Wizard World is headed back to St. Louis, Missouri this May, and we are excited to announce that Nerd for a Living will be presenting a panel there on Saturday, May 23.
Wizard World conventions, now held in cities across North America, are known to celebrate some of the best in pop culture, movies, television, cosplay, comics, toys, video gaming, sci-fi, gaming, original art, collectibles, and more. Their St. Louis lineup of guests is filled with fan favorites – from one of Marvel’s most beloved leading ladies, Hayley Atwell, to legendary filmmaker, George Romero.
The St. Louis show runs Friday, May 22nd through Sunday, May 24th at the America’s Center. N4AL’s Wendy and Adron will be at the convention all three days, and will be presenting our speaker panel on Saturday afternoon at 12:30pm.
If you’ll be at the show, be sure to come to our panel, and hear from our talented guests speakers.
How to Be a Nerd for a Living:
Your Career in Nerd Culture
Saturday, 12:30pm – 1:15pm | Room 151
Working in a “nerd-related” industry is a dream for many, though it often seems unattainable. This panel of professional “Nerds for a Living” will share insights into how they got to where they are, and offer advice to those looking to break in. Attendees will get tips on how to create a path to the career they want from those already doing it. Panelists will discuss a variety of jobs that exist within animation, gaming, film, voice-over, comics and more. They will also provide advice to those looking to create their own “nerdy business.” Learn about types of training, mentorship opportunities, online and offline resources, and overall tactics to employ when trying to get a job in your dream industry. This panel will conclude with a 10-minute Q&A.
Featuring guest speakers:
- Warren Dion Smith – Hair & Makeup Artist, Weta Workshop
- Carol Mertz – Co-Founder, Happy Badger Studio; Chair & Event Organizer, IGDA St. Louis
- Lorenzo Lizana – Art Director, Lion Forge Comics; Illustrator, Comic Artist, Toy Designer
- Amanda Nuckolls – Founder & Chief Executive Gnome, GnomeAcres
- Britta Buescher – Freelance Graphic Artist, Marketer, and Rock Poster Designer
Moderated by Nerd For A Living’s Wendy Buske.
We hope to see you there!
Guest Speaker Bios
Warren Dion Smith
Raised in North Canterbury and a descendant from Waikato/TAINUI in New Zealand, Warren Dion Smith has been affiliated with the team at Weta Workshop, a Five Time Oscar winning conceptual design & physical manufacturing Facility, for over a decade. During this time Warren has worked as a hair/makeup and special effects Artist on movies such as King Kong, The Hobbit, Elysium, The Amazing Spiderman 2, Man of Steel, and the remake of the 1960’s children’s classic Thunderbirds Are Go TV series.
Warren is also the NZARH 2014 Wellington Overall Senior Champion Hairdresser. Warren specializes in all aspects of hairdressing. He is also representing The Canterbury Association of registered Hairdressers and will continue to freelance for Film and TV, as well as Weta Workshop projects.
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Carol Mertz became interested in games, design, and web development as a kid in the 90s – staying up late to code websites from scratch in Notepad, studying HTML books and dissecting other peoples’ source code. She began freelancing as a web and logo designer as early as 2002. She pursued a BA in Interactive Media from Webster University, where she learned the fundamentals of media production and animation.
After graduating, she co-founded St. Louis interactive studio The Rampant. Later, she discovered a real love for game development, so she and her Rampant teammates divided their studio efforts between interactive client work and game production (as Happy Badger Studio).
As a big part of a small independent studio, Carol does all sorts of creative work, including design, development, art, animation, voice acting, and writing. She’s worked on websites, mobile apps, comics, video games, card games, and a myriad of other creative projects.
Outside of work, Carol is the Chair of the St. Louis chapter of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA), supporting the local indie games community by organizing networking and educational events, giving talks, and participating in mentorship events.
Carol and Happy Badger Studio are currently in development on a quest-based hovercraft racing game, SmuggleCraft, set to release in early 2016 for PS4, PC, Mac, and Linux.
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Lorenzo Lizana is an accomplished illustrator who has created art for comic books, children’s storybooks, product packaging, toy design, storyboards for commercials & animated television programming, and more.
He is the art director for Lion Forge Comics, and is currently the artist of Catalyst Prime and Accel, both digital releases for Lion Forge.
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Amanda Nuckolls, Founder and Chief Executive Gnome at GnomeAcres, has been making art using various mediums since the age of 3. She grew up in a family that owned an arts & crafts business and was often a regular contributor to the many products they offered.
In 2009, after spending 20 years around llamas and alpacas, she decided she would obtain her first llama, “Oh My Darling, Clementine”. The acquisition of Clementine, combined with her lifelong love of the agricultural world, playing outside and “making stuff”, helped to spark the idea of GnomeAcres. When GnomeAcres came to fruition in late 2009, Amanda saw it as an opportunity to pursue her true passions.
Amanda has a background in website design, website development, e-commerce, online marketing, radio, newspaper, photography, woodworking, agriculture education, tractor riding and professional clowning. Because of her vast knowledge in these areas, all of GnomeAcres show displays, product packaging, promotional materials and websites are created in-house by Amanda herself.
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Britta Buescher is a graphic & brand designer and rock poster artiste specializing in marketing for bands and businesses. She works as a freelance designer at The Outlet Epoch, and as an art and marketing director in retail services. She has produced client work for Dark Horse Comics, Nickelodeon, Imagine Dragons, Dropdead, Iron Reagan, Kylesa, and many more.
Britta’s super powers include extensive social media marketing and multi–platform ad campaigns, pro-level high-fiving skills and cheese connoisseurship.
She currently lives in St. Louis, Missouri, with her modest record collection and a bull terrier named Chief, and listens to metal daily.
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