My Journey at Otis

I graduated from Otis College of Art and Design just two weeks ago. It all feels like a blur, doesn’t even feel like I’m done with school at all!

How would I describe my journey at Otis? It was a very busy and eventful one. Before I applied to Otis, I honestly had no idea what I wanted to major in or what my career would be. I was into cosplay and video games, that’s all I really knew. I was attending Santa Monica College while deciding what I wanted to do, but then I finally decided to apply to Otis for shits and giggles (it was also the only school I applied to). When I got my acceptance letter, I was ecstatic.

Foundation year was exciting, but also ended up kind of confusing me a bit. When I started Otis, I thought I wanted to go into 3D Modeling/Concept Art for movies, but during my second semester I ended up in the Introduction to Product Design elective and I was told I could work on costuming/props at Product Design! Looking back at that class makes me giggle because the professor was talking to me about molding and casting and making money from my work, back then I said it was too expensive and my pieces were one-offs, but look at me now haha. I’ve taken a complete 180 from that.

My first two years as a Product Design student were exciting, but honestly slightly irritating. The itch to work on props/costumes was huge, but I had to do what the curriculum called for. I think the class that really influenced me the most was my Design Studio course, it really taught me to be a lot more stern about the quality of my work. I also learned how to do Orthographic drawings (which I am in love with now). I also learned how to use Rhino 3D and SolidWorks which have been extremely helpful for my projects (which led me into 3D printing – Vi Goggles, Ezreal Goggles, etc).

During these first two years, I had to split my focus between classes and building my personal portfolio. This was around the time I started becoming a bit more strict about the costumes I chose to fabricate. I did this because I wanted to make sure my portfolio was a variety of techniques and materials. All costume/prop work was done on my own time on top of all the classwork/homework that I had.

I’ve had quite a few people ask me what school I went to and which courses I took, but honestly a lot of the things that I do now I taught myself through trial and error, online research, and field work. I’m not discrediting my school and saying I didn’t learn anything at all, because I actually learned a lot, but I’m just stating that I didn’t go to school for prop fab and learn everything there. It was a lot of hard work and effort on my part, a lot of self-motivation to be on top of working on such intense personal projects on top of coursework.

My final year at school was an eventful one, I finally managed to incorporate costuming and prop fabrication into my course curriculum. I didn’t end up completing Frostblade Irelia for my senior show, but her scheduled completion is set for December, so I’ve still got plenty of time. I’m taking a break from her at the moment because the immense amount of work that went into her was beginning to burn me out a bit. My senior year was focused on really fine-tuning my portfolio, resume, and brand for when I would be graduated .. now!

It’s funny because after I set everything up for my senior show I realized my show was entirely based around League of Legends with a taste of Black Rock Shooter, kind of funny… I had my two good friends, April and Lan, model my Wicked Lulu and Miss Fortune costumes. It was a fun show, though I felt kind of out of place, considering everyone else there was featuring actual product work, while my booth was focused on prop fab/special effects.

Nevertheless Senior Show was a blast and I want to thank everyone that helped me and/or visited!

My next step on my journey is to further engross myself in the world of Prop Fab and Special Effects in the entertainment industry. During my senior year I took my first steps into the entertainment industry of Hollywood at Legacy Effects! I’ve already worked on a few things, most of which cannot be named until they’re released, but one of the few things I can link is:

 

I wasn’t too involved with that project, all I did was clean the 3D print of his pistachio head, but it’s a start! I’m already working my second freelance gig at the moment for E3 at another studio, and I’m excited for what else the future has in stock for me!

I’ve recently opened print sales (finally) to help support future costume/prop endeavors. I was against selling prints for a very long time because I’m not advertising myself as a model, but I’m advertising myself as a prop fabricator. The reason I finally decided to open prints is because all of my projects are relatively expensive because I strive to achieve a high level of quality with my work, portfolio worthy for my career. All print sales profits go to future costumes and to the photographers.

I’ve also been working on Project Ward. Trying my best to finally catch up with all the rewards so I can get them all shipped out ASAP! Once that’s all done I’ll be working on personal projects again, and from there it all depends on what happens job-wise.

Thanks for reading! Feel free to leave any comments or questions below, on Facebook, or Twitter!

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