Suffolk artist shines at Activision Blizzard convention

Published 8:55 am Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Makayla Jones is enjoying the spotlight. The Suffolk resident is celebrating her artwork being featured as an honorable mention among many talented artists during the BlizzCon 2023 Art Contest, part of the national video game convention’s community night held on Saturday, Nov. 4, at Anaheim, California. Her featured fan art was of Alexstrasza, a character from the Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game “World of Warcraft.”

Attending the convention, Jones says that she could not attend the community night due to attendance being full. However, she watched the livestream of the results from her phone and was surprised to see her name included in the honorable mentions.

“I remember as soon as I saw myself pop on the screen, I started to tear up, and I thought to myself, ‘I AM good enough.’ she said. “I just couldn’t believe seeing my name and my art on a big screen in front of thousands of people was really happening.”


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On what got her into drawing, Jones says she started as a child but stopped for a while due to being bullied and didn’t pick it back up into going into high school.

“Drawing was always something I’ve been interested in, but I always thought I wasn’t good enough and always compared myself to others,” she said. “I still love drawing to this day, and I love drawing my favorite animé and video game characters just as much as I did when I was a little girl.”

Jones talked about Alexstrasza and how she was inspired to draw her for the contest.

“Alexstrasza is a dragon aspect who is pretty important to the lore in World of Warcraft and was recently featured in the last expansion, ‘Dragon Flight,’ she said. “Though I don’t play World of Warcraft much anymore, I decided to draw her because I love her recently updated character design, and I thought it would be very fun and challenging to draw her since I’ve never done armor-type clothing before!”

Likewise, she talked about what made her a fan of the game series, noting the sense of community and friendship players make from it.

“Even if the game wasn’t going well sometimes, you always had your friends that made it fun, and that’s what was important to me,” she said. “Especially when attending BlizzCon, you get to see this first hand, and instead of seeing in-game characters, you get to see tons of thousands of real life people and all the love they have for each other!”

Jones also talked about video games as an art form, which has greatly expanded from its early arcade days. On people who look down on the medium as less than a form of art, Jones says that they are “greatly misunderstood.”

“There’s so many people who go into the creation of games, and it takes so much talent and hard work to make,” she said. “It’s not just getting on your computer and pressing buttons, you know? I personally took a 3D animation class in high school and it was very difficult! Besides that, there are 2D and 3D artists who work on these, storytellers, and so many more creative minds who come together to make The Games people love. I think they deserve much more recognition than they get.”

Jones gave some words of encouragement for aspiring Suffolk artists and those who simply want to draw.

“I advise all artists to never give up and don’t compare yourselves to other artists. I know I didn’t win this contest, but even seeing my name displayed as a potential winner was a big deal to me, and even to get that position out of thousands of others felt surreal,” Jones said. “I doubted myself so much, and I see now the potential I have. Each and every one of you can do something amazing, young or older. Never doubt yourself, and keep on drawing!.”