Survey from BGSU Digital Arts Alumni

 



1.     Name:
 Jessica Canter

 

2.     Did you graduate from BGSU? If so, when?
 Yes, 2004


3.     What Degree did you earn at BGSU?  
digital arts BFA
 

4.     What is your job title now and what company do you work for?
 DreamWorks Animations,  I am a surfacer (texture artist)  
I also teach a texturing class at the art institute online

5.     How long did it take to find this job?
after BG I went to Savannah College of art and design. I went into vsfx and got my MFA. After that it took me 4 months.

6.     What did you have to do to get this job? What was your job search like?
 At bowling Green I really wanted to do animation. But in my senior year I took a step back and looked at my skill set from not just college but all of my art education. I realized that was a good painter and I loved to draw. In 3D those skill would make would make a good texture artist. So in grad school I really focued on one that one aspect of animation. Knowing what I was good at and then focusing on it was really important in helping me get a job. It is also very important to take a lot of classes in traditional art. Something that complements your focus. So like painting for texture artist, and acting classes for animation. Companies are looking for excellent artists not someone that just knows the program. They want people that are enthusiastic, work hard, and can learn.

My job search was stressful. I had to be realistic and think that I could not compete with people that have been working in the industry for 10+ years. So i looked for companies that had programs that hired people out of school. DreamWorks has an OutReach program. :)


7.     What type of portfolio did you need to get this job?
 I had a demo reel that had all texturing on it. In texturing there are different areas, fur, skin, different materials, and shader writing. I showed I could do all of that. I also made sure to show I had a good "eye" and I had worked on collaborative projects. I made sure to show traditional art as well.

8.     What is a typical workday like?
I go into work arounnd 9. If you get there by 9 you get breakfast. In the mornings my supervisor comes around to see how I am doing and to see if I have any questions. On most days I dont have any other meetings and then I just work until 6. Some days I have dailies where I show my work to the art direction. We have classes sometimes, director dailies sometimes, and sometimes crew up dates or the screening of the movies.

9.     How many hours do you work a week?
 depends mostly 9-6 unless we need to do over time. I have not gone over 60 hours a week. then I do about 5-7 hours of the teaching per week.

10.  How many hours of leisure time do you have a week? What do you do
evenings, and weekends   I do the normal  dinner with friends, movies, hiking, beach, sleep :) walk the dog....

11.  What other jobs did you have before you got this one? How many? What titles, etc.
this is my first job out of school

12.  Are you happy with your career choice?
yes I am

13.  Do you still make your own art?
 after school I was burnt out and wanted to do other things, but now it is 3 years later and I am getting back into it

14.  If you could, what would you change, if anything about your career / job?
umm nothing really

15.  Words of advice for graduating digital arts seniors?
 get a broad over all 3D education and then narrow it down and really focus on what you want to do. Over all make sure you are a good artist first.

16.  Anything else you want to tell your future colleagues?
continue to take traditional art classes!

*****************************

1.     Name: Lori Groger

 

2.     Did you graduate from BGSU? If so, when? 2006

 

3.     What Degree did you earn at BGSU?  Bachelor of Fine Art

 

4. What is your job title now and what company do you work for? I work for Shindigz/Stumps Party as a web programmer

 

5. How long did it take to find this job? I wasn't exactly looking for it, I just knew I wasn't getting paid enough at my previous job. I put my resume online and probably got a call for an interview within a couple weeks

 

6.     What did you have to do to get this job? What was your job search like? I didn't plan on being a web programmer. I was working at a company in Perrysburg as a product illustrator when they wanted to start hosting eCommerce sites for promotional products. Since I had a web design background, they had me study a book on Coldfusion since they heard it was the quickest to learn. Soon, I was spending all my time programming but they weren't willing to pay me as a programmer so I started to look around elsewhere. I put my resume on Monster.com and I was called by a company called Technisource that is basically a temp employment agency for IT jobs. I interviewed with the company that was looking for a programmer and was offered the job.

 

7. What type of portfolio did you need to get this job? I showed screenshots of web sites I had worked on and some sample code.

 

8. What is a typical workday like?

When I first started working there, I was working through the temp agency from home. The company is located in South Whitley, Indiana but I worked from my apartment in Perrysburg and drove there once a week. After 4 1/2 months, they hired me in full time and relocated to the area.

 

9.     How many hours do you work a week? When I was working through the temp agency, I worked about 40 hours/week and was paid hourly. Now that I am employed by the company, I work 40-45 hours a week on salary

 

10.  How many hours of leisure time do you have a week? What do you do?

Not quite sure what this question means... I work 8-5 or 5:30 and the rest of the time is mine. I have to work on a Saturday for a couple hours maybe once or twice a year.

 

11.  What other jobs did you have before you got this one? How many? What titles, etc.

1 previous job: I worked as a product illustrator and web designer, I worked there part time my senior year and full time when I graduated.

 

12.  Are you happy with your career choice?

I didn't really plan to get into more programming instead of designing but I enjoy it. My art background has come in handy because the stuff that I program has a lot to do with going direct-to-print so having a knowledge of photoshop and how to set up production art has really helped.

 

13.  Do you still make your own art?

 Occasionally, I draw but I still take lots of photos

 

14.  If you could, what would you change, if anything about your career / job?

I would eventually like to move closer to home

 

15.  Words of advice for graduating digital arts seniors?

 I dreamed of being an animator but I eventually decided that I didn't want to move to California and do all-nighters all the time since it was such a competitive field. I wish I would have realized it a little sooner so I could have taken some more programming classes. I wish that some better web design classes had been offered.

 

16.  Anything else you want to tell your future colleagues?

*****************************

1. Name:
Aaron Halifax

2. Did you graduate from BGSU? If so, when?
Yes, 2002

3. What Degree did you earn at BGSU?
BFA Digital Art

4. What is your job title now and what company do you work for?
Animator

5. How long did it take to find this job?
1 month

6. What did you have to do to get this job? What was your job search like?
Submitted my reel.  On approval, I was flown out for an 8 hour interview
 
My job search was motivated by wanting to start a family in a location that was not NY.  CA was too similar to NY, so that excluded a lot of studios.  Valve is located in Washington near Seattle, and that seemed like a great place.  After further investigation, it seemed like a great fit.

7. What type of portfolio did you need to get this job?
I submitted my professional reel, which included my work on feature animated films

8. What is a typical workday like?
Actually, at Valve... things are different almost on a daily basis.  Some times, I get in at 8am and animate till lunch.  Grab some food, and eat at my desk while I do a bit more animating... until I look down at the clock and realize it's 4pm, and I have to leave immediately to beat the traffic. Last week, however, I started work on a teaser to announce an upcoming game.  My responsibilities grew on the project, and I found my day being spread out between story boarding, prevising, animating, texturing, lighting, rendering, as well as rough audio work.  Your really allowed to do anything you show interest in here at Valve.  

9. How many hours do you work a week?
typically, around 40.  Last week, around 100.  But, that's certainly not the norm.  I have a family, and i make it a priority to spend as much time with them as I can

10. How many hours of leisure time do you have a week? What do you do
4-5 hours a night, I'd say.  I spend most of that time playing with my kids.  Changing diapers.  Avoiding puke.  Fun stuff like that.  I also just got a piano, so I've been trying to learn how to play that thing.

11. What other jobs did you have before you got this one? How many? What titles, etc.
Worked at Blue Sky Studios as a Technical Assistant to Animation on Robots.
Junior Animator on Ice Age 2
Animator on Gone Nutty (scrat short)
Animator/Character Lead on Horton Hears a Who (left before production started, so I didn't really lead much there)

12. Are you happy with your career choice?
absolutely.  I've got more creative freedom than I've ever had.  I'm surrounded by amazingly talented people ever day.  And I'm working on projects that I really believe in.

13. Do you still make your own art?
nope.  unless you consider making children art.

14. If you could, what would you change, if anything about your career / job?
Can't really think of a thing.  I'm content.

15. Words of advice for graduating digital arts seniors?
Be persistent.  Eventually, you'll be in the right place, at the right time, with the right reel, for the right project.  

16. Anything else you want to tell your future colleagues?
good luck!

1.     Name: Adam Arp

 

2.     Did you graduate from BGSU? If so, when? Yes, December 2003.

 

3.     What Degree did you earn at BGSU? Bachelor of Fine Arts

 

4.     What is your job title now and what company do you work for? Progressive Insurance, User experience developer

 

5.     How long did it take to find this job? A month, give or take a week

 

6.     What did you have to do to get this job? What was your job search like? Posted resume on sites, was contacted by Progressive recruiter

 

7.     What type of portfolio did you need to get this job? Code and design portfolio of past work

 

8.     What is a typical workday like? Dull

 

9.     How many hours do you work a week? 40

 

10.  How many hours of leisure time do you have a week? What do you do? Any time not spent at work. Gaming, motorcycling, photography, Arduino projects

 

11.  What other jobs did you have before you got this one? How many? What titles, etc. One, web interface developer at O'Neil & Associates in Dayton, OH

 

12.  Are you happy with your career choice? Reasonably happy

 

13.  Do you still make your own art? Mostly just photography

 

14.  If you could, what would you change, if anything about your career / job? Work on more interesting projects at a company that can actually get things accomplished.

 

15.  Words of advice for graduating digital arts seniors? Stay hungry, don't lose the creative spark.

 

16.  Anything else you want to tell your future colleagues?

 

1. Name:

 Adam Carroll

 

 

2. Did you graduate from BGSU? If so, when?

Yes, 2006.

 

 

3. What Degree did you earn at BGSU?

BFA in Digital Art

 

 

4. What is your job title now and what company do you work for?

My job title is 3D Artist, and I work for The Mill <http://www.themill.com/>  in Los Angeles, CA

 

 

5. How long did it take to find this job?

3 years, 6 months

 

 

6. What did you have to do to get this job? What was your job search like?

Immediately following graduation I sent out applications to 3D studious across the country and never got a response.  I accepted a position in Columbus OH as a help desk analyst where i worked while trying to improve my portfolio which was apparently lacking.  Over the course of the next 3 years i continued working in IT while picking up as much local freelance work as i could (Web design and iphone apps mostly)  as well as working on my personal 3D portfolio pieces.  After almost 3 years of a job search w/ no response I decided to quit my job in columbus, and move to LA in hopes of finding a job once i got out there.  I had spoken with contacts i had in the industry and almost everyone said it's hard to land an entry level job at a studio with out being local.  Since the studios get a ton of applicants, it's hard for them to justify flying someone in from ohio if they have twenty others locally (unless your porfolio is awesome.... but then i guess you wouldn't have an issue in the first place).  After moving to LA, craigslisting for roommates, and picking up some occasional freelance work in LA, i got a job at The Mill LA as a runner.  Most runners are fresh out of college, but i was slightly older since i'd graduated 3 years earlier.  I started as a runner in November of 2009.  As soon as i started i would stay after work every day and  help on jobs in the 3d department. When thanksgiving break rolled around, i went in every day to help in the 3d department.  After the thanksgiving break, the studio asked me to continue on the job as a freelance 3d artist (rather than working as a runner during the day and then volunteering in the 3d dept at night).  When the job i was contracted on finished, the studio rolled me directly into the next job and offered me a full time staff position.

 

Almost EVERY entry level employee at The Mill starts as a runner.  Most are fresh out of college and work 6 months as a runner before getting a shot in production (Compositing, 3D, or 2D departments). I spent a total of 2 weeks as a runner.

 

7. What type of portfolio did you need to get this job?

I had an online portfolio that consisted of mostly 3d modeling, lighting and texturing - as well as some photography and drawing. 

 

 

8. What is a typical workday like?

Arrive at work at 8:30am, grab some breakfast, check email.  Talk with the 3D lead for the job i'm on and see if there are any comments from the clients as to what needs to be done. Grab the shot i'm assigned and start grinding away on it.  Since i'm a 3D generalist, we have to pretty much do all aspects of the job.  At the start of most jobs is a lot of 3d tracking, modeling, texturing.  Later is animation, lighting, and rendering.  Since all our 3d assets are rendered in passes, we use Nuke to create our final 3d composites which will then be passed over to the flame dept.  Grab lunch around midday then back on the shot for the remainder of the day. 

 

 

9. How many hours do you work a week?

Our general work day is 9am - 7pm, but i'm always in by 8:30, and depending on deadlines could leave at 7pm or stay all night.  Longest day i've had since starting was Sunday (yes, sometimes you work through the weekends) at 7am til 5am monday morning.  My average weekly hours is probably around 60, but has been as high as 97.

 

 

10. How many hours of leisure time do you have a week? What do you do

Most of the time we have weekends off, as well as evenings... weekly leisure time (excluding weekends) would be about 20hrs.  I try to get out and enjoy the awesome Santa Monica weather as much as i can.  I like to ride my bike, go hiking, hit the beach, play basketball, tennis or golf. I also try to keep working on the personal art projects i've got floating around.

 

 

11. What other jobs did you have before you got this one? How many? What titles, etc.

Just one previous full time job - Help Desk Analyst at MI Homes in Columbus, OH (not remotely related to my degree)

 

I also did some freelance 3D work for local companies online and iphone games.  (Tracer Media in Columbus Ohio)

 

 

12. Are you happy with your career choice?

Yes, but I wish it could have started 3 years earlier

 

 

 

13. Do you still make your own art?

Yup, i try to work on my own personal pieces - either photography, drawing, or 3d.

 

 

 

14. If you could, what would you change, if anything about your career / job?

I wish i'd come directly out to LA as soon as i could after graduation.  There are a lot of internships available at studios, but they are generally only for locals.  I think i could have gotten in the industry earlier if i'd come straight out.  I also think i probably could have gotten a job as a runner at my current studio if i'd come out right after graduation, and although i probably would have had to stick with it for 6 months instead of 2 weeks, i still would have been in my career much quicker.

 

 

15. Words of advice for graduating digital arts seniors?

Get your portfolio together in an orderly fashion (online is best).  Know what you want to do.  If you want to work in 3D, there's almost no need to have a bunch of web design in your portfolio.  If you want to be a generalist, have a wide range of work to show.  If you want to specialize, show as much of that as you can.

 

 

16. Anything else you want to tell your future colleagues?

Competition is tough for jobs, so put in the effort now. Most people don't graduate w/ a portfolio good enough to get a job at a studio.  In order to have one that is good enough, your class assignments won't be enough.  You need to spend a lot of time on your craft outside of class.  If you want to be a character artist, do your animation assignment, but then do 2 characters of your own on the weekends.  I spent 3 years working on my portfolio after graduating.  I wish i had spent more time working on it (beyond homework assignments) while i was in school.

 

1.     Name: Adrianne DeVille

 

 

 

2.     Did you graduate from BGSU? If so, when? Yes, in 2007

 

 

3.     What Degree did you earn at BGSU? BFA in Digital Arts

 

 

 

4.     What is your job title now and what company do you work for? I am a Graphic Coordinator II at a company in Cleveland, Ohio called Brandmuscle, Inc.

 

 

5.     How long did it take to find this job?

It took me about 6 months out of school

 

6.     What did you have to do to get this job? What was your job search like?

I applied on about every different job search site that exists

 

 

7.     What type of portfolio did you need to get this job?

I prepared a physical portfolio of digital prints, graphic design work, and fine art. I also left a cd with them of my best work on it, so that they had something to remember me by.

 

 

8.     What is a typical workday like?

At my job, I create customized templates for companies to create their advertisements from. For example, one of my clients is Liberty Mutual. Liberty will send over an ad they want to use, and I will break the ad out into pieces. I break out all the headline choices, photo choices, and optional legal disclaimers. Then I build a template that the user can log in to online and customize their own ad using the options I have set for them.

I also do a lot of custom ad resizing, and every once in a while I get to design an ad from scratch for a company.

I edit Flash animations and have had the chance to create a few for clients and for our company.

My current position is a lower level management position, so I am also responsible for doing some employee reviews and giving instruction and criticism when necessary.

 

9.     How many hours do you work a week?

I work between 40-50 hours a week normally.

 

 

10.  How many hours of leisure time do you have a week? What do you do

I usually go into work around 7:30 or 8am and leave between 5-6, with my evenings free and weekends generally free as well. From time to time during high volume periods I work some on the evenings and weekend so that I am able to make my deadlines,

 

11.  What other jobs did you have before you got this one? How many? What

titles, etc.

I went to school for my MA in Art Education from Case Western directly after I left Bowling Green in 2007. I graduated from Case in May 2008, and worked as a sign artist at Trader Joe's in Woodmere, Ohio for 6 months before I began working at Brandmuscle.

 

12.  Are you happy with your career choice? Yes!

 

13.  Do you still make your own art? I oil paint all the time and I also do freelance design for a health company in Lima, Ohio on the side.

 

14.  If you could, what would you change, if anything about your career / job? I wish I would have gone to grad school in a different state or picked a job that let me travel some more, because now that I have a job in Ohio I feel like I never get to leave!

 

15.  Words of advice for graduating digital arts seniors? Travel as much as you can before you get settled in a career or a place.

 

 

16.  Anything else you want to tell your future colleagues?

 Good luck! If you're looking for a job in Cleveland, check out Brandmuscle's site: www.brandmuscle.com <http://www.brandmuscle.com>  - we are hiring graphic production coordinators off and on.

 

1. Name: Anne Miller

 

 

2. Did you graduate from BGSU? If so, when? Yes in May 2009

 

 

3. What Degree did you earn at BGSU? BFA-Digital Arts

 

 

 

4. What is your job title now and what company do you work for? As of now I will be doing freelance 3D environment art for a marketing company in Cleveland. They work with WB, Nickelodeon, and other companies. I am also working at Microsoft Game Studios as a contract employee and as a Lead doing video production (making orientation videos) and also a Game Tester.

 

 

5. How long did it take to find this job? 1 year

 

6. What did you have to do to get this job? What was your job search like? I had to research different staffing/recruiting agencies and was referred to a company by a friend. ItÕs been really tough trying to find a job, but the important thing to remember is to keep applying for ANY job you can get to get your foot in the door.

 

7. What type of portfolio did you need to get this job? Because I started out as a game tester I did not need to have a portfolio. However, I want to get into 3D or 2D environment art so I will need to have a lot of concept art, stills, models, wireframes, and completely rendered models in my portfolio.

 

 

8. What is a typical workday like? Being Lead of my project and kind of having Ņ2 jobsÓ, I spend a majority of my day overlooking and creating orientation videos for full time employees. I will usually go over my Ņto-doÓ list and check with my project manager and manager to make sure we stay on schedule with the 50 videos that need to be made. I typically do all of the following during any given project: Create Voice Overs, edit audio, create graphics and assets for the videos, revise scripts, make sure my animation partner is on task with our deadline, create storyboards, compile animation, video capture, and audio into a final composition, render out final videos.

 

 

When or if I have a break from videos, I will work on a future game title. I usually get in touch with the Lead of a title and have him or her assign different test cases for my team members and myself. I can do anything from simplistic to very complex test cases, looking for bugs and glitches within a game.

 

9. How many hours do you work a week? I usually work 40 but at any moment I can get an email from my manager wanting me to do OT Monday-Friday and even on Saturdays and Sundays. This can make my workweek anywhere from 40-70+ hours a week.

 

 

10. How many hours of leisure time do you have a week? What do you do? I usually get evenings and weekends free for my leisure time. I tend to spend my leisure time working on my portfolio and possibly doing freelance work depending on whether or not thereÕs a project available and if the company needs my artistic skills J.

 

11. What other jobs did you have before you got this one? How many? What titles, etc. Before this job I spent a year working in Columbus doing web design for a Journalist and a Wedding Planner. I also worked at Gameworks (similar to a Dave and Busters).

 

12. Are you happy with your career choice? As of now I am happy with the start of my career. While this is only a contract position and extremely entry-level, making the move out of Ohio and into Seattle is a big step and I am happy to be at a company where I can learn from artists within the industry and help get my career started.

 

13. Do you still make your own art? I make my own art whenever I have free time. From 3D modeling to traditional painting, art is a big part of who I am.

 

 

14. If you could, what would you change, if anything about your career / job? Well, I would like to have a full time job in my field (2D or 3D environment art). However, I enjoy getting a head start and being in the gaming industry and able to work collaboratively, learn from others, and teach others about what I have learned at BGSU.

 

15. Words of advice for graduating digital arts seniors?

Again, apply for ANY job you can get to get your foot in the door. Make connections, apply for freelance and contract positions. DonÕt think you are good enough to start as a PRO at Dreamworks or Pixar. It takes a lot of hard work and itÕs important to realize that you need to do an internship, start at the bottom and work your way up. YouÕll learn so much from starting out in the industry, whether as a game tester, coffee go-getter, and yes even a render wrangler. This is going to help you make connections, get advice on your portfolio, and help you really get into the field you want to be in.

 

 

 

16. Anything else you want to tell your future colleagues?  Best of luck in everything you do. Whether you are going to grad school or going into the industry, never stop applying and donÕt be upset if you donÕt get hired or accepted somewhere right away. Use any free time to build up your portfolio and make connections. Use sites like creativeheads.net and call staffing agencies to help you get a foot in the door. ItÕs good to have connections but donÕt expect to sit on your butt and have them give you a jobÉthatÕs now how connections work. You have to really work hard and be good if your connection is going to pass on your stuff to their manager. Put in the hard work, get as much industry experience as you can, always work on your portfolio and art, and never stop applying yourself. If you do that, youÕll be able to get any job in the industry. J Congratulations on graduating and best of luck!

 

1.     Name: Brooke (Beegle) Gazarek



2.     Did you graduate from BGSU? If so, when? Yes, 1998


3.     What Degree did you earn at BGSU?  BFA, double major of Computer Art and Drawing



4.     What is your job title now and what company do you work for? I am a freelance Graphic Designer (Gazarek Graphic Design) - my main client is Grady Memorial Hospital in my town of Delaware, Ohio. I do print design for them. I also own www.scraproots.com <http://www.scraproots.com/>  - an online digital scrapbooking design company - with downloadable products.


5.     How long did it take to find this job? I have been freelancing for 10 years. I was first working for a small ad agency - then started freelancing for The Limited, Inc in Columbus, Ohio. I was freelancing on-site for two of The Limited, Inc stores: Structure and Express. As I worked on-site 5 days a week between the two - I also gained enough clients to start working from home. So I stopped working for The Limited, Inc (even though I was being offered a full-time job with Express). I wanted to be able to bring in income while working at home - so I could also raise a family and not have to send my kids to day care.

6.     What did you have to do to get this job? What was your job search like? Finding freelance clients is a lot of work. You get work you don't really want - but it leads to better work and better clients. I gained clients by doing small projects for them so they could see my work and gain respect for my work - and then those jobs turned into more jobs and referrals too. I did cold calls to businesses announcing I was a new freelance graphic designer in town (which I was).


7.     What type of portfolio did you need to get this job? Graphic design samples. And I presented them on small boards that fit inside a average size business case. I use an archival black case I found at Dick Blick. Not the large flat portfolio's you have to drag around campus. More of a box case. I had many interviews that would consist of several people in the room. So the boards were nice to be able to pass around. If a piece was a brochure, I had a clear protecter attached to the board - so they could slip the brochure out to view the whole thing - not just the cover.


8.     What is a typical workday like? this varies for me since I work from home. I have a lot of freedom to bounce around from designing and managing my ScrapRoots.com site - and also working for my Gazarek Graphic Design clients. There are many days I work in my pajamas until late morning - before finally breaking to get cleaned up. :) I would say I only have meetings with clients a couple of times a year. Most work is done via phone, email, and internet.


9.     How many hours do you work a week?  Again, this varies. I would say I work part-time right now - but not all hours are billable. Total work non-billing and billing is anywhere from 10-30 hours. I think.


10.  How many hours of leisure time do you have a week? What do you do I have two boys (Luke, 9 and Brady, 6) - so leisure time all to myself is a bit different. Maybe only a handful of hours for myself - in which case I like reading, photography, and digital scrapbooking. Other leisure time would include my husband and 2 boys. We ride bikes, play a variety of things in our backyard - which include any type of sports. Time where we have no other commitments - would be a few nights a week and most weekends.

11.  What other jobs did you have before you got this one? How many? What
titles, etc.
I worked for a company called Bioworld - which no longer exists. At one time I was the only employee designing a catalog and also taking orders and answering phones. Title was graphic designer.

Then I worked for The Haunty Agency - which also no longer exists. I was a graphic designer, but also was able to meet and work directly with clients, photographers, printers - getting quotes and going on press checks for printed pieces. Title was graphic designer.

12.  Are you happy with your career choice?  Yes.

13.  Do you still make your own art?  Yes. Mostly digital right now. Love my Wacom tablet!


14.  If you could, what would you change, if anything about your career / job? nothing about my career - I LOVE IT!

15.  Words of advice for graduating digital arts seniors? it takes time to get what you want - and where you want to be. You HAVE to put in the work. My first years out of college - I was like a sponge absorbing everything around me - learning all that I could. I always knew I wanted to eventually work from home - but never thought it would happen. It truly was a dream. I'm so glad I pushed myself to make it work.


16.  Anything else you want to tell your future colleagues? Enjoy the times you get to work on your art projects - whatever they might be, while in college. It is harder to find those solitary times in the "real world" to create your own art.

 

1.     Name: 

 

Bryan Woodard

 

2.     Did you graduate from BGSU? If so, when?

 

     yes, 2005.
 

3.     What Degree did you earn at BGSU?

 

      Bachelor of Fine Arts

 

4.     What is your job title now and what company do you work for? 

 

     3D Generalist/Technical, Toybox (http://www.toybox.co.nz)
 

5.     How long did it take to find this job? 

 

     About 6 months but I had been doing freelance for several weeks before they hired me on full time.

 

6.     What did you have to do to get this job? What was your job search like?


        I put together several reels that focused on my strengths.  I wanted a 3D vfx job but put a rigging and modeling reel together as well as fall backs.  



7.     What type of portfolio did you need to get this job? 


 

     The position was for a generalist so I brought all my reels to the interview just in case.  I showed some of my traditional art work as well including sketches and paintings.
 

8.     What is a typical workday like?  It's a small studio so my day to day role changes quite often.  I do everything from nCloth, particles and dynamics, the occasional Realflow job, modeling and rigging, camera tracking, 3D match moving, and compositing.  On the technical side there's maintaining the render farm and developing a pipeline to get our Maya scenes to Lightwave for rendering.  On shoots that need tracking data I go along with the producer to set things up and oversee the technical aspects to make sure we can track the shots.


 



9.     How many hours do you work a week?

 

A typical week is about 60 hours but there have been a few 10 day weeks.
 

10.  How many hours of leisure time do you have a week? What do you do.

 

Usually try and catch up with friends and do the occasional bit of travel when I can.  Catching the latest 3D movie is always a must. 

11.  What other jobs did you have before you got this one? How many? What titles, etc.

 

I worked freelance at several companies around New Zealand, a couple in the US.  In total about six.  One was compositing, Realflow artist, Realflow TD, rigging/3D vfx. modeling and texturing.

12.  Are you happy with your career choice?

 

Yea it's a great career, but I do miss the outdoors sometimes!

13.  Do you still make your own art?

 

Just 3D work, when I have down time. 
 

14.  If you could, what would you change, if anything about your career / job?

 
I would like to become more specific in the role with in my company, eventually being a 3D VFX TD. 


15.  Words of advice for graduating digital arts seniors?

 

Do what you can to get in to the industry even if that means being a runner.  Once you're in you're in, it's all about who you know.  In terms of a reel I strongly advise putting your best work and only your best work out, even if you only have 30 seconds of it.   
 

16.  Anything else you want to tell your future colleagues?

 

Be patient because it can take a long time to find that first job.  Best to practice while you have some down time and keep adding to your reel.

 

1.       Name: Chad Greene



2. Did you graduate from BGSU? If so, when? Yes, Fall Õ92 (BFA drawing) and
Spring 1993 (BFA Computer Art)


3. What Degree did you earn at BGSU? Dual degree --- BFA Drawing and a BFA in
Computer Art



4. What is your job title now and what company do you work for?  Art Director –
THQ/Volition (video games)


5. How long did it take to find this job? They contacted me.. with interview
process, etc.. it took 2-3 weeks to finalize contract terms

6. What did you have to do to get this job? What was your job search like? I was
working at Activision (SF Bay area, CA) and was contacted by a former colleague
that was looking to recruit me for a project at THQ/Volition—they flew me out in
Champaign, IL to visit the studio and interview and shortly thereafter, I signed
a contract to work for them. (it really pays to network and keep in contact with
your former colleagues.. and donÕt burn bridges! J)


7. What type of portfolio did you need to get this job? Initially, to land my
first job—it was all about my demo reel. However, itÕs really important to have
a supporting portfolio—that shows a solid understanding of fine art (figure
drawing, photography, etc) – your demo reel NEEDS to be focused towards the job
you are applying for – this is really important! A lot of graduates are sending
their student reels that contain a bit of everything and this hurts your chances
with potential employers trying to find the right candidate – for the listed
job. They donÕt want to see all of your modeling/lighting/animation/school
projects. If they are looking for an animator, then your reel needs to be filled
with nothing but good animation examples (etc).


8. What is a typical workday like? As the Art Director of a video game project,
I have 44 artistÕs that I provide input/feedback and direction to. I am in a lot
of meetings—planning the project (working with designers, programmers, project
management—going over production schedules, etc); I am also in art critiques
several times a week—in which I review all assets/content and work with the
artistÕs on achieving the vision of the game; my time is also spent doing
concept art – establishing key visuals for content to be created. typically, I
work a 10 hr work day, which starts at 9am and ends at 7/8pm. I will work
occasional weekends throughout the project—and towards the end of production,
myself and the entire team will ramp up to 60 hr work weeks or more as I
finalize the game.



9. How many hours do you work a week? Usually 45-50.. will work 60/70+ at the
end of a project


10. How many hours of leisure time do you have a week? What do you do? 16-24
hrs, including weekends.. I still am very active with my own fine art and I do
my own personal projects nightly (9-midnight) and on weekends; I am also very
involved in Photography and I will go out of Ōshooting adventuresÕ on weekends,
ranging from trips to Chicago to landscape hiking/photography outings at nearby
forest reserves.


11. What other jobs did you have before you got this one? How many? What titles,
etc. IÕve been in this industry for nearly 18 yrs now and IÕve held a lot of job
titles and worked on a lot of projects ranging from games/film/tv/advertising,
etc

THQ/Volition (Champaign, IL)   Sr. Art Director   July 2007 - Present      
Activision (Foster City, CA)   Art Director/CG Supervisor   Aug 2005 - June 2007
   

Electronic Arts - EALA (Los Angeles, CA)   Sr Artist/Technical Art Director -
Tools and Technology   July 2004 - Aug 2005      

Sony Pictures Imageworks (Los Angeles, CA)   Senior Technical Director
(lighting/texturing/compositing)   June 2003 - July 2004    

Midway Games (Chicago, IL)   Art Director/CG supervisor - Cinematics (FMV) dept.
  Jan 2002 - May 2003    

Electronic Arts - EARS (Redwood City, CA) Technical Art
Director/modeling/texturing/lighting Aug 2000 - Jan 2002    

PDI/Dreamworks (Palo Alto, CA) Sr. Artist (Lighting/texturing & compositing) May
1997 - Aug 2000    

Acclaim Entertainment (Glencove, NY) Senior Artist/Animator May 1996 - May 1997
   

Crystal Dynamics (Menlo Park, CA) Senior Artist/Animator November 1994 - May
1996      

CDI Vislab (Troy, MI)   Artist/Animator/Visual Engineer   December 1993 -
November 1994

12. Are you happy with your career choice? Yes, IÕve been extremely happy with
my career—getting paid to create Art! J

13. Do you still make your own art? Yes, I am currently working on a gallery
show called, ŅLive life/Not deathÓ – and I also work on freelance illustration
for various clients


14. If you could, what would you change, if anything about your career / job?
Honestly, I wouldnÕt change a thing! ItÕs been a great career—and IÕm really
enjoying mentoring and my Art Director role at this point of my career

15. Words of advice for graduating digital arts seniors? As listed above, you
need to focus your demo reel/portfolio. You learned a lot of various things in
your time at school and now itÕs time to pick something youÕre good at and focus
your efforts towards selling yourself.



16. Anything else you want to tell your future colleagues? There are a lot of
BGSU computer art grads in the professional industry (my company has 8 or so and
IÕm still in contact with another 6-8 that work in film/games around the world)
ItÕs a really exciting career (whether you go games/film, etc); be prepared to
work really hard early on, to establish yourself.

1.    Name:

Chris Koelsch

2. Did you graduate from BGSU? If so, when?

Yes, Spring 2010


3. What Degree did you earn at BGSU?

BFA in Digital Arts


4. What is your job title now and what company do you work for?

Multimedia Producer. Root Learning in Sylvania

5. How long did it take to find this job?

 

Luckily not long, I spent my senior year applying to any job opportunities that came through my BGSU email.

6. What did you have to do to get this job? What was your job search like?

So often teachers would send gallery and work opportunities through BGSU email. I applied to all I could. I called in and sent my resume to the job I have now.

7. What type of portfolio did you need to get this job?

I had my resume along with three teacher recommendations. On my resume I showed that I was capable of  all things necessary for this job, i.e. proficiency in Final Cut Pro, Motion, and After Effects along with experience in using video cameras, lights, ect.  When I went in for my interview I showed them clips of all the video work I had produced in my senior year.

8. What is a typical workday like?

This can vary. One day I can be editing video that I shot the previous day. I could be shooting green screen. I could be making a motion graphics piece in After Effects. I could be going to Egypt for a shoot, I am lucky enough to get to travel for this job. I speak to clients and brainstorm with my teammates.


9. How many hours do you work a week?

45

10. How many hours of leisure time do you have a week? What do you do

My nights and weekends are leisure time. Because the majority of my professional work is client based I spend my time outside of work making little videos or doing photography.  Anything to release my creative energy.


11. What other jobs did you have before you got this one? How many? What titles, etc.

 

This was my first, it began as an internship.

12. Are you happy with your career choice?

 

At this point in my life right out of collegeÉyes I am very happy.

13. Do you still make your own art?

Yes, every day. If I am not making something I am thinking about something, or looking at other artists and new equipment.  Most of the time I make short videos. I think sometimes people get caught up in always needing to make something extravagant, and this stops them before they start because they get overwhelmed with not having enough time to do it.  Not everything made has to be the best thing in the world, but you should keep busy and constantly test yourself and challenge yourself.  This shouldnÕt even be a thought; you should just want to do this because itÕs fun. I am currently putting together my own darkroom as well just to keep myself busy.

14. If you could, what would you change, if anything about your career / job?

 

The only thing I would like to change is to possibly transfer to the Chicago location. Merely to have the experience of living somewhere new.

15. Words of advice for graduating digital arts seniors?


Listen to your teachers! Build a relationship with your teachers! They are the oneÕs who have experienced this and they are the ones who are available RIGHT NOW to help you. And they want to help you!  Inevitably they will be the ones writing your recommendations for grad school and jobs, and they canÕt right a powerful and positive one if they arenÕt familiar with you or your work. Make work you love! So often I heard colleagues complain about class assignments.  Make the assignment work for you! Bend the rules, change the parameters. Do whatever is necessary to make work that you are proud of, because in the end this is the work that will be filling up your portfolio, and if you donÕt like anything you are producing then you are going to leave college with an empty and lackluster portfolio.  Apply to shows and jobs! Tons of opportunities come through your email weekly, I know because they did for me! If you are not applying to shows or jobs then you are only hurting yourself.  These are lines on your resume that will build and make it stronger.  This especially applies to the BFA show. ITS FREE!! If you donÕt apply to the BFA show then you have no excuse.  This is a free line on your resume.  Make as much work as possible because once you graduate you wonÕt have access to the wonderful facilities anymore, and making work will become MUCH MUCH harder.  There will be no more teachers pushing you or critiques to help you.  It is all on you so take advantage of the resources while you have them.


16. Anything else you want to tell your future colleagues?

 

It doesnÕt have to be so hard.  Simply make work you love and love making work.  When you do this it just becomes second nature and everything else will begin to fall into place.  If you make work you are proud of then you will want to show it off. Which means you will want to apply to shows and you will have no problem talking about it and presenting it to future employers.  You can have an outstanding portfolio but if you canÕt talk about it in a powerful way then it will be lost on your employers.  These people will only give you a half hour of their time IF YOU ARE LUCKY.  As much as they are hiring you based on your work they are also hiring you based on you and your personality.  So be positive, be confident, be assertive.  In some cases that can make up for a lack of work.  When people see someone who is confident and passionate it resonates.  Never present your work with a disclaimer before it.  Because if you donÕt like your work and you arenÕt confident about yourself then why would your employer be?

 

Name:

Dan Paul

Did you graduate from BGSU? If so, when?
Yes, August 2001.


What Degree did you earn at BGSU?
BFA in Computer Art, with a specialization in Interactive Multimedia. Also I feel I should mention that I graduated with honors; not that it adds to the discussion at hand, but I havenÕt had the opportunity to boast about it in a while.


What is your job title now and what company do you work for?
Graphic Production Manager at Simbionix USA. IÕve worked there for just over 6 years and ironically, the very day I received this survey, the CEO announced that our division was closing. I was one of a small handful that received a job offer if I were willing to relocate to the companyÕs head office in Cleveland - but of course that means my wife would have to leave her far more lucrative position and weÕd have to sell our place in whatÕs still a miserable housing market, in a miserable building, filled with miserable people. Also, no one actually wants to live in Cleveland.

 

Anyway, for the purposes of this survey letÕs just say I havenÕt been laid off, itÕs far less depressing that way.


How long did it take to find this job? What did you have to do to get this job? What was your job search like?

It actually found me. KC Dunstan, a fellow Computer Art grad, had moved to Denver a year or so before and encouraged me to fill a position he was vacating. As I was going through something of a quarter-life crisis at the time, I thought a change of scenery was in order, so I flew out to Denver with the promise of a weekÕs contract work at the then princely sum of $35 an hour. I was hired full-time on my third day, and spent a further month in Denver living out of a bag before returning to Ohio to fetch the rest of my belongings and tell my parents where IÕd been for the last thirty days. Oh and just in case thereÕs any potential for misquotation, IÕd like to clarify that I was living out of a bag for a month, not in a bag for a month.

What type of portfolio did you need to get this job?
As it was an e-learning position, I shared with the former CEO some of the more complex McGraw Hill interactions IÕd done for CreativeMyndz (BonnieÕs company). As with many Coloradoans though, he was far more interested that I felt right for the job rather than any specific skills I possessed. During my phone interview there was a tremendous storm in Toledo, and I mentioned that because of it I couldnÕt hear him very well. He immediately fired up weather.com, which I thought was pretty odd at the time, verified I was speaking the truth and determined that I was a worthy hire for either my honesty or meteorological capabilities, IÕm not sure which.


What is a typical workday like?
I know I said I was going to pretend I hadnÕt been laid off yet, but IÕm actually a bit relieved the division is closing. Although the content of the work is quite interesting (e-learning  modules for medical companies), the process to bring them to life is quite tedious and templatized. It saddens me regularly that the work I was doing for Bonnie ten years ago was much more dynamic and challenging; and I hadnÕt even finished college yet. In a typical day, between contemplations of suicide, I assign work I donÕt want to do to my now-fired underling, mess around on the internet, complain, and alphabetize my iTunes. Although now I hear theyÕre quite good at alphabetizing themselves, so IÕll have to find a new use for that hour.


How many hours do you work a week?
As few as possible. As I am at the mercy of public transportation, I generally roll in around 10, Starbucks in hand, and make a sly escape just after 4:30. But my professional life is not all tedium, gloom and doom; I actually have a fairly successful contracting business on the side, which is where the real excitement for my chosen career path comes in. To date I have built websites for a variety of clients, from machining part companies to musicians, as well as a number e-learning modules for the government and military, all on the strength of my good name. I would be a bit lost without this extra business, as itÕs nice to not only make a little extra income, but also keep my design and programming skills relevant. And of course, now that IÕve been tossed out from my full-time job like a bag of moldy tangerines, IÕm going to be relying on it to keep me sane and financially afloat even more heavily than usual.

 

How many hours of leisure time do you have a week? What do you do
ItÕs hard to say really, as the time I spend messing around on the internet at work conveniently overlaps with the time I spend messing around on the internet at home. However, on the rare occasion I am not indoors, I have become quite the Segway enthusiast. My wife and I have done nine tours of five cities, and itÕs truly the most fun one can have at 12.5 miles per hour.


What other jobs did you have before you got this one? How many? What titles, etc.
After an illustrious six year stint at WendyÕs, I went on to be the web designer at a small design firm in Defiance. It peaked at five employees, and if I understand correctly now just consists of a middle—aged woman working out of her bedroom. I then spent a couple of very productive years as BonnieÕs ŅSenior Designer and ProgrammerÓ and then, in a disastrous decision, left my happy Bowling Green home of 11 years for 9 miserable months in Toledo working as web designer for another of my fellow graduates, Chris Sniegowski. He was great to work with, but everything else about the job, and the town, was rubbish, thus convincing me to move as far away as possible, which, again, is how I ended up in Denver. Incidentally, ChrisÕs company - which he left long ago - recently folded as well. Are you noticing a trend here? ItÕs like a leave a trail of failed business enterprises everywhere I go.


Are you happy with your career choice?
My powers of deductive reasoning tell me ŅyesÓ, in that I have yet to think of anything IÕd rather be doing. And despite my propensity to bemoan certain aspects of it, I do tend to get uncontrollably excited when discussing advents in web technology with people, techies and non-techies alike. I also get uncontrollably excited, but in the opposite, bad way when trying to explain to my befuddled parents the subtle intricacies of copy and paste.


Do you still make your own art?
It really depends on your definition of ŅstillÓ, as I never really thought of myself as an actual artist. Sure I created a fair number of pieces in college that explored my inner emotional struggles and turmoil, but to be honest, none of them were very good, nor were they convincing. Turns out what I like to do best is make silly little Photoshops that make people laugh, and am happy to report that I am still able to engage in that pointless use of highly advanced technology to this very day.


If you could, what would you change, if anything about your career / job?
I would round up problematic clients, particularly marketing managers who fancy themselves as graphic designers by sheer virtue of owning PowerPoint, and fire them in to the sun. Then I would do the project properly, and there would be no 24 point bright blue blinking text as far as the eye could see.


Words of advice for graduating digital arts seniors?

 

į      As clichˇ as it sounds, and as much of a struggle it is for the socially anxious such as myself, there is no truer phrase than ŅitÕs not what you know, itÕs whoÓ. In my decade or so of experience in this industry, IÕm hard pressed to recall a full-time or contract job I was awarded that didnÕt involve someone putting in a good word for me. Of course, thereÕs always the possibility that IÕm really bad at what I do and just donÕt realize it.

 

į      Your colleagues can make or break a work experience. Working in a small team of dedicated individuals is much more successful and rewarding that large groups of the indifferent.

 

į      The old adage ŅDress for the job you want, not the job you haveÓ is nonsense. I went to work dressed as an astronaut one day, and got sent home.

 

į      If you take a job out west, donÕt drive through Kansas. IÕve never gone the Nebraska route, but thereÕs no way it can be any worse.

 

į      Again, PowerPoint is the DevilÕs software, and if youÕre ever asked to design anything in it, feign an illness.


Anything else you want to tell your future colleagues?

This is my job. Do you hear me? MINE.

 

1. Name: 
Dave Schwan

2. Did you graduate from BGSU? If so, when? 
Undergrad: 2004
Graduate: 2007

3. What Degree did you earn at BGSU? 
Bachelor of Fine Arts & Master of Fine Arts

4. What is your job title now and what company do you work for? 
Interactive Development Specialist - MediaOne of Utah

5. How long did it take to find this job? 
It took around 6 months I believe.

6. What did you have to do to get this job? What was your job search like? 
I met my future boss online playing Quake 3 about 5-6 years prior - at the time, he was answering phones for an ISP, but worked his way up to Vice President of Interactive, was looking for someone, and asked somewhat jokingly if I wanted to move to Utah - I did.  (The point - network, network network, and be friendly/polite to everyone - you never know who might want to employ you)

7. What type of portfolio did you need to get this job? 
A website showcasing my work with resume.  I had more artwork than websites (even though the job was for web design/development), but did have some web development/design examples.

8. What is a typical workday like?
8am to 5:30pm
I start 2 hours earlier than everyone else (they're in MST).  I get on the computer, load up all my to-do lists for the day, and get going - one item at a time.  Things I do during the day:


9. How many hours do you work a week? 
40-50

10. How many hours of leisure time do you have a week? What do you do
Not sure how many exactly - Spend most of my time with my wife and 8-month old daughter - hanging out, watching Netflix...etc.  I spend some time working around the house, mowing, cleaning...etc.  Other than that, I have poker night once a week, and game night two nights where I play World of Warcraft, Battlefield2 Bad Company or Starcraft with my friends/coworkers/boss from Utah.  (All three are after the baby is asleep).  Even with a baby, wife, and full time job, I still have enough time to play.

11. What other jobs did you have before you got this one? How many? What titles, etc. 
CreativeMyndz - designed and programmed interactive CD/DVDs for art history text books.
Instructor - BGSU - spent one year prior to moving to Utah as a part-time instructor at BGSU - taught digital painting, drawing, digital imaging...etc (not sure the exact classes, but...)
Self-Employed - drawing and selling caricatures.

12. Are you happy with your career choice? 
Definitely.  I would never have thought I'd be programming on a daily basis - it sounds boring - but I love it, and I love that I can use my art skills daily as well.  It's not my dream job (creating art on a daily basis or concept artist), but - I'm very happy and enjoy 95% of my days working.

13. Do you still make your own art? 
Not as much as I would like, but on occasion.  Luckily, I have other creative outlets in my job - designing things regularly.  I still work on art, but it's more like 1 piece per year now.

14. If you could, what would you change, if anything about your career / job? 
At the moment, I program for 80% of my job - I would rather it be closer to 50/50.

15. Words of advice for graduating digital arts seniors?
Enjoy your career!  Being an artist is awesome - even if you don't get into something that 100% creating art, take advantage of the little things that require your talent, and enjoy it!

16. Anything else you want to tell your future colleagues?
Be confident!  You are better than you think, I promise you.  Anywhere that hires you is lucky, and you should know that - don't tell your interviewer that, but... know that all those classes you took, whether you wanted to or not have made you into an artist - you're no longer "just a college student" - you're an artist, and you're good.  Again - be confident!

1.     Name:
Deneva Goins
 

2.     Did you graduate from BGSU? If so, when?
 Yes, 2002

3.     What Degree did you earn at BGSU?  
Bachelor of Fine Arts
(Get a masters.. I got mine.. it was TOTALLY WORTH IT)
 

4.     What is your job title now and what company do you work for?
 User Experience Manager
Microsoft (in the European offices in Dublin, Ireland)

5.     How long did it take to find this job?
3 weeks

6.     What did you have to do to get this job? What was your job search like?
 I used LinkedIN to find the opportunity which was only listed on linked in.  The search consisted of me contacting as many people as I could who were already in my network.  I directly contacted HR and applied for the job.  I was interviewed 3 times:  First over the phone.  Then I had complete a test to prove my experience and that I was the right person for the job.  Following that I came in for about 8 hours (including lunch) to perform live tests with various managers to ensure I was thinking on the level which they needed and establish if my people skills were appropriate for the job.

7.     What type of portfolio did you need to get this job?
 Need to have extensive experience..  I showed lots of technical documentation as well as the resulting web or mobile products created.

8.     What is a typical workday like?
I arrive at work between 9 and 11am.  Depending on the day, I might meet with a project manager to report progress or establish a new project.  Work until noon.  Eat lunch with the team.  Work until between 5-8 depending on when I came in.

9.     How many hours do you work a week?
 39

10.  How many hours of leisure time do you have a week? What do you do
I have many hours of leisure time.. every night plus the weekends.  I used to go out about 2-3 nights a week plus one during the weekend.  Since the birth of my son, that has changed to about twice a week.


11.  What other jobs did you have before you got this one? How many? What titles, etc.
Information Architect, graphic designer, User Experience Designer/ Manager, Business Analyst, UX Architect, UI designer etc

12.  Are you happy with your career choice?
Very happy.

13.  Do you still make your own art?
 Not that much.. I am more into singing which I do once a week with a friend.  I am the organizer of the Dublin Arts and Culture meetup group with over 400 members.  I used to host 1 outing per week to a gallery followed by coffee and discussion about the art, but I now host about once a month.  My assistent organizers host the remaining days.

14.  If you could, what would you change, if anything about your career / job?
At this point I'm not sure I would change a thing.

15.  Words of advice for graduating digital arts seniors?

16.  Anything else you want to tell your future colleagues?

Think hard about what you want out of a career and what makes you happy.   Look for those things in a job.  For example if you dont mind unpredictable hours and like a very dynamic environment, I'd suggest a small company or a start up.  If you want predictable hours and a stable work environment but are willing to sacrifice some excitement try a big established corporation..

1. Name:
Dony Permedi

2. Did you graduate from BGSU? If so, when?
2004

3. What Degree did you earn at BGSU?
Digital Art

4. What is your job title now and what company do you work for?
I am a freelance Character animator.  I have worked for various studios around New York and Los Angeles.

Galaxy 61
Curious Pictures
Buck
Giantsteps
Brand New School
Roger
Imaginary Forces
Duck Studios

5. How long did it take to find this job?
I had began freelancing during graduate school, and had my first post graduate gig 3 months after graduating.

6. What did you have to do to get this job? What was your job search like?
I got most of my jobs through friends.  The people you meet and get to know will be the most important way to get work.

Network Network Network.

Also, get to know producers and recruiters.  Browse through a studios website and see if you can find a producers email address.  Sometimes they are listed, sometimes they are not.  Let them know you exist, and keep in touch with them so they remember you.  It is there jobs to fill positions.

7. What type of portfolio did you need to get this job?
It depends on what kind of job you are looking for.

I am a character animator, so I needed a reel showing my character animation.  To have it online and easy to watch is essential.  Most times, I am called without having to send anything.  Many times my friends recommend me, and the studios can see my work and resume online.  Sometimes that is all you need.

Try to make it easy to view.  See if you can avoid making a user download a reel before they can view it.  I use an embedded vimeo video on my webpage for my reel.  The quality is very good and it loads and plays right away so you  don't have to force the viewer to wait.  They see thousands of reels, so it's a bit of a drag for them.  If yours is hard to watch, than they will pass over it very easily.

8. What is a typical workday like?
It depends on the studio.  Most times it is very laid back and relaxed.  I am given shots to animate.  I bring it to a certain point and than I check with the director or supervisor to make sure it is heading in the right direction.

At some studios, it is a given that you are working till midnight every night and you work weekends as well.  Be prepared!

9. How many hours do you work a week?
Usually 40.  But it could be as much as 60 or 70 depending on deadlines and which studio you work for.

10. How many hours of leisure time do you have a week? What do you do
In Los Angeles, the leisure time is cut down a bit by the amount of time I spend in traffic.  So it is not the result of the animation industry but a result of living in LA.

But also it depends on the studio you are working for.  Some are disorganized, and you end up work 80 hours a week to catch up.  That is when you have no life.

I my leisure time I draw, write, enjoy the city, eat, spend time with my wife, hike, and play video games.

11. What other jobs did you have before you got this one? How many? What titles, etc.
Between freelancing I did have a staff job at a video game company as a motion capture, and facial animator.  Our company at the time made Major League Baseball and National Hockey League video games for PS3 and Xbox360.

12. Are you happy with your career choice?
Definitely.  There are a lot of directions you can go from being a character animator.  Especially in LA.

13. Do you still make your own art?
Yes when I get the chance, I write, draw, and make comic strips.

14. If you could, what would you change, if anything about your career / job?
Nothing.  It is pretty nice to be an animator.

15. Words of advice for graduating digital arts seniors?
If you freelance, you will need to buy your own health insurance.

Also, if you freelance, be sure to bone up on your tax responsibilities.  Sometimes you will work for studios that don't deduct taxes.  Sometimes you will work for studios that do.  And than you will work for studios that deduct more just because you are not incorporated.  Be prepared to have a pile of W2s and 1099s when you are filing your taxes.  Hire a good accountant.

But if you are working staff at a studio, than this will be less of an issue.

Freelance does have it's perks.  It pays a little more than staff jobs.  Also you can make your own vacations.  If you have enough saved up, you may decide not to take work for a month and go for a vacation.  The freedom is great.

16. Anything else you want to tell your future colleagues?
Keep going to museums, shows, movies, dances, everything.  Keep your brain stimulated.  See what your peers are doing.  Keep making art.  Keep drawing all the time.  As time goes on you will see the importance of this.  Just working will not be enough if you want to stay ahead creatively.

Keep practicing your skills.  I haven't done any CG rendering or lighting since college, and because of that, it is no longer one of my stronger skills.  I miss out on jobs due to this.

Listen to your directors, and be easy to work with.  They will love you for this.  I've learned that studios will let go of a super talented rockstar artist, if their ego gets in the way and makes the project harder for everyone.

1. Name:

Elizabeth Osterhues

 

 

2. Did you graduate from BGSU? If so, when?

Yes, Spring of 2009

 

 

3. What Degree did you earn at BGSU?

BFA

 

 

4. What is your job title now and what company do you work for?

 

I'm currently a freelance contractor with several completed contract with Designing Digitally, Inc.

 

5. How long did it take to find this job?

A contracting position was offered to me in December of 2009, so almost 8 months.

 

6. What did you have to do to get this job? What was your job search like?

I got this job through contacts. D.D.I. had heard that I had worked with a couple professors on a project and were fond of testing out recent graduates with projects.

 

Before this I was working on finishing my demo reel and applying to jobs using http://www.facebook.com/l/183c0o0pLyvfCp8MUFsebdlj7MA;Creativeheads.net and going to employer websites to look for available positions.

 

 

7. What type of portfolio did you need to get this job?

They requested I show them my portfolio website with a variety of 3D work, as well as show what I had done with builds in Second Life. While they didn't ask for anything specific they liked to see what I had done so far.

 

 

8. What is a typical workday like?

Since I freelance I have control over the hours that I work. As long as I keep them up to date with projects and meet deadlines they don't usually ask that I keep specific hours. To keep myself motivated, and from burning out, and I try to keep usual business hours of working at least 8 hours a day with weekends off. Obviously there are days when I need to work longer, and sometimes through to weekend to make sure that deadlines are met.

 

9. How many hours do you work a week?

It varies, but usually around 40, sometimes more depending on what needs to be completed for a project.

 

 

10. How many hours of leisure time do you have a week? What do you do?

I try and make sure that I at least have weekends off so I don't burn myself out. I usually spend that free time away from the computer (since that's where I spend the majority of my week).

 

11. What other jobs did you have before you got this one? How many? What titles, etc.

I had one other job related to my degree. This was working as a Online Virtual Developer in Second Life working with Bonnie Mitchell and Anthony Fontana.

 

12. Are you happy with your career choice?

At the moment I'm only slightly satisfied. I would like something that is more steady with a more steady paycheck than freelance contractor. Other than that I'm completely happy.

 

13. Do you still make your own art?

I haven't found the time or energy recently, however, I'm hoping to get back into it soon.

 

14. If you could, what would you change, if anything about your career / job?

 

That it was steady, with steady pay.

 

15. Words of advice for graduating digital arts seniors?

Make sure to utilize your class time and the labs to completely any of your school projects and side projects. Make the school assignments something you want to put into your portfolio so you have at least something. And look for internship possibilities while you can. Any experience outside of school will help a good deal. Do not waste the time you have at school.

 

16. Anything else you want to tell your future colleagues?

Make contacts and friends with anyone and everyone. You'll never know who has connections. These contacts can be of great benefit in the future, as employers will hire someone that and employee is familiar with, over a piece of paper. And make sure to be just as good to these contacts as you want them to be to you, and help them when you can.

Dena,

 

I hope this helps!  Thanks for including me in the Cool Kids Club!  I hope that you are enjoying your summer and if there is anything else I can do, let me know!

 

Thanks!

 

 

1.     Name:

Ellie Kay Bockert

 

2.     Did you graduate from BGSU? If so, when?

 December 2009

 

3.     What Degree did you earn at BGSU? 

BFA Digital Arts

 

4.     What is your job title now and what company do you work for?

 CGI Specialist

TRG Reality - Cleveland, OH

 

5.     How long did it take to find this job?

3 Months

 

6.     What did you have to do to get this job? What was your job search like?

 I did a lot of cold calling of companies as well as job search engines.  I was referred to the company by a secretary at a company that I had cold called. 

 

7.     What type of portfolio did you need to get this job?

 A professional one.  They really liked that I had a professionally laid out website and were impressed that I did it myself.  The quality of my work was also a major factor.

 

8.     What is a typical workday like?

Check communication like email and voice mail, work on project lighting, texture, file conversion, consult with photographer about lighting, talk with clients about latest renders and project status, help train new hires, and retouch renders.  Discuss new project ideas with team.

 

9.     How many hours do you work a week?

 45 - 50

 

10.  How many hours of leisure time do you have a week? What do you do?

On the job?  None.  I work at work and I have do my hobbies at home.  Lucky for me, my job is also one of my greatest passions.  I get about 2 hours a day of relaxation time.  I work on wedding plans, watch movies, my fiance is teaching me tennis, swimming, and reading and board games.

 

11.  What other jobs did you have before you got this one? How many? What titles, etc.

This job is the start of my career.

 

12.  Are you happy with your career choice?

Yes.  I am stoked to be where I am!  I do want to go to grad school someday in the not so distant future, but I am at a great spot and I got really lucky with the job I landed.  It will open so many doors for me if life ever takes me elsewhere.  Also, TRG has given the employees permission to use the office and it's equipment for personal projects!  They really encourage outside work, which helps me continue to grow as an artist!

 

13.  Do you still make your own art?

 Yes.  Because of my wedding planning, most of my own art consists of drawings and sketches of invititation designs and centerpieces, but I am still writing, and jotting down ideas for projects to do in the near future.

 

14.  If you could, what would you change, if anything about your career / job?

I would like to animate more.

 

15.  Words of advice for graduating digital arts seniors?

 Don't give up the dream, but also be realistic.  Aim high and apply for the Dream job, and see where you land.  Don't be disappointed if Pixar doesn't hire you.  That happens.  But don't take it to heart and just apply to Walmart unless that's your passion. Get your foot in the door and once you do, there are so many more opportunities waiting there.

 

16.  Anything else you want to tell your future colleagues?

I think I am lucky because I work with artists who use their skills in a practical and professional setting.  If you decide to go that route (or any job for that matter), it is a really REALLY good idea to learn more about how the business world works.  Take a few classes in the BA College.  I did, and it has put me on the fast track to promotion!  If nothing else, learn how to communicate in a business setting.  You are more valuable as an employee if can communicate with others well and you'll find that many more opportunities are available to those who do.

1. Name: Hunter Grant



2. Did you graduate from BGSU? If so, when? Yes, Winter of 1999.


3. What Degree did you earn at BGSU? BFA (Major: Computer Art, Minor: Drawing)



4. What is your job title now and what company do you work for? Senior Cinematic Artist I – Blizzard Entertainment


5. How long did it take to find this job? About 6 years.

6. What did you have to do to get this job? What was your job search like? Have the right work, know the right people, and be very, very lucky.


7. What type of portfolio did you need to get this job? A good one. Comprised almost entirely of the work I did on Barnyard with a little from past works.


8. What is a typical workday like? Animate, Meetings, Animate, Solve problems, Meetings, Animate, Shoot Reference, Dailies, AnimateÉ.Repeat


9. How many hours do you work a week? Anywhere between 45 and 60


10. How many hours of leisure time do you have a week? What do you do?  Not sure, but usually go surfing, or travel, or just spend time with friends.

11. What other jobs did you have before you got this one? How many? What titles, etc.? In order, Modeler/Texture Artist and Animator for 3DO, Animator for EA, Lead Animator for Interplay, Animator for POV, Animator for Omation on the film Barnyard, Animator on StarCraft Ghost for Blizzard Entertainment, and now currently Senior Cinematic Artist I for Blizzard Entertainment.

12. Are you happy with your career choice? Yes

13. Do you still make your own art? Rarely


14. If you could, what would you change, if anything about your career / job? Hard to sayÉ
 
15. Words of advice for graduating digital arts seniors?  Focus your work. If you want to be a Modeler then just model and paint texturesÉif you want to be an animator then just animateÉif you want to be a Concept Artist then just drawÉ.Whatever it is you want to do focus and then practice that skill as much as possible. Get together with other students that want to do the things you donÕt and make a short film. Animators get with Modelers, Concept Artists, Riggers, etc. and collaborate and create something and learn from each other. This way you will come out with a product that would be better than you can do on your own and everyone walks away with something for their portfolio.


16. Anything else you want to tell your future colleagues?  Kick assÉOnly the strong survive in this industry. So really push yourselves and each other. Keep in mind what is being created by professionals so you know where to set your sites for quality. Then match it or beat it.

1.     Name: Jason Gilmore

 

2.     Did you graduate from BGSU? If so, when? December 1995

 

3.     What Degree did you earn at BGSU?  BFA in Computer Art

 

4.     What is your job title now and what company do you work for? I am a Game Designer at Konami Gaming, Inc. in Las Vegas, NV.

 

5.     How long did it take to find this job? About 9 months.

 

6.     What did you have to do to get this job? What was your job search like?

I was laid off in April 2009, and hired on at Konami in November 2009. The search process was grueling. I am in a very specialized field now (casino gaming), and with the economy the way it is, it was incredibly difficult to get the gig. Fortunately, I had the help of a very good recruiter.

 

7.     What type of portfolio did you need to get this job?

As a Game Designer, a portfolio is generally not required. That being said, though, I did have a portfolio of the best dozen or so games IÕve worked on/created over the past 15 years (IÕve made about 4 dozen).

 

8.     What is a typical workday like?

Arrive at work between 7:30 and 8am, respond to emails, meetings with managers, design games, project management (guiding the artists, programmers, and mathematicians to produce my game), working with software quality assurance folks and gaming regulators to get my games out into the casinos, and leave at 5pm.

 

9.     How many hours do you work a week? I limit myself to 40 hours; IÕve learned that while a job is important, life is as well.

 

10.  How many hours of leisure time do you have a week? What do you do?

Besides weekends, I have about 20 hours of week for ŅplaytimeÓ. IÕm a musician in my spare time, so I spend countless nights in my home recording studio, Facebooking, going to casinos for research purposes (and to try and win some money), etc.

 

11.  What other jobs did you have before you got this one? How many? What titles, etc.

Chronologically:

         January 1996 – December 1998 :: Game Designer, 3D Artist, and Sound Designer at Image Space, Inc. in Ann Arbor, MI

         January 1999 – February 2005 :: Game Designer, 2D/3D Artist, and Producer at WMS Gaming, Inc. in Chicago, IL

         March 2005 – October 2006 :: Freelance Artist

         November 2006 – April 2009 :: Producer and Senior Game Designer at Multimedia Games, Inc. in Austin, TX

         April 2009 – October 2009 :: Unemployed

         November 2009 – Present :: Game Designer at Konami Gaming, Inc. in Las Vegas, NV

 

12.  Are you happy with your career choice?

For the most part.

 

13.  Do you still make your own art? Musically, yes. I dabble with my own website from time to time.

 

14.  If you could, what would you change, if anything about your career / job?

IÕve learned some neat things about the industry IÕm in, but at the same time, IÕm really pigeon-holed into the casino gaming industry. IÕve tried several times to switch industries (i.e. video games, graphic design, advertising, etc.), and no one wants a casino game person for those other industries.

 

15.  Words of advice for graduating digital arts seniors?

 1. NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK! I canÕt stress that enough. Every job IÕve held in my career was from someone knowing someone that could get me in the door.

2. From the answer to question 14 above: Be cautious not to pigeon-hole yourself to one industry. I did. It bit me in the butt in 2009.

3. Live within your means.

4. Have fun with your (future) job and co-workers!

5. Keep in touch with your colleagues.

 

16.  Anything else you want to tell your future colleagues? 

I know everyone is trying to become the best artist they can be, and sometimes that focus occupies every waking moment of your life. There is life outside of work – you have to find your own balance between work and play. If youÕre all work, your life will pass you by and your health and relationships will suffer. Been there, done that.

 

1.  Name:

 

Ken Edwards

 

2.  Did you graduate from BGSU? If so, when?

 

1997-2003, Did not graduate. I am like a Super Senior, or something.

 

3.  What Degree did you earn at BGSU?

 

BFA in Computer Art, whenever I finish the degree

 

4.  What is your job title now and what company do you work for?

 

Founder, CEO, Meancode Media, LLC. This is my freelance business I am

full-time self employed doing web design and mainly front-end web

development. This includes Search Engine Optimization, and working with

Content Management Systems.

 

5.  How long did it take to find this job?

 

You could say I am a strange case. I got kicked out of college in 2001 for

bad grades. I had to take a year off because of being kicked out of BGSU, so

I found a lawyer and incorporated as a Limited Liability in the state of

Ohio.

 

So you could say I got a job strait out of college.

 

6.  What did you have to do to get this job? What was your job search like?

 

I took my part time freelance full time when I incorporated, got an office

downtown, which I have since given up to work from home.

 

7. What type of portfolio did you need to get this job?

 

Fine art can only get you so far in web development. I had five years

experience on building bgnews.com alone, as well as knowledge of unix and

linux servers. My portfolio to start was from my work at BGSU. Bgnews.com,

the restructured and re-branded Student Affairs site, work I had done for

the School of Art web site, some other Academic web projects I had done in

classes in the School of Art.

 

 

8.  What is a typical workday like?

 

I used to get up and be in my office by 10. Work till 6 or 7 and go home.

Now I roll out of bed about 8 and "go to work" in my living room, or work on

site at BGSU or other client offices. I try and be done by 5 or 6, sometimes

that doesn't happen. Sometimes I blow the entire day off. Self-employment is

very flexible.

 

 

9.  How many hours do you work a week?

 

I normally put in 50 hours a week, though not all are billable. Sometimes

more.

 

 

10.  How many hours of leisure time do you have a week? What do you do

 

I have enough time to keep up my bad habit of playing video games and seeing

new movies, go to industry events like SIGGRAPH, E3, Comic-Con etc.

 

11. What other jobs did you have before you got this one? How many? What

titles, etc.

 

Webmaster, Student Affairs, BGSU; Webmaster, BG News, BGSU; Database

Specialist staff at BGSU for 7 years

 

12.  Are you happy with your career choice?

 

Yep, I love, and hate, the high stress environment of web development. It is

always some new challenge to tackle.

 

13.  Do you still make your own art?

 

I haven't made anything resembling fine art in years. It is all commercial

art these days. My "free" time of art has turned into writing code for Open

Source projects, and writing my own CMS plugins, that I also release Open

Source.

 

 

14. If you could, what would you change, if anything about your career /

job?

 

Well if someone would have taken my by the scruff of my neck in 1997 and

told me to get all my general education classes out of the way first at

Owens, I would not have learned how to use PowerAnimator, Maya, VR, and then

finally decide I preferred web technologies. I would have never gotten a job

fixing computers at Student Publications, making sure the paper went out

every day, and gaining the real world experience of managing very large

sized web sites while taking classes.

 

I could have gone without all the flunking of classes and wasting of money,

but no, I would not have changed a thing. Though I did like it when the

state of Ohio was taking care of retirement.

 

15.  Words of advice for graduating digital arts seniors?

 

We hired interns at our office downtown, and I have been in charge of

student interns as well as graduate assistants at Student Publications for

over 10 years, and most of them lack the basic knowledge of creating a web

page with nothing but a text editor. Yet they all want to get a job creating

web sites.

 

My number one piece of advice is to learn how to use a text editor. Doesn't

matter if it is TextMate, or BBEdit, nor Notepad, learn your HTML, CSS, and

Javascript "the old fashioned way." I started with vim and emacs, I can't

stand it when someone who has only used Dreamweaver and you show them Code

View and their face turns three shades of white.

 

Number 2, learn a CMS, Movable Type is my flavor, but WordPress, Joomla,

Drupal, it doesn't matter. Its like learning PHP or ASP. It doesn't matter

which one you learn, it is just that you understand how to learn it. If you

ever wrote Perl before you will be able to get up and running in Ruby on

Rails pretty quickly.

 

Number 3, keep up on web standards, jQuery, HTML 5, CSS3, but know when to

use them and when not. Another pitfall of people who want to work on the web

is they do not understand browser incompatibilities. It cannot be taught,

you just have to learn it yourself.

 

 

16.  Anything else you want to tell your future colleagues?

 

You should probably get the general education requirements out of the way

before you start taking 3D animation and Flash classes. Probably.

1. Name:

Matt Hecht

2. Did you graduate from BGSU? If so, when?

Spring 2000

3. What Degree did you earn at BGSU?

BFA Computer Art/Minor in Drawing

4. What is your job title now and what company do you work for?

Air Force Combat Video

5. How long did it take to find this job?

6 Months

6. What did you have to do to get this job? What was your job search like?

I had to join the Air Force which can be a stretch for the traditional
art student.

7. What type of portfolio did you need to get this job?

I had to submit a portfolio of graphic design and photographic work,
as originally I was applying to be a graphic designer.

8. What is a typical workday like?

The typical day is great, from 6 - 430.  The day consists of a variety
of different things, from photo shoots to designing logos or posters
to making motion graphics or producing commercials.  What's great is
that every day is something different and usually challenging.

9. How many hours do you work a week?

Usually 40, sometimes up to 60-70 depending if there is a special event.

10. How many hours of leisure time do you have a week? What do you do

I have a ton of time off, every weekend is 3 days, and I spend that
time working on my own film projects.  Plus we get pretty much every
holiday off, so that means a lot of 4 day weekends.  I'm in NJ at the
shore, so I spend a lot of my free time either doing art or out
surfing.

(some of my videos can be seen here: vimeo.com/novum-artfx)

11. What other jobs did you have before you got this one? How many?
What titles, etc.

I worked as a graphic designer and photographer for Atlantic City
Aerial and Commercial Photography.

12. Are you happy with your career choice?

Yes, because I am near family, and I don't have to worry about losing
my job once a project is over.  I also enjoy being close to NYC,
Philly, and Washington DC.

13. Do you still make your own art?

Yes, all the time!

14. If you could, what would you change, if anything about your career / job?

I wish we had a bigger budget, but we get by with quite a few DIY
projects and holding onto older gear longer.  I'm also not totally
thrilled about the whole military thing, but I've gotten to live
overseas for a long time (I lived for a year in S. Korea), and we get
to see some really, really cool stuff that isn't all things being
blown up.  I've worked with the National Football League a few times,
as well as other organizations.

15. Words of advice for graduating digital arts seniors?

Keep your options open!  There are cool jobs outside of the main studios.

16. Anything else you want to tell your future colleagues?

Enjoy BG, it's a great school!  I love that I made friends for life
there with my fellow Computer Art students.

1. Name:Patrick Lichty

 

 

 

2. Did you graduate from BGSU? If so, when?

Yes. 2006

 

3. What Degree did you earn at BGSU?

Digital Art

 

 

4. What is your job title now and what company do you work for?

Assistant Professor of Media Theory and Emergent Practices,

Dept of Interactive Arts & Media

Columbia College Chicago

 

5. How long did it take to find this job?

3 mos.

 

6. What did you have to do to get this job? What was your job search like?

I had to submit applications to relevant calls for applications through academic channels.

I went through the 3-tiered reply/phone/on-site interview process.

 

7. What type of portfolio did you need to get this job?

I submitted a CV, 3 letters of recommendation, sample work and papers.

 

8. What is a typical workday like?

Similar to yours.

 

9. How many hours do you work a week?

20 academic, 10 writing, 10 art

 

10. How many hours of leisure time do you have a week? What do you do

I am currently reevaluating this/reexploring this.

 

11. What other jobs did you have before you got this one? How many? What titles, etc.

Electronic engineer (84-91)

Freeance designer (91-02)

Independent artist (90-)

Graduate Fellow (04-06)

 

12. Are you happy with your career choice?

Generally.  I fee I started a bit late (ideal time is 98-00 in my timeine), and I am very concerned about the role and stature of the MFA in academia.

 

13. Do you still make your own art?

YEs.

 

14. If you could, what would you change, if anything about your career / job?

I would ike to be in a graduate program at a university, I think.  Would have iked to have gone earier, and I wonder about whether Ineed a PhD in the ong run.

15. Words of advice for graduating digital arts seniors?

 

 

16. Anything else you want to tell your future colleagues?

It's competitive, and you have got to be on it all the time.

 

 

1.     Name:

 

Pratap Gajjala

 

2.     Did you graduate from BGSU? If so, when?

 

Yes, August 2007

 

3.     What Degree did you earn at BGSU?

 

Bachelor of Fine Arts (in Digital Arts) & Bachelor of Science (in Computer Science)

 

4.     What is your job title now and what company do you work for?

 

Software Engineer at LogicJunction Inc.

 

5.     How long did it take to find this job?

 

3 months after graduation, but I had been job searching several months (~3) prior to graduation proper.

 

6.     What did you have to do to get this job? What was your job search like?

 

I used several (~7-8) internet job search sites - posting my resume and also hunting actively for positions, as well as having an updated personal website with a current resume (at that time)

 

7.     What type of portfolio did you need to get this job?

 

My personal website acted as a portfolio.

 

8.     What is a typical workday like?

 

9am - 6pm,  1/2 - 1 hour lunch break. I generally work at a computer all day, some days are generally relaxing, but as project cycles peak, we often work long hours (up to 18 hours/day) to complete projects on time and problem free.

 

9.     How many hours do you work a week?

 

An average of 45-50 hours when combining standard weeks and end of project weeks.

 

10.  How many hours of leisure time do you have a week? What do you do

 

Evenings and weekends, I travel to see friends around Ohio, play games, spend time with Cleveland-local friends.

 

11.  What other jobs did you have before you got this one? How many? What

titles, etc.

 

None, I was unemployed during my job search, and treated the job search as a full time occupation.

 

12.  Are you happy with your career choice?

 

Mostly.

 

13.  Do you still make your own art?

 

Yes.

 

14.  If you could, what would you change, if anything about your career / job?

 

I would seek more challenge, and less monotony, and a more stable work environment, less prone to wild work-stress shifts based on project statuses.

 

15.  Words of advice for graduating digital arts seniors?

 

The art field is highly competitive and extremely challenging to find work in. Its important to stand out in some way. If you aren't always the outright best artist - and by its very nature, only perhaps 1 of every 100 DA grads will be that good - you need to stand out by having a diverse skill set. Especially at small companies, they will need flexible employees capable of managing themselves and taking care of more than just animations or modeling or rigging. Having a wide 'generalist' skillset and some programming/scripting skills will help you fit in a wider range of jobs. 

 

16.  Anything else you want to tell your future colleagues?

 

Don't be afraid of programming/scripting. Increasingly, everyone has to play ball with some level of these types of tasks. I actually work as a software developer rather than an artist, but work alongside digital/technical artists due to my shared background, and those who are more valued are those more capable of controlling their workspace by being familiar with the nitty gritty of software than those who are entirely slaves to the whims of the tools they use.

 

1.     Name:   Scott Bazzle



2.     Did you graduate from BGSU? If so, when?  Yes, 2001


3.     What Degree did you earn at BGSU?   Bachelor of Fine Arts in Computer Art



4.     What is your job title now and what company do you work for?   calibration technician for Transportation Research Center in East Liberty, Ohio


5.     How long did it take to find this job?   When I was hired in 2002, I was hired in as a crash test photographer, in charge of taking photos, videos, and high speed camera footage of vehicle crash testing.  I had that job until February 2009, when the company began laying people off.  I was then transfered to my current position as calibration technician, and I enjoy the change of pace.

6.     What did you have to do to get this job? What was your job search like?    I saw the ad for the photographer job in the local paper.  


7.     What type of portfolio did you need to get this job?    The company was in the process of converting their entire photography department from film to digital.  They were looking for someone with a digital background.  My resume was all they needed to choose me for the job.


8.     What is a typical workday like?   Before getting transfered to my current position, I had very long and tiring days, typically 10 hours, or whenever the day's testing was finished.  Tests would be conducted inside or outside, in almost any kind of weather, all year round.  Now, with my current position, I rarely work more than 8 hours a day, and I work in a lab with no windows.  However, I have the entire lab to myself, I'm very comfortable, and the job is quite enjoyable.


9.     How many hours do you work a week?  Usually 40.


10.  How many hours of leisure time do you have a week? What do you do?    I have practically nothing but leisure time outside of work.  I've been remodeling my house over the last year, and I'm always big on movies and video games.  And I travel whenever my bank account lets me.

11.  What other jobs did you have before you got this one? How many? What titles, etc.   This was my first job after college.  

12.  Are you happy with your career choice?   I'm happy with my current position.  The photography job wore on me a lot, so the change has been very nice.  And I've been with the company for nearly 10 years, so who's to say I'll be here for another 20.

13.  Do you still make your own art?   I haven't done anything specific since I moved into my house, but yes, I've had a lot of fun with the YouTube community, creating original videos based around music and visual effects.  http://www.youtube.com/sbazzle


14.  If you could, what would you change, if anything about your career / job?   I would love to have had the chance to be creative in some fashion.  Because it's vehicle research, testing requires strict guidelines and procedures that carry over from crash to crash.

15.  Words of advice for graduating digital arts seniors?    I've said this for a long time:  no matter what job you end up getting, or what career you end up keeping, be creative outside of work.  Having total control over your own creativity is a wonderful thing.  Also, take the time to step outside the box with your ideas.  Don't get caught in a rut that always leads in the same direction.  Experiment.  And if an idea seems daunting or even insane, it just may end up being the best thing you've done.  This is definitely speaking from experience.


16.  Anything else you want to tell your future colleagues?   Yep.  While you're still in school, get all your friends together, everybody grab a copy of StarCraft (1 or 2), and take over the computers in the Tech Lab for a massive LAN party.  I promise it'll be epic.  Again, I'm speaking from experience.

 

1.     Name:

 

Seder Burns

 

 

2.     Did you graduate from BGSU? If so, when?

 

2006 & 2009

 

 

3.     What Degree did you earn at BGSU? 

 

MEd in Career and Technical Education & MFA in Digital Arts

 

 

4.     What is your job title now and what company do you work for?

 

Visiting Assistant Professor of New Media, University of Toledo

 

 

5.     How long did it take to find this job?

 

3 months

 

6.     What did you have to do to get this job? What was your job search like?

 

A friend forwarded me the job posting. I only applied to a few jobs as I wasn't in a position to leave the area. I feel very fortunate that I found a job so quickly. I submitted a standard job packet with a portfolio of my work, a portfolio of my students work, my CV, and my teaching philosophy. As the search for the open position was very late in the summer, they only conducted a phone interview before offering me the job. I also need teaching experience.

 

 

7.     What type of portfolio did you need to get this job?

 

They requested a portfolio of 20 pieces in digital form. They also wanted a portfolio of my students' work.

 

8.     What is a typical workday like?

 

I teach from 2.5-5 hours a day, four days a week. Meetings about every other Friday. I have to do a lot of prep work outside of class time. Being a professor of art is interesting as it really isn't a job that you leave at work. I go to exhibits all the time, I make art, and I teach people how to make art. It all kind of blends together all the time.

 

 

9.     How many hours do you work a week?

 

At least 40. Often more.

 

10.  How many hours of leisure time do you have a week? What do you do?

 

My leisure time is often related to art, so leisure and work often overlap. If I go to a county fair to make art, it that work or leisure? If I take time to learn more about electronic music, it will help me teach digital art and I enjoy it. You could say that much of my work is leisure and vice versa. I also enjoy tennis and walking my dog.

 

11.  What other jobs did you have before you got this one? How many? What titles, etc.

I have taught part time for about 9 years before I got this full time position. Lots of adjunct instructor titles. I also drove a city bus for a year many moons ago. I have worked at 4 different cameras stores/photofinishers including time as a general manager of a 5 store chain. I spent a year working in China and South Korea as a technical consultant for a foorwear company. Going way back, I babysat, worked as a clerk at pharmacies, worked at Little Caesar's Pizza, and emptied buckets of grease at Wendy's. Good times.

 

 

12.  Are you happy with your career choice?

 

Yes, very happy. It is a hard life style though. It is very demanding and the need to move for work makes growing roots difficult.  Of course, art is very subjective and that also makes things tricky.

 

13.  Do you still make your own art?

 

Yes.

 

14.  If you could, what would you change, if anything about your career / job?

 

I wish it allowed me more time to produce my own work. I wish it didn't take so long to become established in the field.

 

 

15.  Words of advice for graduating digital arts seniors?

 

Art is very, very competitive. You have to want it more than anything. If you really want it, then you should continue your education and get an MFA.

 

 

16.  Anything else you want to tell your future colleagues?

 

Keep making art. If you don't make art for yourself, then pursuing art as a profession won't likely make you happy.