Newlyweds Elliott and Isabella Ridgway of Tulsa will each have a booth at the Nescatunga Arts Festival June 4.
Elliott, originally from Alva, attended the University of Tulsa where he earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science. He now creates video games and has entered his work into the Mixed Media category.
“Video games do require mixed media, by nature; almost every video game needs a story, artwork and music,” Elliott said.
He explained that when he makes a video game, he starts by writing the story, then he completes all the programming, adds in artwork and music, and finally tests the game for glitches before releasing it.
“All of my games feature original characters,” he said. “My first game, ‘The Idiot’s Tale,’ was co-designed with my brother Anton, and he came up with the main character designs for that game.”
He noted he used software called Game Maker Studio to write the programming for the games. He also uses Blender to create the 3D art for his game named “ShapeShift Shawn,” and Photoshop to create the hand-drawn art for his game named “MonCon.”
“I tend to pull the most inspiration from my own past experiences,” he said. “’MonCon’ was inspired by all the conventions and art shows I’ve attended over the years – one like Nescatunga. And, ‘ShapeShift Shawn’ was drawn largely from my own childhood. It’s basically the exact sort of game I would have been obsessed with as a 10-year-old.”
His video games will be available for sale in his booth along with other game-related merchandise like posters and action figures. His games also are available for sale on Steam and itch.io.
Isabella, who is originally from Junction City, Kansas, attended the University of Arkansas and earned a bachelor’s degree in biology. She is a crafter who creates crocheted and knitted items.
“I have a passion for crafting delightful decorations and accessories that give you snug vibes,” Isabella said. “I will be selling adorable, hand-crafted summertime decorations at Nescatunga like eggs, apples, blueberries and more.”
Isabella said she was 11 or 12 when she first asked her mom to teach her how to crochet and knit, so she has been creating items off-and-on for 16 years. She said she also started buying books to help teach herself how to do it. In 2015, a co-worker approached her while she was knitting a headband and asked her to make one for her daughter, which led her to open her own Etsy store – Designs by Bella.
“I just crocheted here and there and relied on word-of-mouth for years,” Isabella said. “I finally bit the bullet and open my own Etsy store in 2021, with the encouragement of my husband and his family.”