UK-based concept and 2D artist and previous THU attendee Gina Nelson grew up in South Africa. Now Nelson is a lead artist at mobile game studio The Secret Police in London, a location she says is the site for a very healthy industry.

“I love the UK games industry,” declares Nelson. “We have so many studios and so much talent working here. There are a lot of options for new studios which means that you see a lot of startups and indie devs.”

But only a year ago Nelson says she was “at a bit of a creative low.” One of the issues was the team at her then workplace had been stuck in downtime for a long period. She was already a professional artist but hadn't really pursued any of her own art for a while either.

That’s when Trojan Horse was a Unicorn came beckoning. “I saw a lot of Facebook posts about THU which is how I found out about it,” recalls Nelson.

The result of a week in Troia with other artists, a large group of mentors and a relaxed environment had the effect of Nelson returning to the UK “feeling motivated and energised.”

“I had met so many wonderful and creative people,” adds Nelson.

"I realised that I really needed to get back into doing my own art and work towards getting a job that was more creative and fulfilling than what I was doing at the time.”

After a few months and after some much-needed rejuvenation in her drawing, Nelson was contacted by a friend she had made at THU in Troia about an art role at The Secret Police.

“I am now the art lead there and it's a really great place,” she says, excitedly. “We have a wonderful team and we're working on our first game, it's all very exciting!”

THU brings together artists from all over the world, something that Nelson sees as hugely important in fashioning a career in 3D, gaming or any art.

“Meeting people, seeing their work and being able to talk to other artists is really important to me. I'm always motivated and inspired by the work I see.”

“There are a lot of things that I have only come to realise from talking to other artists - we have all struggled, we have all doubted ourselves, no one is alone in these things. I've met so many incredible artists on my journey so far, including my husband! Every job I've had, every event I've been to, all the friends I’ve made in these places, they have all helped to shape me and my art in some way.”

Nelson has even ended up working with more people she met at in Troia and made lasting friendships - that’s not something every conference or art event can boast. It also makes her a major advocate for THU. “We need events that bring people together in the way that THU does.”

Find out more about Gina on her website:

By Ian Failes