Jamie Liu, BADAS’17, is a 3D Modeler and Texture Artist at ICON Creative Studio. She began her education at the University of Florida as an undergraduate student, using her growing skills to ultimately pursue full-time work at ICON Creative Studio beginning in 2018. She specializes in using programs such as Autodesk Maya, ZBrush, and Substance Painter in her work and art production.
In what ways did your Digital Arts and Sciences experience prepare you for your career?
The DAS program introduced me to all types of digital media I could get my hands on. But I think what it did best to prepare me for a career was the team-building aspects of each class. Working at an animation studio requires open communication and collaboration with talented artists who have different ways of approaching and solving problems or tackling a specific task. All of that collaborative work goes into developing an efficiently run show and a quality product.
What do you like about your current career?
I like the work environment in my career; however, the environment depends on the studio. I work in a smaller, independently-run company that fosters a lot of close connections. You actually have the chance to get to know who your teammates are. I also enjoy how much I learn on the job. When I first started at ICON, the learning curve was huge, and it’s amazing what skills I can take from work and apply to my own personal art. There’s still so much more to learn at my job and a lot of room to grow within the company, which I find pretty exciting.
What are some of your favorite memories from when you were in the program?
My favorite memories during the DAS program were going to any class taught by Professor Seung Hyuk Jang, so all the 3D animation classes were the best. I’d stay up late just animating, trying to do the best I could and learn as much as my brain could handle that night. I was always excited for his classes because I knew how important learning this software would be for my career. He made all of the assignments different and challenging.
What advice would you give to current students?
The best advice I could give to DAS students is to make art once you graduate. The job search is a grueling process, and it’s easy to get discouraged hearing rejection after rejection. If anything, let that fuel you to do better and strive harder. Work on your art as much as you can, whether that be modeling, animating, coding a game, or filming. Learning doesn’t stop once you graduate — there are endless possibilities of what you can make and do. It just takes a little bit of motivation and inspiration.
I think it also helps not to make your work about landing a job, but make it because you enjoy it. Also, do this in a healthy way: don’t do all-nighters, please get some sleep and drink plenty of water, and take breaks when you need it.