In the age of individualism, a team in Romania is developing strong roots & bonds through meaningful interaction between its members and the community.*
By Georgiana Toea, Community Builder at AMC Studio
When all hell broke loose in March 2020, my biggest concern was to find quality ingredients to prepare mimosas** for my birthday gathering at work. Red Sicilian oranges aren’t so easy to find in Bucharest, Romania. Long queues started to develop in hypermarkets, people were investing in toilet paper like for a TEOTWAWKI scenario. For some of us that got to live behind the Iron Curtain, this scene was pretty familiar with how it was back then.
I attended that spontaneous gathering and victoriously reached to get the bloody oranges. But the birthday gathering was postponed indefinitely due to the extreme dangers that were just around the corner, on the doorknob, in the family, practically, everywhere. Mistrust and fear got us all.
But we adapted to the new now rapidly, and after making decent stocks of toilet paper ourselves, in April ‘20, we launched new programs and ways of working meant to keep us connected and functional as a community and also as a business. And, especially, with extra care for mental health.
All our educational programs were moved from the classrooms to Discord servers. So our students from universities could continue creating their art and complete their studies.
For digital geeksters like us, spending (even more) time online talking and solving intricate 3D art problems with others? Yes, please! That’s how & when we launched our mentorship program, converting a big part of our team into mentors. And debunking the “3D artists are mimosas” myth.
The solitude caused by social isolation was tempered through solidarity and fellowship 2.0.
From our self made artists with 10+ years in AMC to their protégés, youngsters with enthusiasm and growth potential, know-how and inspiration were travelling both ways. Gratitude, complicity and the sense of being useful to someone were feelings that enriched our (indoor) existence. More than that, we actually created new jobs, because doing this allowed us to help aspiring artists progress correctly and rapidly.
Serving a need for exploration in times of lockdown, we invited our 3D artist peers in an Art Challenge meant to build an art gallery with 3D models of existing artworks. That’s how the Art Hunt Challenge gallery sprang up, an interdisciplinary dialogue, exchange of practice, a bridge between generations of artists.
That was also the moment in which we decided that each of our community outreach activities should generate edutainment, telling inspiring stories for our audience. Last year’s Art Challenge evoked freedom fighters to a generation that inherited rights their parents have fought for in the communist era. It also empowered artists to speak about authentic role models. The misfits. The rebels.
When we finally got out of our homes, we planned an international Zbrush sculpting bootcamp in a remote village in Bulgaria to have an intercultural experience with our neighbours.
Also in need of promoting some righteous examples, we started +REP, our own videocast in which we invite cool indie devs to remove their invisibility cloak they have in Romanian society. And inspire youngsters to have the courage to aim for a career in gaming and discover real opportunities.
Our newest trick is the 3D artists Counseling Club in which our entire team gets to have 1 on 1 interactions with people in need of some guidance or encouraging words.
Need a team of cheerleaders? We’re here! Because we do understand that creating art to the highest industry standards is no walk in the park.
At the moment, 33% of our team consists of young talents that were shaped and empowered with the help of the programs above. They brought in joy, play, vegan recipes, enthusiasm, new tricks, and a new language in which some of us are categorised as ‘boomers’. And crazy humour, like in the video below:
If you reached to the end of this article, here’s our gift to you, the AMC Mimosa cocktail recipe:
⅓ sparkling water
⅓ red orange juice
AMC Ro Studio has joined Keywords starting with 2021 and says hello to all like-minded Keywordians wanting to work together for the greater good.
If the tale above hit you in the feels, don’t be a mimosa and drop us a line at email@example.com for whatever community dev comment/idea you have!
*The article is written from the standpoint of AMC’s Community Builder, some ideas and beliefs don’t necessarily represent the company’s positioning.
**A mimosa is an alcoholic cocktail but also a plant (mimosa pudica) whose sensitive compound leaves fold inward and droop when touched or shaken and re-open a few minutes later.