Academy of Art University Grads Hired at Top Film/Game Studios

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Art School Students' Creative Professionalism Stands Out in a Competitive World

Academy of Art University animation, visual effects and illustration students are snagging jobs at top studios, including Pixar, Industrial Light & Magic and DreamWorks after graduation. Students have many opportunities to develop relationships with companies in their area of interest, including courses taught by industry leaders, special seminars and the art school's annual spring show. These relationships often lead to jobs. Recent Academy of Art University graduates were hired at the following companies:

Erwin Madrid & Noriko Ito - PDI
Tim Lamb - DreamWorks
Kris Norelius, Grant Alexander, Tim Evatt & Jennifer Chang - Pixar
Jason Chan - Massive Black
Ivan Moy - Terra Glyph Studios
PO Ming Chu - Image Movers
Sang Jun Lee - Blue Sky
Nicholas Stohlman - Secret Level

Academy of Art University works closely with the industry to ensure students are prepared for the professional world. Employees from Pixar, makers of the animated hits Wall E and Ratatouille, currently teach classes in the visual effects and illustration programs at the art school. Visual development classes taught by Pixar employees Tony Christov, Mark Holmes, Robert Kondo and Academy of Art University alumnus Randy Berrett have been extremely successful in launching illustration students' careers.

"We have had several people placed in the art departments of Pixar, DreamWorks, Blue Sky and many of the other film and game studios coast to coast," said School of Illustration Director Chuck Pyle. "Graduates working at these companies are getting rave reviews, but they can also find success in comic books, graphic novels, book illustration, freelance illustration and a number of artistic drawing careers. We teach students to draw with power, empathy and opinion, so they have the versatility to draw anything and tell a great story."

Similarly, the animation school is constantly improving its curriculum to meet the individual needs of each student. The success of a series of Pixar classes offered by the department in the past has inspired the animation school to continue developing relationships throughout the industry and help art school students achieve their ultimate career goals in the competitive field of animation.

"If a student wants to work at Pixar, Tippet Studio, ImageMovers, Rhythm and Hues Studios or Electronic Arts, we'll help that student choose the classes they need to be prepared for that kind of job. If they want to make their own films, we have opportunities for them to explore that as well," said School of Animation Director Chris Armstrong.

In addition to offering classes taught by experts from companies like Pixar, Academy of Art University hosts the biggest names in all areas of art and design during its Industry on Campus events. Companies like Activision, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Electronic Arts, Pixar, Imagi Animation Studios and many more give students a glimpse into the day-to-day demands of creative careers.

With an astounding 80 percent graduate hire rate, Academy of Art University and its instructors will continue to shape each program to make sure students receive the art school education they need to do what they love for a living.

About Academy of Art University, San Francisco
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With over 13,000 students, Academy of Art University is the nation's largest private art and design university. Established in 1929, the school offers accredited AA, BFA, M.Arch and MFA programs in 14 different majors, as well as continuing art education with classes in copywriting, fashion merchandising, interior design, new media, computer animation, sculpture, graphic design, cinematography, industrial design, digital photography and car design. Multimedia Communications is the school's newest major, offering BA and MA degrees. Students can also enroll in a flexible online degree program in art and design.

Academy of Art University is an accredited member of WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges), NASAD, Council for Interior Design Accreditation (BFA-IAD) and NAAB (M-ARCH).

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Amanda Wardell
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