"Balance yourself, especially when attempting two completely different programs. You have to have a passion for both sides or else one will over rule the other."
When I approached Ayana, who goes by Maiyal at the convention scene, I knew she was an artist. Every space of her 10×10 booth was filled with prints, buttons, stickers, and more. All things she drew and created. What I didn’t know was that she is a college graduate in Mechanical Engineering and Animation strives to combine her love for art and engineering in her work.
“The closest thing I’ve done to both mechanical engineering and art is a game I made to teach young students the engineering design process for my senior project.” Maiyal, though just starting out in her field of study, has big goals and plans to use her skills. She lit up as she talked about the possibility of using VR technology in hospitals and to specifically help amputees.
She admits that she is still learning ways to combine both her passions, but she isn’t too worried about it. She talked about how it’s nice to have hobbies that use her different knowledge bases and skills, it helps keeps things interesting and prevents getting burnt out.
What interested me the most about Maiyal is the fact that she graduated from a program that is male-dominated. However, when I asked her if it was ever a struggle, she replied, “Even boys, if they don’t know manufacturing, they are judged too”. She knows her stuff and she has always felt confident that she could keep up. For Maiyal, it’s about knowledge and skill, which she has.
Please check out her work at https://www.operationugawts.com/