Opal is an Agender multidisciplinary creator from Melbourne with lived experience of chronic illness and disability.
Using my background in Game Design, considerable illustrative skill and thirst for innovation and inclusivity, my work is infused with a warm, compassionate and deeply emotive quality that can be hard to find. I'm a firm advocate for Neurodiverse, Disabled and Queer identities as well those experiencing hardship and homelessness. My particular combination of skills and experience will help me to handle sensitive subject matter in an empathetic way. Hiding pain and hardship can isolate, but these lives and experiences are real and inherently have value. I want to show that to the world!
What activities will the Creators Fund support you to undertake?
I will be embarking on a long-awaited period of experimentation for my project, Glitcherature. With a focus on community cooperation and solving problems from multifaceted angles, I intend to fully explore my dream of seamlessly fusing children's literature and video games! I will be working on ways to combine my knowledge of game design, narrative design, as well as 2D and 3D art and coding to hopefully produce a very special new medium.
Interactivity is a key element of games that is often altogether missing, or too difficult to incorporate into printed literature. Most books do not require the active participation or engagement of the reader, which is fundamentally expected of a player of games. Combining these elements with careful intention could lead to a new medium, ideally suited for tackling complex subjects. One that can show a reader a variety of sides, letting them find their own solution in their own way and at their own pace. I will finally have the time, capacity and resources to engage fully with this ambitious dream, as this grant provides me with a secure position from which I can create without fear.
Can you talk us through what your work routine will look like with the help of a creator's fund grant?
I will have the freedom and confidence to truly use my time wisely, which looks different for a person living with impairments. I will be able to work around and with my needs in a way regular life often does not permit. I'm looking forward to working in my own home with unbroken access to medication, living aids and all the equipment I need. I will be able to create in safety without having to contend with everyday environmental triggers that have a profoundly disabling effect for me. I will be free to spread out my mind over every surface and work through my craft without being rushed or forced to put it aside. I'll be spending most of my days chatting with my mentors, experimenting with my disciplines. All of this with the loving support of my little dog, asleep beneath my desk.
Where would you like to see yourself and your career at the end of this process?
I hope to have an answer about the project's potential along with a functional prototype I can use to seek future funding and development. I want to bring something unique into the world, to share the reality and beauty of lives in the margins, and hopefully bring two different industries much closer together.
Find out more about the Creators Fund program.