Meet Winston! Alum and recent student worker

June 22, 2022

Winston graduated this spring from VCU arts with a major in Communication Arts with a concentration in VFX. They worked in the department of English since they were a freshman and took on a number of special projects like the custom illustrated author stickers for Black History Month and Women's History Month

Winston wears VCU regalia and stands in front of the ram horns outside the VCU commonsWhat was your major at VCU? How did you become interested in that field and decide to pursue it? 

I always liked drawing and CommArts offered different commercial career avenues for me to explore, and find out which is the best fit for me. I became interested in VFX, because of the editing I did in an AFO class called Time Studio. Then my sophomore year, I took another class on the history of visual media, and I learned that the first VFX artist was a magician. I found that inspiring, that VFX can make the unreal and magical come to life on film.

Can you talk a little bit about your process as an artist?

I have a very structured process when it comes to the ideation and execution of completing art pieces. Before I even draw, I usually do research on the topic/subject of the piece. In the research stage, I find more visual inspiration for the piece. After I research, I compile my notes, then list the most visually interesting and compelling subject matter. Following this, I begin thumbnailing different ideas for the piece. (Thumbnailing is crude drawings that are meant to show the composition and overall idea of the piece). I usually do 5-7 thumbnails, then I pick the one that best conveys the message, and is visually interesting. After thumbnailing I move on to the preliminary sketch. Here is where I work out the colors and refine the drawing from the thumbnails. In this stage, I am thinking about materials and overall execution. Lastly, I work on the final piece.

Congrats on graduating! What areas of your field are you interested in exploring now that you’ve graduated?

As of now, I specifically want to go into previsualization. It’s a field in the preproduction process of making movies/TV/Animation. Essentially my job would be to work with a director and visually block out sequences from the script. For example, if the director wanted a sequence to happen in a bar, my job would be to recreate the bar in a 3D program, place cameras in that 3D space, and then animate the characters.

Where can people see more of your work?