Internships, we all know, provide great industry experiences for all students to bridge their academic pursuits and careers. Students from School of Visual Arts (SVA) MFA Computer Arts department have taken this advice to heart and landed themselves some amazing opportunities to get work experience through summer internships.
Cartoon Brew caught up with some of the MFA program’s second-year students to find out what they did this summer and their learning experiences from animation, motion graphics, and fine art fields at Blue Sky Studios, Casual Films, Ideamachine Studio, Los York, Titmouse, and Tony Oursler Studio.
Two of the program’s 3D animation students earned their dream internships at Blue Sky Studios at the studio’s Acorn Academy. Liukaidi Peng interned in the story department and had the opportunity to meet with many story artists and directors and pitch his boards to them. Peng said that “this experience not only improved my boarding skills but also gave me the opportunity to learn about the production workflow in feature films. Most importantly, I have been communicating and collaborating with people throughout the process, which are the most important skills I have improved over the past 10 weeks.”
Lin Zhang was an intern in the rigging department and got to work on some prop rigs on Blue Sky Studios’ next feature. Zhang spent most of her time learning their tools and pipeline. She also sculpted hundreds of blendshapes and corrective blendshapes for the body and face, which she found to be great training. Zhang said “the amazing tools and nodes I have been using are all written by their talented TDs and I learned a lot from them. Most importantly, I got the chance to know the production pipeline in animation studios for feature films, like how they handle with all the assets and handover between different departments.” For both Peng and Zhang, they expressed how much they gained from their time at the Acorn Academy in Blue Sky Studios.
Saski Jain had the opportunity to intern for the multimedia and installation artist Tony Oursler in his New York studio. Jain worked on a few short 2d animation pieces which will be used in an outdoor installation with Public Art Fund. Jain said it was “a great learning experience, using the skills I learned at school to jump the hurdles at work and keep the work interesting. The installation opens this Halloween. You are all invited to check the piece at 69th Street by the Hudson River!”
Internships comes with great opportunities to advance your skills in your field and understand the demands of the industry. Doudou Liu spent the summer interning as a 2d animator at Ideamachine Studio. She used the skills she learned at the SVA MFA Computer Arts department and refined them while learning new techniques that are commonly used in the industry. Liu said the internship “helped affirmed my passion with animation and it gave me a better understanding of a real life experience.” For Hunny Dastur, her internship at Casual Films taught her “to work a small team and deepened my understanding of client requirements while working on commercial projects.”
The program had two students intern at the award-winning content agency Los York in their New York offices. Jun Yang was a 3D designer intern and said she was “expected to apply my knowledge to make style exploration for commercials. I also assisted in the production of 2D motion graphics, such as typographic design and animation.” Jiayi Li interned as a 2d motion graphics artist and had the opportunity to design parts of several projects for brands such as Mountain Dew, Fly Eagle, Sephora, and Motorola. Li said the experience “enhanced my design skill and understand the production workflow in a fast paced environment.” Both Yang and Li expressed how grateful they are for meeting and learning from the talented artists at Los York.
Dominick Bedasse, a 2d animator has dreams of working for a studio where he can apply his skills and love for drawing and he started by attending SVA’s annual Job Fair to search for his ideal career. For Bedasse it was an esteemed privilege to land an internship at the New York studio of animation production house Titmouse. He served as a storyboard intern, working alongside professional storyboard artists to develop storybooks and storyboards for an undisclosed project. Bedasse mentioned that he was able to gain great insight from those whom he worked with and learned their different career paths that ultimately led them to Titmouse. His biggest takeaway: “No path is straight, or smooth, just keep pushin’ – or drawing, whichever you prefer!”
These unique learning experiences each help students move a few steps closer to their future careers, and shape and define who they are as artists.