Jordan Besito

Learning to Level Up: Gamer Jordan Besito Draws a New Artistic Career Path

From a doodle to a drawing, now he’s sketching out a career as an artist at Toronto Film School. Jordan Besito is a Saugeen First Nation member from Southampton, Ontario who is attending his third year of what was supposed to be a two-year program, but he’s not letting that get him down. He’s had some setbacks along the way, from assignments that didn’t go the way he hoped to technical glitches. To progress in his chosen career, he’s had to make adjustments to meet the school’s standards and he’s getting closer to graduation every day. 

Passionate about video games and art, he works hard and tries to do well at whatever he undertakes. In his home community, he didn’t have much free time but what time he did have he spent gaming or watching tv. He loved first-person shooters or adventure games, or sometimes even role-playing games. He had started off his love of gaming with Mario Kart and Legend of Zelda and the passion for playing games only grew from there. 

When it came to choosing a career and educational path, some of his family encouraged him to pursue university, while his dad suggested trade school. He ended up settling on graphic design, something nobody in his community had done before. Doodling, reading comics, and watching animation, he found his passion and pursued it. He hopes others will too, even if their family isn’t necessarily supportive of their dreams. Over time, his drawing skills have improved with help from others who have shown him what they know. 

To follow his dream, he left his home community to study at the Toronto campus. “Leaving home was one of the best decisions I made because it showed me that I was capable of living on my own and able to make my own decisions,” he reflects. Even if moving away doesn’t work out, Besito feels that failure can be something to learn from and build off of. 

Illustration by Shaikara David

Initially, Besito was concerned he didn’t have the grades to be able to pursue post-secondary education but a decade after graduating from high school he found he was in a rut and needed a new challenge. He figured even if it didn’t work out, at least he tried. One of the things that made his educational journey more challenging was having ADHD, but it hasn’t been something he’s found discouraging. 

While he hasn’t been as social as he was when he was in high school, the decision to go back to school has been life-changing for Besito. He’s determined to remain positive and continue his journey toward his career path after his program is complete. Even after graduation, there will be new skills, techniques, technology and programs to learn and those will be new destinations to strive for. A concept or character artist is his ultimate career goal, creating logos on the side. 

If he could give a message to his younger self, Besito would encourage himself to pursue post-secondary education right away rather than waiting and working. “Industry will always be there. But your education is more important,” he would say. Tools that proved to be helpful became available while he waited and he has no regrets, but that’s the message he would share if he could. 

"Industry will always be there. But your education is more important"

To maintain his wellness, Besito takes a few hours before class to relax, go for a walk, and get something to eat that’s well-balanced, avoiding sugar crashes where possible. He stays hydrated and takes time out each day to relax and cool down. To better manage his time, he gets a jump start on assignments so he meets deadlines but doesn’t stress too much about things when he has plenty of time to get things done. He does what he can to avoid overworking himself, taking his time as much as he can because he’s seen how burnout has impacted his classmates. He’s worked himself to burnout as well and he doesn’t want to repeat that. 

In the end, the message that he hopes Indigenous youth get is to pursue their dreams and not let anyone discourage them from the things that bring them joy. “Pursue it to the fullest. Because the reward at the end of it all is well worth it and you can finally say to yourself even at the end  ‘I have no regrets in my life,’” he urges.

From a doodle to a drawing, now Jordan Besito is sketching out a career as an artist at Toronto Film School. This gamer is leveling up his skills, breaking away from tradition and into an industry that has captured his imagination. Overcoming obstacles like bosses at the end of his favourite gaming levels, he’s progressing towards a high score and the satisfaction of a job well done. 

Thanks to Alison Tedford Seaweed for authoring this article.

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Key Parts

  • Career
  • Identity
    First Nations
  • Province/Territory
  • Date
    April 18, 2024
  • Post Secondary Institutions
    No PSI found.
  • Discussion Guide
    create to learn discuss

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