I am very grateful for the opportunity to attend SIGGRAPH 2019 at the Los Angeles Convention Center on behalf of Illustration and ArtCenter. In particular, I participated in the education forum for Disney Internships. I was and should not have been surprised that all the speakers on that panel have experience in addition to artistic skills. They have backgrounds in computer science, applied math, etc. What they shared not only pertains to Disney interns and applicants but is applicable to any path you take as a creative person.
(1) One speaker shared that he didn't take computer graphics until junior and senior year of his undergraduate studies. Then he realized that there was more to be learned. So he went onto a graduate program in computer graphics.
(2) Another speaker would like more independent studies or internships at the undergrad level. Students coming from the same program often have the same work because they have had the same classes and instructors. If students could choose their topics of study, then the variation would stand out.
(3) Networking is important. One panelist shared that he would not have this job if he hadn't volunteered at SIGGRAPH as a student and met people who guided him to this position. Students could volunteer at SIGGRAPH and have the full conference experience for free.
(4) Be passionate and enthusiastic about the subject at hand. Love what you do, and it will automatically lead you to learn more and to become better at it.
(5) They are looking for problem solvers, team players. They are looking for someone to complement what they already have.
(6) Students always want to specialize in something. But at Disney, they are looking for generalists. They want to allow you to explore with a great team before narrowing down your path.
(7) Just knowing Illustration is not enough. It's not only about knowing applications but instead, be knowledgeable and passionate about what you love.
(8) Schools should give students more opportunities to collaborate. In the real world, great ideas happen when people work together.
(9) Even in a team, you need to find ways to come up with your own best answers.
(10) Communication is vital, no matter where you go. For example, in their studio, if you could communicate to and engage the studio with a technical topic, it's a plus!
At the Exhibition Hall
My interest has been 3D printing. I was intrigued by how I could sculpt in virtual reality. Then, I could export as an STL file and be able to print it on a 3D printer. While the gear is not free, the application is. Artists could create something two-dimensionally, render it in 3D, and print it. Something from my imagination turns into actual physical things!