On Tuesday evening (Feb. 8), sometime after 8 p.m., I received an email about the contest I entered in December. You know, this one.

I read the subject line: “City of Heroes Billboard Contest – Results” (No way!) and the first few words “I am pleased to inform you…” (Holy crap!!) I didn’t make it any further than that before I squealed with excitement and jumped out of my chair. My boyfriend was in the hall and saw my eyes filling with tears and thought I’d hurt myself. It took me a few minutes to get to the point where I could tell him that I was a winner in the contest. I didn’t even know at this point what I won, I was that freaking excited!Shaking and crying, I sat back down to try to finish reading the email. I was a Runner-Up, but you know what? I don’t care that I wasn’t in the top three because I’m pretty sure there were a lot of submissions and the fact that mine got noticed at all is pretty damn sweet!

It’s taken me a while to announce this simply because I’ve had to wait until the “official announcement” had been made. Seeing my pieces up there with the other winners just makes my heart pound. Not to mention that while I was filling out the paperwork in order to make it to the official announcement, I found out that my entries as a whole had impressed not only the artists and judges, but the senior game designer as well! *deep breath*

Designers, by nature, have to have a tough hide. A lot of people don’t appreciate the hard work a designer does or they just think they can do it better and that training doesn’t really matter since it’s such a subjective field. I also think that designers tend to come in two flavors: those whose ego is the size of Manhattan and everyone absolutely had to love their work; and those who are quietly proud and somewhat shy of their accomplishments and don’t tend to tout their work, good as it may be.

I fall into the latter category and that is a big reason why this contest is a huge deal to me. I’m not here screaming “I’m great! Look at what I’ve done!” so other people can boost me up with similar praise. I had to fight with myself to even enter the contest. I mean, there were who knows how many others that entered and I thought to myself, “Surely at least five of them are better than I am, probably a lot more…” I had to fight the “so why bother entering” idea. I had to fight it hard because, while I usually can appreciate that I am capable of creating good pieces of design/art, I don’t always believe in myself to the degree that I probably should. Part of that is likely because I don’t want to end up in that other category. *shudder*

And so, after getting some good ideas from one of my friends on the CoH forums, I fought my battle and nervously submitted four different ideas. (I say different, but they were more different applications of the same idea. You get the point. :p) And then I waited. And waited. And waited. The contest ended on Jan. 25, and by Feb. 7 I had pretty much convinced myself that I wasn’t one of the winners. It had been two weeks so surely they had contacted the winners, right?And then the email came and I think I about died. I won. I wasn’t first-, second- or third-place, but damn, I won! The prizes offered for runner-ups are primarily a couple of booster packs and a month of game time. But, that wasn’t why I entered anyway. The big prize was the chance that your entry could be added to the game. That’s right – I could be zooming or flying along on one of my characters in the game and see a rendition of my idea right there in the game. And so could several hundred thousand other players.Holy shit! My art (or a CoH version of it) could be in front of several hundred thousand people!!!

It’s a heart-stopping thought. Even now and I don’t even know if it will be in the game. That is why I’m making a big deal about this contest. I did something that was outside my comfort zone and nerve-wrecking and won. And I’m proud of myself for taking the chance.

Go me! ^_^

A screenshot of my character next to her billboard.

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