Albert Popalis, BADAS‘03, is the Art Director at Clearwater Marine Aquarium. He has over 15 years of branding, theming and design for exhibits, merchandise, marketing, and events. He has a passion for creating and telling stories with a purpose that drives brands, whether through print, digital or immersive experience.
In what ways did your Digital Arts & Sciences (DAS) experience [at the Digital Worlds Institute] prepare you for your career?
I value the cross-disciplinary approach that has allowed me to know about both traditional and digital production. This has helped me when working with vendors, third-party artists, and freelancers. I am able to lean back on my knowledge and understand what we can provide for them.
Working with teams for group projects allowed us to feel like we were working at an actual company. They broke us into teams and made it feel like a real-world project. Group projects gave us insight into what it would be like to put together production as a professional in this field.
What do you like most about your current career?
My career ties me to the things that I’m passionate about. I tend to search for roles at organizations that share a similar value set. My favorite thing about my career is that it adds value to society and positively impacts people.
What are your favorite DAS memories?
A lot of my memories tie back to DAS courses. I had the opportunity to try new things, participate in projects, learn from my professors, and grow as an artist. I have a lot of memories with my peers from the program. We had great conversations and shared the same passions. The sense of discovery and exploration in college was a lot of fun. Yes, we had classes and work to do, but at the same time, we were exploring and learning together. There’s tons of inspiration.
What advice would you give to current Digital Arts & Sciences students
Try to identify and stick to things that you are passionate about. Pursue a career that stays consistent with your passions. Give everything more effort, more attention, and more care than you think is necessary — it will pay off far more than you know. If you put extra time and effort into your work, you will notice how it pays off down the road.