AnyKey Charity: Art for the Games and Online Harassment Hotline
Written by Shania Kuo
On Saturday October 17th, AnyKey hosted a charity stream for the Games and Online Harassment Hotline with a $2,000 donation goal. AnyKey is a non-profit advocating for diversity, equity, and inclusion within gaming and live streaming through research and strategic initiatives. The Esports and Game Design Collective (EGD) were the first ever AnyKey Changemaker Grant winners. The Games and Online Harassment Hotline offers a free, text message-based, confidential emotional support hotline by texting “SUPPORT” to 23368.
For the stream, EGD hosted an art session with four representatives: CEO Kyra Wills-Umdenstock, Super Smash Bros Ultimate Coordinator Made Widyanetta, Creative Intern Leanne Huang, and Writing Intern Shania Kuo. The art session lasted for 60 minutes and participants could post pictures of their pets for artists to draw on Twitter with the hashtag #EGDPets. Following the art session, AnyKey’s donation goal had reached $2,202.
To start off the stream, viewers sent pictures of their pets, and one particular picture of a dog with a credit card sparked a conversation amongst the artists about the costs of pets. It was at this point that Kyra distinguished themself with the most animal-related stories. They recounted a story of their mother cooking for their sick dog before transitioning to a different story in which Kyra took ownership of their preschool classroom’s pet turtle who later retired to a sanctuary in Florida.
From there, the topic shifted back to art. Leanne explained how her art school gave every student access to Adobe which made it the key point for most students. Although, Leanne noted how she appreciated ClipStudioPaint immensely as well. Kyra added their own thoughts on how they learned Photoshop and Illustrator in high school only to use it during college. Unfortunately, nowadays Kyra has little time to make art, but they brought out their old portfolio of artworks. The highlight was a series of paintings Kyra did for a project which consisted of memes done in old style art. And yes, Kyra received an A.
From there, Made asked Shania about how she uses Procreate which is a popular drawing app used on the iPad. Made and Shania noted that they used it often but could not because of technological issues at the time. Shania explained how she used Procreate not so much for art but for journaling, and both Made and Shania discussed at length the popularity of artistic journaling that took off a few years ago.
After that, the first non-cat-and-dog pet arrived in the form of an angry bird. The group discussed exotic animals, and Kyra, once again, had a story regarding that topic. They were taught how to handle snakes, both large and small, upon being hired at a museum, and they never used those skills again as they were assigned to the child section.
At the end of the stream, the artists posted their drawings. While Kyra’s art has gone undocumented, the other three have their works posted below. Although the charity stream has ended, continue to support AnyKey and the Games and Online Harassment Hotline by following them on social media and reading more about them. Here is AnyKey’s Twitter and here is the Games and Online Harassment Hotline’s Twitter.
Shania, despite feeling out of her element, also did her best to contribute to the stream.