Never Give In: Artist Exclusive With Ace Shingles

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Ace, 17, shares how gaming has influenced and inspired him to be the person he is today.

This article is part of the Never Give In campaign, where 21 young Cardiffians were commissioned to create a piece of art showing how gaming affects their mental health. This is the story of Ace, a 17-year-old artist who was part of the project.

How has gaming affected your mental health? 

Gaming has helped me with my confidence and helped me gain new friendships with online friends my age and people who understand me.  

It has also inspired my art style and the way I present my style. It’s also inspired me in the way I design characters and developed stories. Games have inspired me to come up with game ideas to make or consider for my future works. 

Gaming has brought my online friends closer from other countries or distanced relationships. It also brings me and my younger brother closer even if we fight, we settle things by playing Minecraft!  

Playing different games like Just Dance brings my family together, playing VR and showing it to my family keeps us talking and we all have fun interacting within gaming. Gaming has always been a part of my life since childhood. I started playing Sega MegaDrive Sonic games when I was 5! It’s always inspired me and made me the artist and person I am today.  

What inspired you to create this artwork? 

My name is Ace and I’m also known as AceFlesh. I am a digital artist that creates art and animation for my followers and as a hobby. I create my work using my iPad and procreate.

I wanted this piece to contain elements of what I saw from childhood, the texture of the hard carpet on the floor, and the darkroom as I played on my Megadrive with my friend. It’s a very comfortable atmosphere with the glow from the screen and the old tv effect which eventually hurt my eyes a little.

I first created these two characters based on my childhood friendship playing sonic and tails on my Megadrive after school. My friend and I used to play and dress up as sonic characters every day.

Sonic has made me the person I am today with style and confidence. Whilst growing up, lots of other game characters influenced who I am today. I want this piece to show people how games can inspire them to become creative, make friendships and gain confidence.

What message would you give to someone who is struggling with their mental health? 

I struggle a lot with my own mental health and have for a long time. When I was younger I had gone through an experience that had changed me forever. My escape was the things that interested me like art, movies, and games.

If you are going through troubling times seek things that can comfort you, look back into nostalgia or play a game you enjoy. If those don’t work, seek help from friends or loved ones because nobody should be struggling alone! 😊

To find out more about the Never Give In campaign and see the incredible artwork from all of the other artists, click HERE.

Struggling with your mental health? Check out TheSprout’s Mental Health Information Page where you can find loads of local and national support services.

If you’re sharing our posts from the Never Give In campaign on social media, remember to use the #PositiveMentalGaming hashtag. Feel free to tag us so we can see what you’re sharing!

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