Local animation studios had the opportunity to canvas the next generation of talent from Okanagan College’s animation diploma program.
The third-annual Industry Night, which showcased students’ artwork, demo reels and professional portfolios, opened its door virtually May 13.
The popular art-and-network event brought together industry partners, community, students, faculty, mentors and supporters in celebration of the program’s 2021 graduating class and first-year students who have now crossed the halfway mark of their studies.
Vernon local Ryan Lazar – who specializes in 2D background design and 3D animation – is ready to start his career after a tough yet rewarding two years of studies.
“The courses are extensive, class sizes are focused, and the instructors are experienced and because of that, the program and this graduating class are so versatile,” Lazar said. “We spent a year exploring all areas of animation – storyboarding, animation, character design, layout, theory, 2D, 3D and more – and then once we found which area resonated with us the most, our instructors and mentors helped us specialize our skills.”
Added Lazar: “Over the past two years my classmates, instructors and I have become really close and I can’t wait to see what they all accomplish in the future.”
Throughout the evening’s events, Lazar, along with the rest of the graduating students, hosted their own breakout rooms where guests joined them to chat, network and view their individual artwork.
“The quality of work we’re seeing from our students is very high – these are eager professionals who have honed their craft and could walk into a studio right now and start performing,” program acting chair James Wood said. “The pandemic has resulted in more video consumption and the animation industry is so hot right now because of it. Some of our students have already been offered positions and it won’t be long before the entire class has obtained employment in their field.”
The college will welcome its next intake of students into the animation diploma program this September. For more information visit okanagan.bc.ca/animation.