Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Rountable Meeting Recap

Roundtable Meeting Recap

Is college worth it?

for some it is, and for some it's not

Investment in your college career is more than just money it is time and passion. Depending on the person it can take a while to receive payment in their investment.

Graham Erwin

2011 C.C.A.D Grad

Illustration Major

Focuses on Graphic designs

Does Editorial work and poster work

He works for Mondo and designs movie posters, like for example ParaNorman and Nightmare Before Christmas.

He has learned to expect his employers to turn down his work. For example with his Nightmare Before Christmas poster his first version was turned down by Disney. He made the necessary changes and his next version was accepted.

Graham has learned to work with tight deadlines. When you work for a place like Mondo you have to have thumbnails and concepts approved before you can move onto the final. Sometimes employers will not get back to you for a week and you only have four days to complete a finished artwork. These experiences will teach you to work with tight deadlines. As an artist we need to expect that we have to redo things (many times in some cases)

Alex Lyon

2010 C.C.A.D. Grad

Illustration Major

Currently working in Visualization

As soon as he Graduated college he scrapped everything in his portfolio and started fresh. After he created his Illustration portfolio he started a Design portfolio, and after a few month of doing that he got a design based job. He is currently a visualization artist, which means that he helps clients envision what they are thinking. People rely on him to show the client what a product would look like in 3D. He creates vector lines, brings them into Photoshop and creates images. If you take the right amount of time in this process you can create realistic looking things. One thing he stresses is that clients hate surprises. Once they like something don't change it. He also stresses not to let critiques hurt you personally and don't let them take you off of the target/goal.

A side note is that he can also re-touch photos (which he personally finds boring, but it pays well.)

A fun fact is that he does extremely rendered fantasy art. He originally wanted to create fantasy art as a way to make a living but realized that he would not at the current moment be able to.

Alex Alvarado    

2011 C.C.A.D Grad

Illustration Major

Currently works at Disney Animation in Look Development

During his Junior year of college was got a summer internship with Disney Animation studios. what he did was paint on the 3D models (Texture Painting) and program the lighting effects (describes what will happen). What got him the job with Disney Studios was the fact that he kept in contact with his mentor at Disney. They wanted him to succeed, and helped him get the job that he has. He also stated that he would not have been able to get the Job without his illustration background.

Adam Watkins

2004 C.C.A.D.

Illustration Major

Currently a Children's Book Illustrator

Adam after graduating got sick of art, so he found a job in construction. After a while of doing construction he worked on a few AD things but he felt like it was just not for him. He was afraid of failure but he was able to overcome it. He tells students to not be afraid of failure, everyone has failures in their life's. You have to go through a certain amount of failures before you are able to succeed. His Children's book Illustrations were first published in the book "Stubborn as a Mule." His most current work publish in a book is from "Literally Disturbed" (A scary Children's book.) and he is currently working on the second book in that series. Adam likes to work traditionally and likes doing portrait work.

Erika Steiskal

2006 C.C.A.D. Grad

Illustration Major

Works as an editorial Illustration

During her senior year she has worn herself thin and started to make works that she was not necessarily proud of. She had lost her confidence. After she had graduated from C.C.A.D. she went to the illustration academy and practiced different things. She learned from them to keep a sketchbook and draw in it as much as she can. The sketchbook allowed her to help with her line work and line technique. When she went to New York she showed her portfolio to an interviewer and he thought that it was not that good, although he did like her sketchbook. He recommended that she combine her linework and paintings together into a finished art piece. After this interview she realized that she needed to rethink her work as a whole, what would sell to businesses. So she combined her line work and painted underneath with a digital paintings. People loved her work after she made these changes and she found consistent work. It took her 7 years to get consistent work.

AG Ford 

2007 C.C.A.D. Grad

Illustration Major

Works as a Children's book Illustrator

During school he worked extremely hard, he had worked during the day on school and at night he would go to work. He had to have a great work ethic to get his work done on time. When he attended C.C.A.D. he knew he loved to work traditional and researched what jobs would allow him to work in traditional media. So he decided to be a children's book illustrator. After college he looked for an agent and sent his work out until someone accepted his offer. When he talked to his agent he decided to create a whole new portfolio, something that he would be proud to show to publishers. After he had finished creating his new portfolio he showed it to some publishers and that landed him his first Children's book Illustration job to create the artworks for the book "Barak" which was about Barack's life. At the Current moment he is working on his 11th book. His way of working is to draw on an illustration board, do an acrylic under painting, and Finnish it off with oil paint.


What was the first thing you did after you Graduated?

Adam: Worked in construction. He learned how to take criticism (and talk like a sailer)

Alex Lyon: Was determined to replace his portfolio and re-build on his skills. He also started to bounce back onto his design work.

Erika: Went to the Illustration academy and revamped her portfolio.

Graham: Screen printed T-shirts, he had a smooth transition into the field he wanted to be in.

AG: Moved back to Dallas, he allowed his fear to motivate him to create better portfolio pieces.

Describe your school experience.

AG: School Full time and work full time. Had to stay productive and use his time efficiently. He also used his school time efficiently, did not mess around when work could have been done.

Graham: He had fun doing his personal work and gave himself a lot of deadlines. Started to send things to blogs. They posted his work and his work became popular. During this time he sent his work to Mondo (by accident.) He used his time wisely, two hours everyday can add up.

Describe a typical workday

Alex Alvarado: He would get coffee at 9 and then open models (computer Models) and start painting. Periodically he would show what he was doing to the supervisor.

Adam: Had discipline throughout the day. He does not want to get distracted. Goes to the studio and works during the day. His work is flexible.

AG: 5:45 go to gym. 9-7:30 work on his artwork. He treats his time like a boss is watching him.

Graham: If he is not doing paid work he treats his personal work as if someone is paying him to do it. He suggests not to do work that your not interested in.  

What would you have Done differently at school or what would you have wanted CCAD to do Differently?

AG: He wanted the teachers to ask for more personal work and personal sketchbooks. AG would have learned more digital techniques.

Graham: He wanted the school to have more non art technical classes. Graham would have taken classes that he was not comfortable with.

Erika: Wanted the teachers to tell the students how important New York was, and also wanted the teachers to push sketchbooks more. She would not have stretched herself to thin.

Alex: He had wished that the teachers would have told him that there are a lot of jobs out there. Alex wanted to teachers to tell students to research all of the jobs out in the real world. He wished he had more fun in school instead of being obsessed with projects.

Adam: The Food (but it has changed.) He wished he had started searching for jobs right after college.

Alex Alvarado: Wished he had the knowledge of the Skill level of artists in the real world. Everyone is amazing and you need to be that good to get a job.

You can get better if you work hard. Everyone will have bad drawings, you just have to get past them to get to the good ones. Another pointer is that you need to work in the right Direction if you don't your work will get you nowhere. Find your Niche!

What do you do to keep yourself going?

Erika: She surrounded herself with people who had new tips and tricks. She found new ways to challenge herself and look at the bigger picture.

What Illustrators are you influenced by?

Graham: Kovach

Alex Lyon: Gray Manches and Howard Pyle

Adam: James Bennett and peter de seve

Alex Alvarado: Paul Felix and Mary Blair

How Hard was it to find a job after school?

Erika: very hard, after you get out of school it was hard to find good critiques. So it was hard for her to improve her artwork.

Alex Alvarado: Not to hard because he stayed in touch with his mentors at Disney.  They wanted him to succeed so they fought for him to get a job in the Look development department.

Do you have any Advise for juniors and seniors?

Stay excited, do the research that you have to do, and be patient.

Have your links (online Portfolio) available on your emails.

Keep files that your sending to employers under 5mb.

Always bring your portfolio with you to interviews (hard copy version.) You can not rely on an online portfolio because you might not have access to a computer.

Employers do not want to hear your life story, get to the point quick and efficiently

Be persistent and do not stop trying. The more someone sees your work the better.

Be brutally honest with yourself, there are always things that you can improve on.

Do not be afraid to ask other artists/studios to review your work. Getting feed back from the people you want to hire you is extremely helpful and can get you closer to getting the job of your dreams.