Join us Thursday, May 27th for a Gnomon alumni panel discussion on the benefits of remote learning and how that experience can provide valuable skills for artists as the industry embraces remote studio work.

This past year was labelled many things but "unprecedented" was probably the most common description. Everyone heard about the new challenges we faced with lockdown-inspired pivots, but now we want to explore the positive effects of taking both work and study remote. We've rounded up four industry artists to talk about their experience shifting to a work from home paradigm, how studios have adapted to virtual workflows, and, for some, what it was like to graduate and begin their careers during a global pandemic.

Gnomon Education Lead Beau Janzen will moderate the panel discussion and share his own stories of teaching students in the virtual classroom and tackling remote studio work prior to the lockdown. With a variety of backgrounds and experience, including VR, games, film, modeling, texturing, animation and real-time VFX, our panelists will help students realize that studying remotely doesn't put them at a disadvantage but actually makes them uniquely prepared for this moment.

We look forward to hearing from Brandon Zhao, Michelle Sharp, Marco Amador and Jenna Ruth about what unexpected work-life benefits emerged last year and how those lessons will not only remain but enhance the future of our industry.

Watch the stream on the Gnomon Twitch Channel, YouTube Channel, and Facebook Live on Thursday, May 27th at 7:30 p.m. PDT.

Events with closed captioning are available via the Gnomon Facebook Live page.


Gnomon's full-time programs and 10-week individual courses are designed to develop well-rounded artists that are skilled in the diverse disciplines within 3D production. For those outside of the US, virtual classroom-style online courses are also available.

Guest Speakers

Marco AmadorAsset Supervisor

Marco has lent his talents as a modeler, texture, designer, animator, and pipeline developer to a multitude of projects at major Los Angeles area studios, including feature films, game cinematics, music videos, advertisements, and interactive apps. A graduate of Gnomon’s prestigious certificate program, he has also brought his skills to the classroom as an instructor. His credits include X-Men: Apocalypse (Lead Modeler), Zoolander 2 (Lead Modeler), NBA 2k16 (Senior 3D Modeler), Pan (Senior 3D Character Modeler), and X-Men: Days of Future Past (Digital Sculptor.

Jenna RuthAdvanced VFX Artist

Los Angeles native Jenna Ruth is a VFX artist at Insomniac Games and has worked in the Games Industry for 5 years. After graduating from Gnomon in 2016, she started her career as an environment artist for VR games, but quickly fell in love with real time VFX. Before that, she studied oil painting at Sarah Lawrence College.

At Insomniac Games she has worked on Marvel’s Spider-Man, The City that Never Sleeps DLCs, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. Jenna is passionate about representation and visual storytelling.

Brandon ZhaoLead FX Artist

Brandon Zhao is a real-time vfx artist working in Los Angeles as the Lead FX artist at Halon Entertainment. After graduating from Gnomon School of Visual Effects, he continued to explore the boundaries of real-time FX and has worked for clients such as Epic Games, Marvel, NBA and more.

Michelle SharpEffects Apprentice

Michelle Sharp is a visual effects artist and freelance photographer based in Los Angeles, CA. She obtained a B.A. in Art and B.S. in Applied Mathematics at UC Santa Barbara in 2018, and then graduated from Gnomon's Digital Production program in December 2020. She is currently working as an Effects Apprentice at Walt Disney Animation Studios.

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