ENMU graduate makes artistic mark on lottery

Courtesy photo: New Mexico Lottery Eastern New Mexico University graduate Jessica Quintana designed the popular new KISS scratchers for the New Mexico Lottery. She said her time at ENMU still affects her work today.

Argen Duncan

An Eastern New Mexico University graduate has displayed her art in 1,100 locations, worked with rock band KISS and made her mark on the New Mexico Lottery.

Jessica Quintana, who graduated from ENMU in 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts, designed the new popular KISS scratchers.

“They were fun,” she said.

Lottery spokeswoman Linda Hamlin said the KISS lottery game launched June 22, and within four days, 80 percent of the 1,100 New Mexico Lottery retailers had the tickets on display and for sale. That is one of the fastest responses, she said.

Hamlin said the lottery has received e-mails from people around the country and around the world asking if they could buy KISS lottery tickets. People can only buy the game in New Mexico, except for the tickets Hamlin found for sale on eBay for $10 and $50.

Official retailers sell the KISS tickets for $5 each.

Hamlin said the KISS scratchers got started when lottery CEO Tom Romero, a KISS fan, invited the band to be featured in a lottery game in December. Because the group’s image is licensed, the designers needed to work with the members on the tickets.

Quintana, a veteran in working with licensed material, created tickets with photos from the band, received approval from lottery employees and sent the designs to the KISS manager.

The manager sent the designs on to KISS members Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley. Quintana said the group was on tour in Europe, but responded in about three days, compared to the three weeks some licensers take.

Quintana received messages saying “Gene” and “Paul” each wanted a different guitar used.

“That was really surreal to feel I was on a first-name basis with these superstars,” she said.

Over Quintana’s five years with the lottery, Hamlin said, she’s developed skills to get licensed games developed in an efficient manner, and her temperament allows her to change her designs to suit owners of licensed material.

“She’s just got a wonderful, wonderful temperament and a methodical approach to the process,” Hamlin said.

Among other duties, Quintana has designed various lottery games with licensed material, including Betty Boop, Indiana Jones and Hershey’s tickets.

Her time at ENMU affects her work today, Quintana said.

“My teachers were fantastic, and they really taught me a lot about how art is done today and how it was done before,” she said.

When Quintana was 4 years old, she knew she wanted to become an artist, and she discovered graphic arts in college.

“I love to draw, and I love to be creative, and especially with this job, with the lottery, I get to showcase my art in 1,100 retailers,” she said.

The native of Manzano, a small town in central New Mexico, said she wouldn’t have been able to attend ENMU without a scholarship she received after attending high school in the town of Mountainair.

Therefore, she said, it’s rewarding for her to work for an organization that provides scholarships for others to go to college as well.

Fast facts

Since 1996, the New Mexico Lottery has provided:

• Roosevelt County: $3 million in scholarships for 870 students, as of spring 2009

• Curry County: $5 million for 1,600 students, as of spring 2009

• Statewide: $446 million for more than 61,000 students

• Information: http://www.nmlottery.com

Source: Linda Hamlin, New Mexico Lottery