your skin tone easier with your colorist!
If Isaac Newton used the musical notes as a representation of ROY-G-BIV, could it be possible that a combination of translating the musical notes to math, would lead us down a new path of brilliance within understanding art and color theory? Munsell’s use of geometry seems to be a key clue in understanding this.
One of the ways we found color was through using prisms, a geometric-shaped piece of glass or crystal, and having light refract and shine through it. This allowed us to gain a better understanding of the wave lengths of how color and light work together. But in the art world, if we already have access to all the colors, then how can we expand on it? How do we use it to benefit our own creations?
I will be posting a follow-up piece on how to use color theory to your advantage as an artist so be sure to subscribe so you get email updates when I post something new. Let me know your thoughts, personally, I find color theory absolutely fascinating.
Creating content is a process, and it is not the easiest of processes.
As I work to rebuild and relaunch my personal brand, I’ve had to come to terms with what works, what didn’t work, and how I can improve to move forward.
All businesses have ups and downs, and when the world is in an economic and pandemic peril, it can be really easy to lose focus. For me, trying to identify myself as a “brand” and to fit a mold that doesn’t offer me financial stability was a soul crushing endeavour I had to over come.
What’s not working: Creating video content. While this is a fun hobby, and something I really enjoyed doing, it’s not financially sustainable for me personally. What is working: Writing. Books, and language have always been of interest to me. I’m a decent typist, and I like writing. Writing is a way for me to tell a story, utilizing words, learning new words… etc. Language is neat.
What Am I? A visual storyteller. What I am not? The product.
I became lost in this perception of reality that I had to be the product, and that all I was-was an object to be commodified. I lost my sense of self, and my sense of person-hood.
This lasted well over a decade from various traumatic experiences leveraging that I was nothing more than whatever Man believed me to be.
I tried to hide behind costumes, behind mirrors, and behind modeling. That I wouldn’t face the truth that I could be more than just a symbolic “piece” of meat that had been instilled in me from sexual harassment and abuse. Something that took away both my childhood, and my sense of self. I was so succumbed by darkness, depression and narcissism that I couldn’t even manage basic tasks. Keep in mind, I’m far from neurotypical, I’m a queer person with undiagnosed ADHD and some other brain related health issues; and I have also been dealing with resurfacing trauma due to current world events.
So, I have been writing. A lot. Some days, I feel lost in limbo, as if nothing has changed, as if I’m pushing myself so hard for no reason, but I know that’s not true. I’m working on my first series of YA fiction books, a nonfiction novel, and might even turn one of my old short stories into an illustrated children’s book. (I’ll post that story to this blog later!)
For now, I just wanted to send out a virtual update. I am alive, and I am trying my best.
Art will forever be apart of my work, but for now I find myself through words. I’ll be setting up a newsletter in the coming weeks, and I am taking donations to get my marketing/publishing business up and running as well. So if you’d like to tip to that you can here:
For all those who tip, I’ll send you book updates in the designated newsletter with special excerpts and links!