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Employee Spotlight: Amanda Clarke


I’m Amanda. I’m a UI Artist at Harmonix and I’ve been at the studio for over 2 years. I have a BFA in Illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design and I started my career working in animation before moving into interaction design and games. Before Harmonix, I was working with the fine folks at Demiurge Studios. I originally joined Harmonix as part of the Dance Central VR team, then worked on UI for FUSER and am now currently helping shape UI and UX on a Super Secret Project. 

I’ve always admired the studio and feel so fortunate to be working alongside so many talented people. There’s also a lot of genuine camaraderie-whether it’s touring the tiki bars of San Francisco at GDC or coming up with backstories for the FUSER mentors, we have a good time. It was especially inspiring to see the Dance Central and FUSER demos at PAX East these past two years. Seeing the Dance Central multiplayer experience on a giant screen was a big moment for me-and this year the FUSER booth was out of control! Watching people get so excited to play a game you’ve been a part of was really special. Also, we were very close to Tom Nook! What a delight.

Outside of work, I usually have some illustration project going-even if it’s just something for myself. I just finished a Dolly Parton portrait and some signage for my friend Aaron’s new spot Earnest Drinks in Kendall Sq. I also illustrated a page for a friend’s Halloween coloring book project since trick or treating isn’t happening for a lot of kids this year.

What is your favorite Harmonix game and why?

The Beatles: Rock Band and Dance Central! The Beatles were on heavy rotation in my house growing up and Harmonix did such a lovely job with that game-it’s so beautiful. Dance Central was a dream team and I learned so much on that project-and I love playing the game. The character dialogue is so funny.

What Rock Band instrument do you play?

Vocals, bay-beee.

What’s your wfh set up like?

A desk at standing height but also a chair at standing height. Loophole! It’s also imperative that you’re always backlit on Zoom calls so you look like a blue and white high contrast ghoul. You heard it here first. In terms of desk decor, I have a thermal detonator from Galaxy’s Edge on my desk that makes me very happy (I had a really nice time there with some of my favorite people in the world last fall). I forced a photo op with Chewie. I regret nothing.

If you could trade places with anyone else at Harmonix for a week, who would it be?

Do I also inherit that person's skill set? Because if so my answer is Jamie. I’d love to be able to sculpt in ZBrush like she can. She designed and 3d printed a fully articulated doll for fun. I cannot comprehend it. Also Sarah Hoisington, because then I’d ride motorcycles, have restored a muscle car and be Extremely Kind. Or maybe Zoe Schneider because then I’d be able to play every musical instrument known to humanity, have played all of Off The Wall live as my college thesis and be the Life of Every Party.

Any funny or memorable moments from your interview at Harmonix?

I like dancing, but I wouldn’t necessarily say I’m “good” at it. The potential of having to dance to a song as part of my Dance Central interview did not cross my mind, although in retrospect it makes total and complete sense! I feel like a single bead of sweat ran down my face as I put on a Rift helmet in front of my future coworkers. Luckily, the game is so fun that I focused mostly on happily flinging my arms around instead of being self-conscious.

What's your go-to Karaoke Jam? 

What’s Up? By 4 Non Blondes.

What are you doing to stay sane these days?

I escaped to the woods a few times recently for some socially distant vacation and it was so nice. I’ve also been doing more analog art projects like crocheting and painting. I have a dog who is not very snuggly but will sit next to us on the couch, which I appreciate. I haven’t made sourdough, please make some for me.

If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

Stand up comedy. Or teleportation? Telekinesis I guess? What’s the most impressive of the three? I need more time. Pass.

You can see more of my artwork here: