Profile: Lorraine Lin
Lorraine Lin describes herself as an artist masquerading as an engineer. Everyone else would probably just describe her as a character—a furry, winged, blue-haired character to be exact.
Through her alter ego, Wing, the admittedly shy computer science senior has found a unique way to share her personality with the world.
Wing is one of many characters she created as part of a role-playing group she helped found while in high school. Using original characters, she and her fellow group members took turns writing stories in the group notebook, but Lin had a head start. She had been creating characters through her sketches and writing since she was in the second grade.
"The first character I created was a white mouse named Curley Tail. It was based on a stuffed animal my mom made me," Lin explained. " I start by drawing the characters, then I assign personality traits. Once the characters start to form, I'll put them in situations and see how the storyline develops."
Lin credits her parents with being an inspiration for her writing. Natives of Taiwan, they told her a lot about ancient Chinese mythology during her childhood in Vicksburg. She says the magic and lore in those tales inspired her imagination and helped foster her love of art.
"Artistic things come naturally to me, but when I considered choosing that path as a major, it seemed like something was missing," Lin said. "That's when someone mentioned engineering. I realized that art is like the skin on an animatronic dinosaur and engineering is what gives it life."
She added, "Mixing the two disciplines is what makes the magic real. By combining my love of art and my love of science, I hope to make my own magic."
Both skills were used when she decided to bring Wing to life. The hand-made costume started with sketches and dimensions. Working during her free time while at State, it took her a full year to complete. It features a movable wing, lighted sword and hinged jaw that moves when Lin speaks—details that have made Wing a popular addition to fantasy and Anime conventions.
Lin will spend the summer learning how to do 3-D animation and studying 3-D/ human interaction through an internship. Combining that experience with her education and work with the MSU augmented and virtual reality lab, she hopes that after graduation she can realize her dream of helping bring fantasy characters to life full-time.
"I'll keep making art until the end of time," Lin said. "I'm not worried about running out of ideas. I'm more concerned that I won't be able to get all of my ideas out in my lifetime."
Next week … Everett Kennard !