Juan Gil had a dream of working in the video game industry but with an artistic background primarily in traditional illustration, he knew additional training was in his future. His search for learning CG led him to Gnomon, and he and his wife decided to take a tour of the campus. Feeling impressed and inspired by the school, Juan applied, got accepted, and made the trek from his hometown of NYC to L.A. "One of the best decisions of my entire life," he said of the move.
Juan quickly discovered that an education at Gnomon is engaging and intense from day one. He and his classmates even jokingly referred to the program as "CG bootcamp." No matter their background or experience level, everyone was encouraging each other as they dove in headfirst. And that vigorous approach made him feel like he had an upper hand before even beginning to look for industry work.
"I felt kinda 'seasoned' without having been out there yet," Juan said. "I felt like I started paying my dues while I was in the program."
Once he began working in the industry, Juan felt the effects of that preparedness even more. He believes that is due in large part to the variety of classes he was able to take at Gnomon: Lighting, Dynamics, Modeling, Animation. His familiarity with the pipeline allowed him to settle in quickly, feeling capable and comfortable.
"We were exposed to literally all facets of the industry. I had experienced all the roles of a legit pipeline," Juan said.
While every class was critical in helping him discover what he was truly passionate about, Juan said the ones he enjoyed the most were the modeling/sculpting and texturing ones. They coupled well with his established traditional artistic skills and, in turn, improved those foundational strengths.
"I actually believe that my CG/digital knowledge has made me a much better traditional/analog artist. I'm a much more 'mindful' artist," Juan said.
Looking back on his time at Gnomon, Juan believes that the most important thing he learned was actually a piece of advice from his Intro to Maya instructor Jeremy Engleman: Learn how to learn.
"So simple, yet so profound. It was like a precursor to the rest of my professional life."
Juan graduated from Gnomon in 2009. He now works as a Texture Artist/Look Dev at Pure Imagination Studios.
Founded in 1997, Gnomon has trained thousands of students and professionals for careers in the entertainment industry.Find out more