Can you tell us a bit of your art background prior to VANAS?
Before VANAS I had a basic understanding of art principles. I was in advanced art classes in my high school and won a few local contests with some of my pieces. Later in my career, I began to design costumes, sets and specialty props for theater companies and agencies I was involved with in Las Vegas.
What were your motivations to take the program?
As a creative designer, the work I was submitting was normally received well, but every now and then I would get a few clients who were dissatisfied with the quality of my illustrations and concepts. I realized that I needed to find a program that was focused and didn't require a great deal of classes, since I had already received a Bachelor's degree in Theatre. Recently I have rekindled my childhood dream to become an Imagineer for Disney, and realized that a good foundation in concept art and digital skills would be a great asset to further that goal.
How has VANAS helped you?
VANAS has given me many things, but confidence was the greatest lesson learned. I used to view other artists work and would be filled with awe and dread at realizing that my technique was so lacking. Though I have a great deal of work ahead of me to become as great as these artists, VANAS has started me on the path, with a pack full of necessary tools and foundations, to a career in a creative environment.
|"VANAS has given me many things, but confidence was the greatest lesson learned"|
Can you mention some A-ha! moments during your education?
My A-ha moments came with an understanding of the software. I really struggled in the beginning as I had very little experience in digital painting. I had an extremely hard time trying to use traditional techniques in a digital platform. As I progressed with the program, teachers would give me tips and tricks to Photoshop, and by the end of the program I felt comfortable enough to feel successful in the digital realm. Also the use of silhouette to begin a project, and the ability to create iterations and explorations on ideas and LAYER MASKS are essential!
|"The use of silhouette to begin a project, and the ability to create iterations and explorations on ideas and LAYER MASKS are essential!"|
How do you compare your art skills before and after VANAS?
My digital skills are night and day. Looking back at my first term to my last term, it seemed it was an entirely different student. I also have a better sense of depth and creating figures, props, and vehicles with 3D shapes... Thanks Mario!
What was your favourite class and teacher?
|"The teachers are the real success at VANAS"|
I really enjoyed the section on prop design. The video materials were extremely helpful and I really enjoyed creating and problem solving design solutions to make an item that could be used in this virtual world I had created.
Is there anything you would like to add?
The teachers are the real success at VANAS. Every teacher and facilitator was always on hand and ready to help in any way that they could. I found myself losing confidence in the second term and Mario offered me private instruction to help give me some guidance and solve some issues I was having with my process. I believe that was an extremely valuable hour that turned my whole experience around. The educators here are top notch and an invaluable asset.