Rioter Short Stories | Lisa Thorn, Associate Art Director

Rioter Short Stories | Lisa Thorn, Associate Art Director


I just sat there every day at work, going
like, “This is my job??” (laughs) It’s awesome. I’m Lisa Thorn, I’m the associate art director
for the publishing team on League of Legends, and this is my short story. I’m originally from Minnesota. I went to school for music, studied classical
opera. I never had any formal training in visual
design, illustration, any of that stuff. I still wanted to be a designer, I still wanted
to be creative. I kinda just tried to pick that up on my own. I’ve been at Riot for seven and a half years. I had a bunch of friends, who, in order to
keep in touch with them, I played a little bit of League of Legends with them. They were like, “Hey, Riot’s hiring. You should totally apply!” I’m like, “Yeah, there’s no way. There’s no way I’m gonna… But okay, yeah sure, I’ll apply.” And so I put in my application, it was like three
months and ten different interviews later, I think. I finally, finally made it here. As an art lead, I work with a group of artists. We work on a lot of different things like skins,
campaigns, everything from sci-fi Project to magical girl Star Guardian, champion reveals,
and defining what the League core brand looks like, and how that impacts new players and their
onboarding experience. The main challenges I think I face as an artist
at Riot is just understanding these millions of players that we have, spread across every
part of the world, you know, and they all want something different out of League. And trying to find a balanced way to make
all of those different players happy without, you know, it being a completely lukewarm experience
for everyone. And doing that consistently is really, really
difficult. I’m a huge, huge fan of anime. I worked on skins, I worked on building out
these different thematics like Star Guardian. And that was awesome because players, they’re
super honest when they find something that they like. So many players made fan art and created their
own stories, and I love that. I love seeing and watching that unfold. Star Guardian thematic was basically the perfect
combination of all of my passions, with anime, with League, with art, and it all kinda came
together. I listen to a ton of video game music. Final Fantasy VI is probably my favorite soundtrack
of any game, and so I’ve always wanted to be a part of that. I went out to lunch with Christian Linke,
who was the composer, and we were talking about music. And he asked me to come in and just sort of
sing on top of some music that he was working on, and if it worked out, would you be interested
in singing on the Diana piece? And I’m like, “Oh yeah, totally.” But on the inside, I’m like, “YESyesyesyesyesyes
ohmygod ohmygod ohmygod pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease, dream come true!” Because one of the top five things I’ve ever
wanted to do is sing on a video game soundtrack. And that led to a whole bunch of different
things that I got to do. For Worlds 2016, I got to sing the Diana piece. It was incredibly terrifying. (laughs) Because getting on this huge stage
with all of these really talented musicians, breathing the same air as those people and
being seen as one of the performers along with all of these people that I basically
idolized. Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god! (laughs)
(singing) The dawn will never rise again. (crowd cheers) I feel pretty lucky that I’ve
gotten to do some music for Riot, and it probably to this day is still like one of the coolest
experiences that I’ve gotten to have in my life. And that was a lot of fun. I love being an artist at Riot because you
take the things that you’re interested in, in your personal life, and you get to use
it when you go to work.

64 thoughts on “Rioter Short Stories | Lisa Thorn, Associate Art Director

  1. Absolutely amazing voice in the Diana piece. One of the best login screen songs if not the best, absolute masterpiece.

  2. omg i love this so much. more more more!

    congrats on your amazing successes, lisa! you're kicking real butt there – stay awesome! can't wait to see what you do next. 🙂

  3. I love her smile, something about it just warms my heart. And the fact that she sang my main's song, Daylight's End, really is just the cherry on top. Being able to do so much is really inspiring, I wish the best for her.

  4. This kind of videos are so inspiring 🙂 Would be awesome to have more from different rioters to see a bit of their stories! Really cool video ^^

  5. That was so cool, I love those kind of videos, and the girl is just so lovely and talented……

    I WANT TO KNOW MORE OF THE TEAM!!

  6. Woo excelent work uwu
    She is espectacular
    I like her work
    Some day I would like to be working in riot games and i would like know more people like she.
    Thanks for her work

  7. Omg so you are the one who did the Star Guardian skinline, I love you so much! I love everything about it, the music video, the gamemode, the soundtrack and of course the design of the skins.

  8. She makes it look so easy. No signs of stress at all despite the pressure League is going through everyday. Please Lisa help us to be so much Happy by relewsing more beautiful and amazing Star Guardian Skins. Just like you, I am a Die Hard Fan of Star Guardians 💕

  9. Damn she's awesome and it looks like she is really living a fulfilling life. It's nice to hear that because what she needed for that was being successfull in the creative fields of art and music, some of the hardest areas to find your place in 😀

  10. Awww, this is an amazing job! You give me confidence how you doubted yourself but you still managed to make it. I wish I could work at Riot!

  11. Anime fan that explains a whole lot. I like anime too. But I would love more ugly, disgusting, unique champions. Like for every 3 cute, good looking, cool champion I would like 1 ugly bastard. Mixing it up to keep it fresh. Tahm Kench was like the last one we got. I don't consider Pyke ugly because of the red mask and the cool bone shoulders.

  12. This is one of my favorite videos that riot games has produced. It is authentic and humanizing. Thank you riot workers for everything that you do to keep a loyal fan base. We all appreciate your hard work and dedication. Thank you Lisa Thorn for doing this video, and thank you riot for producing it.

  13. How about programm pyke? https://de.reddit.com/r/leagueoflegends/comments/8o0nrl/skin_concept_program_pyke/ mayn pyke mains want that skin would be cool

  14. OMG, this is a nice surprise for me!
    Never in my life imagine that one of my drawings was there!
    I refer to my traditional SG Poppy fan art (second SG Poppy), specifically in this min:

    https://youtu.be/ApfccsgpZSw?t=118

    Hahaj is funny because when I saw this video for the first time and my fan art scared me hehehehe!

    I am very grateful for this, : ')

    Thank you!

    https://youtu.be/ApfccsgpZSw?t=118

  15. May i ask what it takes to be an artist at riot? I actually dream of becoming one someday, and even to be able to animate at riot as well.

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