Second-year Multimedia Production (MMP) student Hayden Mountain Horse is using her incredible artistic skills to bring conceptual characters to life - a practicum assignment she calls “a perfect fit.”
Mountain Horse has been working with Bej’a Christmas, founder and CEO of Anemoia Studios - a production house and talent agency based in Oakland, Calif. Its focus is to promote people of colour and other marginalized communities in the entertainment industry.
As a biracial person, Mountain Horse says she immediately identified with Christmas’s desire to bring more diversity into productions. “My mom is Indigenous, and my dad is white,” she says. “I grew up on the Blood Reserve, and I didn’t see anyone in movies or TV shows who looked like me. The work Bej’a is doing is really inspiring.”
Mountain Horse has been spending her 120-hour practicum, in the final semester of her two-year diploma, creating sketches and animations for a comic Christmas is developing. The pair keeps in regular contact through email, with Christmas outlining character ideas and Mountain Horse bringing them to life through her illustrations.
“It’s been a great experience and I’ve learned so much,” says Mountain Horse. “Creating characters, sending them off to Bej’a and having her tell me they look exactly how she envisioned them, is the best feeling.”
“I could not be more pleased with her work,” says Christmas. “A naturally gifted talent, and yet that doesn’t stop her from working hard and striving to create brilliance. Anemoia is very fortunate to have been aligned with such a talented young woman of colour.”
Mountain Horse secured her internship through Riipen, a technology platform that facilitates micro-experiential learning opportunities by connecting students with industry partners. Lethbridge College is one of nearly 150 campuses across North America currently using it for in-course assignments or competitions designed by instructors.
“Hayden is an incredibly talented student,” says Kris Hodgson-Bright, instructor for the MMP Managed Internship course. “Thanks to Riipen, she connected with an American designer and found something she was passionate about. The work Hayden has done with Anemoia is incredible and I hope it provides some amazing opportunities to kickstart her future career.”
While Mountain Horse hasn’t settled on a specific career path, she is certain it will involve art. “I might go into illustrating - maybe a concept character artist or a storyboard artist,” she says. “Art is my passion and I want to put that into my work.”
Mountain Horse, and her fellow second year MMP classmates, will graduate in October as part of Lethbridge College’s Fall 2022 Convocation.