Archaeology of Tomb Raider: In the Spotlight: Anna & Inna

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Interviews by Fans
Title: Archaeology of Tomb Raider: In the Spotlight: Anna & Inna
Interviewer: Kelly M
Interviewee: Anna & Inna
Date(s): January 4, 2015
Medium: online
Fandom(s): Tomb Raider
External Links: In the Spotlight: Ana & Inna (Part 1) – The Archaeology of Tomb Raider, Archived version
In the Spotlight: Ana & Inna (Part 2) – The Archaeology of Tomb Raider, Archived version
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Contents

Archaeology of Tomb Raider: In the Spotlight: Anna & Inna was conducted in 2015.

Some Excerpts

So, tell us a little about yourself.

– Ana: I’m from Croatia, soon to be 24, still in university and majoring in fashion design. But my true love for art resides in a different form, as I’m mostly a realist pencil artist. You can check out my deviantArt gallery here. I’m a casual gamer and mostly like to play old games which were a big part of my childhood. Things that I love: pencils, my boyfriend, Inna, my beagle, hyperventilating over Tomb Raider, music, movies, and chocolate cookies.

– Inna: And I’m a 25-year-old who spent 5 precious years of her life studying for a degree in English and German, graduating from uni with a diploma in these subjects just to realize a year later that my true passion is art and that’s what I want to do in life. So I’m a freelance illustrator and concept artist now, crazily in love with what I’m doing, and also getting hyperventilation attacks over Tomb Raider with my beloved lady soulmate, Ana. If you want to drop by and say “Hi”, here’s where my artsy things reside.

You can find our mutual mix of love for art and Tomb Raider at LaraRobsGraves.deviantart.com and at Tomb-Raider-Empire.deviantart.com.

Do you run a Tomb Raider fansite or blog? If so, what would you say was your biggest achievement to date?

– Ana & Inna: We run a Tomb Raider fan group on deviantArt, Tomb-Raider-Empire. What comes with it is that we got connected with the wonderful fan community expanding outside of dA, which never would have happened had it not been for our dreams with the group. We’re very well aware that we’re way more enthusiastic about what we do than the members actually are (apart from the few dozen who continuously support us <3 ) but it’s a labour of love, it’s something we enjoy and did for own thrill and pleasure in the first place. We think we’re doing okay :)

We think our biggest achievement is having the group going in the exact direction we wanted it to. There were several TR-related art groups on deviantArt already but we wanted to do something different and we think we did it. We planned the group’s design, purpose and projects for about a year before bringing it all to life, thinking it would be a great achievement to have even 1000 members join us. Now we’re over 4,500 members strong, collecting beautiful fan art, participating in the community, and making up a few fun projects of our own. What makes our group different is that we decided not just to collect art, but to be there for fans when it comes to all things TR; to be a part of the fandom, not just collect pretty pictures. Over the years, some other groups undertook a similar path but we’re proud of having started it. Our design is already a bit outdated but we’ll soon get to fixing that too. So forgive our childish drawings in there. It was almost 4 years ago! We’ve improved, we promise. ;)

What are your thoughts on Lara’s image? Is she simply the product of a sexist gaming industry or can she be seen as a positive role model?

– Ana: I don’t think she’s a product of a sexist gaming industry as she wasn’t intended to be a sex symbol when Toby Gard created her. The fact that she became one later doesn’t bother me, honestly, because as a straight female, I swoon upon her as much as any other guy would. Her looks aren’t what make her who she is, but they certainly add to her character. You may say I’m naïve, but with the graphics back then and how cartoony video game characters were, her stylized and overly-emphasized features aren’t really that odd. She was a female game character and much was done to show her with a both feminine and Amazonian physique. After the game’s initial success, it’s no wonder they used that in commercials to attract players (I think it was very tacky but oh well). As for being positive role model, definitely, which is why I’m not bothered with her sex appeal in the first place. She’s smart and badass, more than any other traits that she possesses :)

– Inna: I think the way you see her depends a lot on what kind of a person you are and how you perceive the world in general. For some people she’s indeed just a doll with a backpack to balance out boobies. But I think the reason why I fell in love with TR in the first place was because of what I saw in Lara. For me, she’s always been an image of a perfect woman, beautiful on all levels. She can sweep you off your feet… or swipe you. Lara is this unique combination of a warrior, a scholar, and the very essence of femininity. And while all those images might be boring or lacking when taken alone, they’re a real blast when combined. She will always inspire me in a lot of things. And, yeah, like Ana said, although I’m a straight female, I totally have a girly crush on her :D