VanArts is pleased to announce a new degree pathway available for qualified graduates who wish to pursue an honours degree after acquiring their diploma with us.
The University of Gloucestershire, located in Cheltenham Spa, UK, can accept applications for advanced standing into the 2nd year of a 3-year honours degree program. Graduates of the following VanArts programs can transfer into the following degrees:
Game Art & Design = BSc (Hons) Interactive Games Design
Broadcasting for Radio & Television = BA (Hons) Radio Production
Digital Photography = BA (Hons) Photojournalism and Documentary Photography
Web Development & Interactive Design = BA (Hons) Multimedia Web Design
Contact us for more information, and find out more about University of Gloucestershire by visiting them at http://www.glos.ac.uk/international
At VanArts we love hearing stories and getting e-mails from our graduates to see what projects they are working on as their careers unfold. Here are a few examples of what our Digital Photography grads have been up to lately...
Our own Program Assistant Belle Ancell has been recently hired as a freelancer for Canada's Gay & Lesbian newspaper Xtra West, and just had her first cover photo published for a featured article on Vancouver's Little Sister's bookstore. Her blog states that she feels "like a giggly school girl" at this great opportunity.
Check out more of Belle's work at belleancellphotography.com
Taylor McBride, our youngest graduate to date at 18, has been hired as a retoucher for event photography by The Collective You, and also as an intern with Steve Kirby at The Image Lab. Taylor has had the opportunity to work on massive campaigns for clients including Miller Beer, Esso Gas and Nike, and to work alongside other artists like Phillip Jarmain.
In Taylor's words, "I would not be where I am today without going to study at VanArts. Thank you for all your support over the year!"
Chena San Martin, one of our graduates from Mexico City, has her photography featured in a new book which just launched here in Vancouver, Love & Cooking: The Erotic Cookbook by writer Tanille Geib. On working with Chena, Geib says on her website, "One can easily be caught up in the excitement that builds once she's developed an image in her mind's eye. This creative energy helps bring out the best in her models who forget themselves and come to share in that moment - a joint venture on either side of the lens."
Of all this inspiring creativity exhibited by our VanArts staff & graduates, Chena herself sums things up perfectly when she says, "The world is full of pictures that I can't stop taking."
The William Davis Centre for Actors' Study at VanArts is very proud of our graduate Andrew Herr, who is starring in his first leading film role airing at 8pm this Sunday, April 28 on CBC.
Andrew plays the role of Mark Howe in the new TV movie for CBC Mr. Hockey: The Gordie Howe Story, an experience which enabled him to combine acting with his background playing Junior B hockey. He gained immense experience working under the enthusiastic direction of Andy Mikita and several other talented actors such as Michael Shanks, Kathleen Robertson, Lochlyn Munro, Martin Cummins, Brad Turner, Teach Grant, and the rest of his cast.
Andrew (on left) shares with us about his experience, "Hitting the ground running on my first film role coming out of school, I really got to see how a film comes together in addition to the acting, which was amazing. Working with the director Andy was great because his enthusiasm for the project was contagious, and I felt I could always ask him questions and stay on the same page. Working with the other actors was a great experience and wonderful to see how they approach the craft. My first time playing hockey in vintage gear from the 1970s was a challenge, but overall it was a lot of fun. It was a dream to start my career with such an experience, one I will never forget."
About his training at VanArts, "The Acting Department at VanArts helped me learn and use all the tools necessary to work as an actor. As a school they pushed me beyond my comfort zone to find ways of working the craft continually, even outside the classroom. The teachers were incredibly encouraging and there was a level of trust that allowed me as a performer to take more risks and then form it into a habit. The tools VanArts taught me I will continue to work on and use for the rest of my life."
Great work Andrew, we're proud of you!
Film Still from Mr. Hockey: The Gordie Howe Story © 2013 CBC
The Story & Animation Masterclass, a special event taught by instructors from Pixar and hosted by VanArts all across North America for the past 5 years, has finally gone global by having toured "down under" in Australia and New Zealand. Sold-out crowds of students, professionals and film enthusiasts packed venues in three cities this month to hear Pixar's head story artist Matthew Luhn and directing animator Andrew Gordon teach about their craft.
On April 5th & 6th, the masterclass was held at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia, where VanArts has a degree pathway partnership for graduates in all of our programs. The following week on April 12th & 13th, another masterclass was held at the National Maritime Museum in Sydney, Australia.
This was followed by another class at Media Design School in Auckland, New Zealand on April 16th & 17th. VanArts also has a degree pathway partnership with Media Design School, where graduates from our 3D Character Animation, Game Art & Design, and Visual Effects diploma programs can apply to pursue Bachelors' degrees after graduation.
For everyone who participated in these events, it was a great experience to see these schools and venues first-hand, see the beautiful landscapes of Australia and New Zealand, and develop strong relationships with the people there. Thanks to everyone who made this tour possible!
Yesterday our students in Game Art & Design and Visual Effects programs received a special visit from Genseki Tanaka, a fellow VanArts graduate and Assistant Art Director at Ubisoft in Montreal. Genseki is en route to attend the Game Developers’ Conference (GDC) in San Francisco, and gave his time generously while stopping in Vancouver to speak to our students about working in the game industry. He shared a presentation about the art direction for Far Cry 3, and spent some time in the computer labs looking at the students’ work.
After graduating from the Visual Effects Diploma Program at VanArts, Genseki worked as a Modeler at Electronic Arts Canada on the titles Need for Speed and Skate 2, then moved on to Ubisoft as a Shader Artist and Senior Concept Artist. He said the knowledge and contacts he made at VanArts were a great help in launching his career, and that he was impressed with the programs’ current focus on production, to help our students with the skills they need.
Thanks Genseki for coming back to spend time with our students!
Recent 2D Character Animation graduates Allessandro Adamo, from Italy, and Esther Park, from New Brunswick, have just started working at a new studio in Sherbrooke, Quebec called Kaffeine Animation. They are working together on Season 2 of the show Walter and Tandoori, using Toon Boom Harmony, the software they learned at VanArts.
Says Esther of her experience at VanArts, "I first came to VanArts for the 2007 1-month summer intensive, and later returned for the full-time diploma program. I made lots of friends, learned a lot about animation from awesome teachers, improved my knowledge of this art form and industry. It was a great experience and I have no regrets!"
Says Allessandro of his experience at VanArts, "As Vancouver is one of the best cities for quality of life, I searched for a school that deeply focused on character animation and found VanArts. I chose them not only because they focus on animation, but also the background experience of the instructors. They had worked on cartoons I watched from my childhood, so it was like a full circle! My experience there was AMAZING...no matter what level we were at, we were pushed to give our best, learn the rules before breaking them, and to be artistically creative. The best part is that now my teachers have become my friends, who help me when I need it."
Congratulations to you both on your new animation careers!
In this video, VanArts Visual Effects graduate Harsh Mistry, from India, talks about his experience studying and working in Vancouver.
According to the book's description: "Sabotage and mutiny strand the Mercury and all hands deep in uncharted space. The ship damaged, and the crew subject to the horrible stress of knowing they may never see Earth again, they accidentally stumble across something amazing that will shake our understanding of the universe, and our place in it. a story of human determination, achievement, and curiosity, set against all too human hatred, madness, and fear."
After graduation from VanArts, Samuel began working as a photo retoucher and also as a book cover illustrator for Freedom of Speech Publishing. Before too long, he found himself writing his own story and getting it published, also creating his own cover in Maya and Photoshop, all skills he learned here at VanArts. His fellow staff and classmates are given special thanks on his book's dedication page, and he still creates digital art and 3D models.
Samuel Blondahl will be a featured guest, with books available, at Fan Expo Vancouver this April, where VanArts will also be present as an exhibitor along with more of our graduates. Hope to see you there!
3D Animation graduate Lauson Morrow has just completed his third year working at Nerd Corps Entertainment and has now moved up to Senior Animator. Lauson was hired soon after graduation from VanArts, and has since worked on shows such as Hot Wheels Battle Force 5, League of Super Evil, Slugterra, and currently on Max Steel.
Of his experience, Lauson shares with us, "Working in the animation industry is fun and lots of hard work, always on a deadline, but when you are doing something you love its always good. What's important to keep in mind is to show off your work, always try and get a second pair of eyes on it, and that learning from others is the best way to improve yourself.
Back in VanArts' animation program, some of the best things that put me in the right direction was learning to work with the other students, figuring out the programs and animation skills from their great teachers.
Always keep a clear head, and know that you can always learn from any critisim you receive. It's all knowlage to learn and get better from."
Since 2006, VanArts animation graduates have been contributing to a number of short films for Scholastic/Weston Woods under the direction of fellow VanArts animation grad Galen Fott, founder and director of BigFott Studios in Nashville, TN.
The latest addition to BigFott's filmography is I'm Fast! based on the childrens' book of the same name by Kate & Jim McMullan. The new film features the voice of award-winning actor Stanley Tucci, and features animation by VanArts' own Galen Fott, Kevin Yowell, Ken Priebe and Micah Baker. These animators have contributed to many other short films for BigFott over the years, since Galen founded his studio soon after graduation from VanArts.
Another new BigFott release for Scholastic/Weston Woods is Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend, based on the childrens' book by Melanie Watt. Adapted & directed by Galen Fott with character animation by VanArts instructor & communications director Ken Priebe, this film was deemed a "2013 Notable Children's Video" by the American Library Assocation.
Visit the official pages for I'm Fast! and Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend at the BigFott Studios website, including trailers, links for the production artists and ordering the films on DVD: bigfott.com/animated_films