Stasia McGehee

Artist, introduces herself :

My Background

My background is in fine arts : painting, sculpture and literature. I have been living in California, in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1992, working as a character animator. Before moving to the Bay Area, I opened a cooperative art gallery with four other women in Madison, WI. Convinced of the impossibility of making a living as artist, I was also working on a graduate degree in English Literature. Before that, I studied painting at Memphis College of Art, doing figure studies, painting landscapes, or drawing animals at the nearby zoo.

My Work with Avatars

I joined OnLive! Technologies in February 1994 as the 6th employee, responsible for avatar design and development. OnLive! developed a product for the Internet called Traveler, allowing users to log in via the Internet, and communicate to other users through a microphone, using voice. (You can download the software for free if you have a Pentium: Other users appear before you in the guise of various Avatars, or masks, which can both reveal and conceal their identity. My job as Avatar Designer was to provide users with compelling representations of self within a 200 polygon limit. In my effort to tackle the dilemma of providing widely appealing content within a low poly budget, I drew upon various sources. In terms of content, I strove to provide a range of entities, from realistic to more archetypal and mythological, like the Pharaoh, Vampire, Cyclops, and Pirate, and used animals as totemic representations of self as well.

In addressing the low-poly problem, I looked at the geometric patterns of African, Native American, or tribal masks with their stylized representations, as well as Cubist and Italian Futurist Art. Tribal art forms offer a wide range of expression without adhering to the very literal paradigms of reality that current software is unable to accommodate. And the way the forms are broken up into broad areas of flat color offers a useful suggestion for real-time 3D modeling.

Stasia McGehee - Artist

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