Andrew Miller will hopefully represent NL on WorldSkills Team Canada at next year’s WorldSkills International Competition
Local College of the North Atlantic student Andrew Miller may be heading off to Russia next year to compete on the WorldSkills Team Canada.
Miller, a 21-year-old student currently studying Video Game Art and Design, recently won gold at the Skills Canada Provincial Competition in March of 2018.
Selected to Compete
This win earned him a spot on Team Newfoundland and Labrador 2018. Miller went on to compete in 3D Digital Game Art at the national level, and though he did not win a medal in the national competition, he was selected to compete for a spot on the WorldSkills Team Canada, in the 3D Digital Game Art field.
If all goes well, Miller will be headed off to the WorldSkills International Competition in Kazan, Russia, in August 2019.
Currently training with his coach Janice Hertel, Miller took a break from school work and training to chat with The Herald about this opportunity, and where it all began.
“It came from my hobbies of drawing, and just common artistic hobbies that a lot of people have,” Miller said.
“I always thought it would be cool if I could turn it into a career, but I never thought I would be given that opportunity until I saw Video Game Art and Design program listed in the programs offered at College of the North Atlantic,” Miller said.
His interest was piqued, and after some thought about the new possibilities this educational experience could create for the young artist, Miller decided to enroll in the three-year program.
“My initial thought was that this program could prepare me to become what’s known to be an ‘indie’ developer, creating games either on their own or in a small team,” Miller said, explaining that he believed that expanding into a larger studio setting would require honing his skills on his own time, after finishing the program.
“The program has gone beyond my expectations,” he said, noting that business knowledge, oral communication skills and even sound design are on the syllabus.
Miller seems to have gone beyond his teachers’ expectations, with his dedication to his artform earning him a spot to compete in the 3D Video Game Design area, a new field within the Skills Canada Competition.
“It was pretty cool,” Miller said of the March 2018 provincial competition.
“I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to participate, because around that time, we had a lot of school projects due. I had other stuff that needed to get done, but I told my art teacher (his trainer Janice Hertel) that yeah, sure, I’d participate, because it’s a new thing and I’d like to be involved with pioneering this new competition for Skills Canada,” he said.
When the competition date rolled around, Miller had just one month experience with 3D modelling. Feeling like an underdog, he figured that the competition would equate to simply a good experience for a young student – It became much more than that.
“I ended up winning gold, which really surprised me,” Miller said with a laugh.“I didn’t really know where it would go from there, after that,” he added.
Miller now knows where he’ll be going – to the WorldSkills Team Canada Trials, at the Skills Canada National Competition in Halifax, Nova Scotia in May of 2019.
If he wins the trial, it’s off to Russia in August 2019. When he received the email about the international competition, Miller initially thought he had received the email in error. He contacted the provincial coordinator to confirm.
“I was lost for words,” he said. “I suppose I could still say I am pretty at a loss for words,” he said with a laugh.”
College Comes First
Throughout his training, Miller said that his college diploma comes first.
With what he’s achieved in this program so far, one can imagine that Miller will definitely be donning that cap and gown, hopefully accessorized with a nice shiny WorldSkills International Competition medal. We’re rooting for you, Andrew!
For more information on Skills Canada, visit skillscompetencescanada.com