Last Thursday, we shared a blog highlighting the presence of women creators and professionals in the Paizo community. We have so many fantastic women that today we take the opportunity to celebrate more of them. Every aspect of Paizo involves women and they make our spaces richer for their contributions. Let’s give it up for more awesome women in the Paizo community!
I first started working in the video game industry where I worked with Nintendo on many fun projects, a favorite being Zelda: Twilight Princess. While there, I got to work with Sonja and met Sarah briefly. I then worked freelance making strategy guides for Pokémon and video game maps for guides like Skyfall and Mass Effect. I was then offered a great opportunity to join the Paizo family and learn about producing TTRPGs and have been there ever since. I now get to work with Sonja, Sarah, and an incredible art team. I once again am working on maps, laying out new products, and really enjoy ordering art as a Senior Graphic Designer. I love seeing the amazing pieces we have come in and the fans reactions to them.
I have been working in gaming since 1991, starting in the video game industry then moving to TTRPG in 2012, achieving the position of Managing Art Director. I have many favorite projects that I have worked on at Paizo, but the thing I love the most is collaborating with my colleagues to come up with fun and engaging art and design. In addition to gaming, I love horror movies, music, and spending time with my wife Alex and chihuahua Max.
I am one of the most senior employees here at Paizo and hold the position of Director of Visual Design. I started with Dragon Magazine and have worked on almost every project since. Working with the many artists that take our art descriptions to final illustrations, for all of our projects, is the best part of my job. I knew Sonja long before my days here at Paizo when we were creating layouts for Nintendo Power and I met Emily during that time. It has been great to work with them again, along with the rest of the art team.
Art by Teresa Guidio
Hi everyone! My name is Jessica Catalan. I’m a mom, freelance author, and blogger, and I’m thrilled to stand alongside the many talented women working in tabletop gaming. As a huge fan of Pathfinder and Starfinder, writing for Paizo is a dream come true. It’s been a wonderful experience full of exciting projects, fulfilling work, and welcoming people, both in the company and among my fellow freelancers. (You can find my announced projects here: https://paizo.com/people/JessicaCatalan )
When I was offered the opportunity to write for today’s blog, I pounced—then faltered. The words wouldn’t come and, as much as I’m happy in my skin, that wasn’t always true. Like many women, I heard “you can’t” and “you’re just a girl” more than I care to remember. I endured the insults and arbitrary constraints. But as a girl growing up in the 90s, when ‘girl power’ was in full swing and sarcastic girls kicked ass in robot pterodactyls, I reclaimed my femininity with pride while young. Media—from Sailor Moon to Pink and countless others—made all the difference. I had it easy.
I’ve always been a quiet person—never one to stand up or seek recognition. But I have a daughter. And when she came home from Kindergarten a few years ago, in tears from enduring all too familiar insults for the first time, it became glaringly obvious the issues I’d thought I’d left behind weren’t better; I’d just became accustomed to fighting past them. Now I had to teach her to do the same.
There’s a moment in Avengers: End Game where the Marvel women unite onscreen. It’s short, but the sight brought my daughter to tears. That was her Spice Girls—forty seconds of female superheroes carrying a glove—and then it was gone. My son didn’t even notice. Representation matters—for girls like my daughter, yes, but also for countless other people enduring so much worse with less visibility.
My name is Jessica Catalan. I’m a Canadian, Métis woman and author in the gaming industry. This is me standing up to be counted. Whoever you represent and whatever you stand for, I hope you join me. To someone out there, it means world.
Jenny Jarzabski, Starfinder Society Developer
Jenny Jarzabski is a longtime Paizo freelancer who writes prolifically for Pathfinder and Starfinder, though authoring organized play scenarios was always her favorite. She’s best known for her Starfinder Society scenarios #1-07: The Solar Sortie, #2-01: Pact World Warriors, and the interactive special #3-00: The Last Bite. Jenny now works as the Starfinder Society Developer at Paizo, helming the strange and beautiful ship that is SFS full time. You can find her on Twitter (@jenjski), Twitch (jezebel77), and Instagram (cutie_gothbot).
Art by Mark Molnar
Simone D. Sallé
Hi fellow creatives! I first worked with the Paizo team in 2018 as a contract editor for the 2e Playtest, then spent the past few years as a freelance contributor (including the Starfinder Character Operations Manual, Lost Omens: Gods and Magic, Bestiary 3, & more). As of this month I'm once again contracted with the editorial team full-time! I'm so grateful to get to learn from and work alongside such bright, creative people who are as passionate as I am about making TTRPGs accessible and welcoming to all. There are so many more stories to be told, so for those who want to be involved in making games—especially if you haven't seen yourself well represented in gaming spaces before—I'll share the same advice I needed to hear: don't tell yourself you're not experienced enough to belong! GM that game, join community groups like Freelance Forge, answer the open author calls. There's room for you at the table.
Nicole joined the Paizo organized play volunteer community with a bang, jumping in to get a group going in her town, becoming a venture-agent in April of 2020. Since then, she’s lent her hands and her typing skills to many a convention online, including ConCurrent, Gen Con Online, PAX Online, and ReaperCon. The latter was a short notice event when the original organizer became ill and needed assistance and Nichole responded instantaly with offers of assistance. She lends experience to any event she’s involved in. More recently, she took on a larger leadership role in the volunteer community, including building a Rivers Region discord and helping process volunteer agreements. Her energy and enthusiasm spread to the venture-officer corps and she is an important member of the team.
There are more women working on projects at Paizo, sharing their creativity and energy with our community. To those in the blog and those who prefer to remain behind the scenes, we thank you for sharing your gifts with our community. For anyone interested in joining the greater Paizo community of freelancers, games professionals, and volunteer coordinators, please take the leap and join us.
Celebrating Women in our Community Part 2
Tuesday, March 30, 2021