Since I just joined, it's only tradition to make an introduction post, so here it is. :3
Hello everyone! I'm VPKairi or VPK for short. I was born July 3, 1992 in the south coast of Alabama. The first time I ever joined an anime forum was when I was 5. It was the official Sailor Moon one, back when it was popular in the 90's. Sailor Moon was also my first anime series.
My father was a video game programmer and an artist, so I was introduced to anime and video games when I was 3. He made me all kinds of games for me to learn colors, how to read, etc. My favorite anime back in the day were Sailor Moon, Pokemon, and Yu-Gi-Oh. I liked Pokemon so much that I had my entire room decorated with it. Pokemon bedspread, curtains, toys, stuffed animals..I even had a huge Pikachu pillow that was the size of my whole body! I also was a huge Yu-Gi-Oh card collector in my early elementary/middle school years and joined two tournaments back in my home town. I didn't win either of them, but it was super fun.
When I was 12, our school had a book event that I went to, and I bought my first ever manga: Kamikaze Kaito Jeanne. I'd go to B.A.M. every time a new volume was released to buy it straight away. That manga inspired me to start seriously drawing the manga I had started when I was 8. I had already been drawing realistically since my dad had been teaching me techniques on pencil art and coloring with colored pencils, pastels, and paints. Being a fan of anime/manga got me bullied in school a lot.
I also got bullied for my drawing skill as well. I was told I traced and kids would push me to draw things in front of them to prove that I wasn't lying. Foolishly, I'd fall into the trap, and if something came out not anatomically correct because I had no reference photos, I'd get made fun of even worse than before. I also had issues when I went to bookstores to buy manga. The general readers laying/sitting on the floor would stare until finally asking me "are you buying that for someone else?" I would always say no, I was buying it for myself. Then their eyes would widen and say I didn't look like the type to read manga. I'm glad anime/manga has become more accepted now than back then. A lot of anime/manga stories can be phenomenal, especially the artwork.
I didn't have many friends in school, if any. To the "preps," I was too much of an "outcast," and to the "outcasts," I was "too preppy." I was mostly a loner, only hung in a group so I wouldn't be alone. I learned being alone only made you a target for getting picked on, so in high school I tried to never let that happen. I was that kid that was in the group and never really said much. During free time, while everyone else was talking and acting out, I would be reading or drawing/scripting for my comic. The comic was called Dark Matters and took me 7 years to complete. I also made a novel based on it and would post chapters to anime forums, which people seemed to enjoy.
A month after graduating high school, I was diagnosed with stage 2 ovarian cancer. I ended up having to quit the Miss USA pageant I had worked my butt off getting sponsors for and was out nearly $10k. My aspirations in life dwindled day by day. I thought to myself that I would never be able to get a job with my health being how it was, and the pageant was going to be my way of going to college, which I felt was swiped from me. I also had no money for cancer treatment either, so I was stuck taking vitamins and having small procedures done to try and slow down the process. Out of boredom, I started reposting Dark Matters on forums, and it actually ended up helping me.
While playing Black Ops on PS3, I got a message from someone asking if I was the same person from a forum that had wrote Dark Matters. When I said yes, I was offered a video game journalism job for a PlayStation based website. After 2 weeks of thinking on it, I took the job. I helped create the website layout, wrote articles, became the Editor-in-Chief, and eventually was promoted to Media Manager. That journalism job opened up other opportunities, until E3 2013, where I was given my biggest job. I quit journalism and started working full time in the game industry. My family thought I was following my dad's footsteps, but I was doing it on my own accord. It was my passion to draw, and video games happened to be one of my favorite hobbies.
After beating cancer in 2015, I cut all ties with the video game industry and joined Ministry School. Since I had already been doing Sunday teaching, it didn't take me long to become a minister. After 4 months, I was on stage and out in service. It wasn't until nearly 2016 that I decided that wasn't the right path for me. Helping people was nice, but I needed to be out on my own, away from my parents to do what I wanted, to have freedom. So just like that, I quit and moved out the next day, 6 hours away. After a few months of living in northern Alabama, I moved again to Texas. And then in 2017, I moved to southern California, which is where I currently reside. I took on basic cashier and electronics jobs to get where I am now.
I now have less than 2 months of art school left and have been studying animation design. My current job is concept and character design. I got this job from a person I met on FF14. I've had so many coincidental encounters while playing video games, which is funny to me. With my free time, I've been working on remaking my old comic since my skills are now well rounded than before. Hopefully will have my first official book done by the end of this year. I say hopefully because knowing me and my procrastination, it could take decades if I allowed it.
Anywho, this intro has become quite longer than I anticipated. So below is just a template I've created in case you don't want to read any of this. I hope we can become friends! ^^
Username: VPKairi or VPK
Favorite Anime: Sailor Moon, Hellsing, Full Metal Alchemist, Dragon Ball Z, Yu Yu Hakusho, .hack//Sign
Music: Piano, violin, classical, electronic, rock (mostly everything except most country and my favs are electronic/rock)
Video Game Platforms: PS2, PS3, PS4, Nintendo, SNES, Xbox 360, PC (mostly play PS4)
Favorite Video Games: FFX, .hack// series, Borderlands series, DDR series, Miku series