EA hires engineer who had brain rewired and became an artist

A stroke turned an engineer's life of suffering into a new career in digital art to which Spore players will be privy.

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

After the Bigfoot saga, here are some monsters that are far more real and whose creation will make you feel that humanity does have some goodness after all.

Please welcome the life-affirming and thought-provoking story of Ken Walters.

Mr. Walters was an engineer who suffered massive spinal and internal damage when a truck driver lost control and pinned him to a wall. He lost his job, was confined to a wheelchair and sank into a depression that lasted 19 years.

Just to add a little relish to his good fortune, he also had two heart attacks. Fortunately, he then suffered a brain hemorrhage.

I know how that sounds.

But Mr. Walters' remarkable resilience in surviving such mind-numbing misfortune turned into a mind-altering second life.

CC Picadilly Wilson

Strokes are weird things. And this particular stroke rewired Mr. Walters' brain, giving him a flair for art that didn't seem to exist at any previous time in his life.

"I hated it in school. I was never really the arty type, more hands on. But I have to say wherever this new found love for art has come from, it's certainly changed my life forever," he told London's Daily Mail.

The stroke itself caused Mr. Walters to slur his words and begin drooling over the phone. Yet he wasn't in any pain. He was merely very agitated. Clearly he didn't realize that these were merely the beginnings of artistic angst.

"My doctor told me following a stroke your brain usually rewires itself to avoid the damaged bits and often leads to discovering hidden talents," he said.

Yet it's one thing to discover a talent. It's another to make a living out of it. The initial doodlings that his new inner-self insisted on creating made Mr. Walters experiment with digital art.

He became rather good rather quickly. To the point at which whatever was left of his engineer persona helped him not only create inspired digital art but also artistic software. He began to sell his digital art online.

One day, his work, which consists of creating mythical creatures of strange and wonderful dimensions, was spotted by EA. The company decided he was so good that they commissioned him to create 100 dinosaur characters for Spore, the new game that's supposed to help your brain.

If this story does not restore your faith in the utter random, crazy madness of life, then you are a gorilla suit and you live in a freezer.