The Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries shares the story of James Dowling after his recent award winning success. James is an Arch Vis/CG artist living in Brighton & Hove, who graduated from the University of Portsmouth in 2010 with a degree in BA (Hons) Animation.
James has worked in the 3D industry for 8 years in a variety of jobs – from motion graphics for airlines, 3D illustration for children’s books and finally moving into Architectural Visualisation. Most recently he became a freelancer under the name Atmos Visuals.
I heard good things about the BA (Hons) Animation course at the University of Portsmouth and it had good equipment with large computer facilities. A lot of other courses at the time were either illustrative animation or just computer animation and I really enjoyed the good mix of traditional art and CGI at Portsmouth. I could choose whatever animation style I wanted and have the equipment and tutor knowledge to do it. I also really enjoyed the life drawing classes which I had at college already and I think it is a really important skill to hone to improve as an artist. We also had some great tutors that had a lot of industry experience who were an inspiration and amazing to learn from.
The bonus of doing a course at University is that you have a lot of time to experiment, find your style and are taught by industry professionals to learn correct workflows and techniques – something that’s incredibly important and often neglected when you’re teaching yourself with online tutorials.
I was recently awarded Autodesk’s Artist Of The Month in December 2018 which was a great honour as I have been using their software for over 10 years now. I also won the CGMood “Autumn Colours” competition which was really great. I’m planning on entering more competitions in the future as they are a fantastic way to improve your skills as they’re not client work and usually have a lot of creative freedom.
On top of that, I gave a talk at the University of Brighton for the Architecture and Interior Architecture students last year about Architectural Visualisation and how they will come across it in their future careers. I think some of the students thought about becoming Visualisers so it was great talking in front of young motivated people and show them the type of work they’d get to do.