Gavin McCarthy is a freelance illustrator and graphic artist. This blog is a collection for various sketches, experiments and new work. Comments are always welcome and encouraged. All blog content © Gavin McCarthy

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Torontaru and the Quest for Nice Folks

I don't get out much. This is not because of social anxiety, shyness or a grumpy disdain for other humans, but merely a byproduct of working from home. I get out frequently enough with friends but really never had that group of comrades one gets from a studio environment or similar to that of my college years. I had been searching for this for some time but I was having trouble finding that social "je ne sais quoi".

It was discouraging to not have a "group" I could talk about work, life, food or whatever. Where I could socialize and meet new people, compare drawing/animating tricks, hear about interesting projects they where working on, weekend adventures... I felt like a nomadic high school student trying to find a club.

Then this purple, inebriated octopus came into my life.

About a year ago Kris Piotrowski (Capy), Marie-Christine Bourdua (Polytron) and Renaud B├ędard (Capy) made this thing called "Torontaru". It was inspired by a casual social night for game developers that they had attended in Japan called "Otaru". I had already been going to game development events, collaborations and presentations and caught news of this new social night.

When I arrived I was immediately greeted by Marie-Christine as if I was a childhood friend she had not seen in years even though we never officially met until that night. This welcoming wave continued throughout the evening with everyone I met and I knew I was in the right place. Since then I have attended each one and have met some incredibly friendly, talented people, many of whom I have became friends with.

Torontaru recently celebrated it's first year anniversary. I was trying to think of something I could do to say "thanks" and that's when I was approached to design a new logo (obviously I said "yes"). I was nervous because Dominique Ferland did such a great job on the first one, but I took my best crack at it and think it came out quite nice. I also made this little announcement animation just for kicks.

If you are in the Toronto area and looking for a fantastic evening to spend with the game development community and friends, then be sure to check it out. Additionally, I must add as a beer drinker, Get Well is a great bar with a awesome beer selection, friendly staff and arcade cabinets. Details can be found at...
Twitter: @torontaru


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