I met Regis Frey during a semester abroad in London in 2010. We were both studying at CAPA International and were taking the same British Pop Culture class. He very much admires Neil Gaiman and doodling robots, and during our semester-long trip, told me he brought an armful of his favorite books along with him because he knew that if he had them he would would be okay in the new world of unfamiliarity. He’s currently working on a Master’s in Entertainment Technology at Carnegie Mellon University in his hometown of Pittsburgh. Here are his words. Cheers.
How has graduate school been treating you?
Everyone I know in graduate school says that it is life consuming. Our program however is particularly bad (I think owing to the crunch heavy games industry). Our first semester is essentially a constant crunch: 14 hour days and working weekends to complete projects. It is good to have passed that. Luckily it is all about making things, so I love the work.
What’s the best thing you’ve learned so far in said school?
“Make your partner look good.” It was a rule from our improv class and it really helped me to turn my focus outwards. I can be egotistical at times so being able to subvert that and put the spotlight on someone else is really helpful.
What’s the most useless thing you’ve ever been told in life?
That you have to have a career path and/or some kind of plan.
When was the last time you felt nervous?
I’m constantly nervous. Creatively, I fear that I’ll never be talented enough to make something really good or that the ideas will stop. I feel that this fear is amplified by the fact that I’m young but testimonials from my idols suggest it never gets any better even after the world deems you successful. Socially, I fear that other people won’t respect me which is a maturation of an earlier fear that they wouldn’t like me.
What was the last thing that made you happy?
My girlfriend randomly told me that she secretly kisses her arm sometimes. It was serendipitous since I do the same. Weirdos united.
The last thing that made you dissatisfied?
A bus passed by the bus stop without stopping.
What creation are you most proud of?
It varies between something recent that still has the sheen of accomplishment and, when the recent stuff loses its luster, older work that, despite all it’s failings, is a sign of some past accomplishment.
Currently I’m rather in love with my new branding:
What is your favorite place about your hometown, Pittsburgh?
Flagstaff Hill. I have a bunch of different memories there from different periods in my life. It was a place I went to to be alone and a place I went to to be together.
What place would you like to visit the most?
That I haven’t been to? Iceland and Greenland intrigue me.
How would you say you stepped onto the Graphic Design path?
I wouldn’t say I’m on the graphic design path. My first involvement with art as a real interest came with stick figure battles in math class. Then lots of doodling throughout my school career. I’ve been lucky enough to have support in my art from my family and help in bringing my art onto the computer from the Internet (tutorials are amazing). But honestly I cut my way across many typical paths. My final project last semester was part game, part location based entertainment, and part skit. I coded, painted, wrote and acted. I’ve always done what I loved and tried things that sounded interesting to me without being worried about what path I was taking. [The dots connect in hindsight] But I just sort of blundered around making interesting stuff to get here.
What’s something you would like to accomplish in the New Year?
I’m trying to read 50 books (Inspired by Joe Hill.) Already 2.5 books in.
What are your strengths?
1. I’m passionate.
2. I’m analytical and critical.
3. I believe magic can be created.
Who do you most admire and why?
I really admire Steve Jobs. While aspects of his personality were far from perfect, his confidence throughout an atypical path to success is inspiring to me. He was a man who loved to make things and cared deeply about that pursuit. When he was ousted from Apple he forged a new path, willing to learn how to do better. He returned to the company he founded better able to do what he loved: make great things.