Mitri Vanichtheeranont

Drawing Board
Fine Art links
Design links

Well, here it is, finally. My own little spot on the web.

These days, there really isn't a good job title that describes exactly what it is I do. For all intents and purposes, I'm a videogame artist. Recently, I just completed work on the game Summoner, published by THQ for the Playstation2.

I often get asked by other people how you get into the videogame industry, but I'd be hard pressed to answer, since my own story about how I ended up in the videogame industry often seems like equal parts luck, fate and karma. Ironically, a persisting memory of my childhood was of my mom yelling at me and telling me that I was wasting my childhood playing so many videogames, to which my typical response was that I would just get a job making videogames and then it wouldn't have been wasted time.

Oddly enough, at the beginning of my crazy journey, I majored in computer science at the University of Illinois. After a year and a half, though, I began to realize that a career as a graphics programmer involved a lot of math and abstract concepts and none of the kinds of art that I'd been doing since high school. After a lot of internal debate, I finally decided to make the jump from the school of Engineering with all their multi-million dollar donations and high-tech buildings to the school of Art and Design with their dumpy buildings that look like they've been around since the 50s.

I was loathe to give up the years of hard-earned technical and scientific knowledge I'd learned over the years, and came up with a compromise that allowed me to continue both interests: industrial design. It also had the added bonus of being a career you could actually earn a decent living. In the spring of 1996, I graduated with a BFA in from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana.

Immediately upon graduating, I learned from a friend about a startup videogame company called Mobeus Designs that was looking for artists. Eventually, I ended up working there on the game Esoteria as an animator and modeler.

So much for that career as an industrial designer at Sony or Apple.

When Mobeus folded, like many startup game companies do, Volition picked me up at their garage sale and I moved on to bigger and better things, where I worked on Descent: Freespace as a junior animator alongside, and under the tutelage of, Mike Comet.

A lot of what I do nowadays, though, seems to involve a lot of managerial work. On Summoner, I had the role of Lead Level Designer, which basically meant that I was in charge of making sure that all the environments in the game got completed on schedule and of a consistent quality. It also involved being the middleman between level artists and programmers. On my current project, I do more of the same thing, except for the entire art team on my project instead of just the level artists.

In my spare time, I do a lot of rock climbing, although, being in the Midwest, I haven't really had the opportunity to climb outside. In college, I played a lot of paintball, and played once in an amateur tournament with my team 'Sucking Chest Wound'. Of course, I like to play video games, and I can often be found using the nickname 'StormCrow'.

For lack of a better place to mention it, I've always been interested in wolves and wolf ethology as well as being a dog-person. I sponsor the wolf Seneca from Wolf Park at Battleground, IN. I also spent some time working with the Texas Alaskan Malamute Rescue.

My brother Al and my dog: about 1989

My dog Happy: 1984-1996

One of my rescues, Quinn: 1998

Seneca as a pup: Spring 1996

Seneca's first snow: Winter 1996

Seneca: Fall 2000
For permission to use or more information about wolf photographs, contact Monty Sloan at Wolf Park

Send them to me at:
"The greater the artist, the greater the doubt;
perfect confidence is granted to the less talented
as a consolation prize." - Robert Hues
Last Updated:
21 November 2000