Mark Anthony is a Visual Development artist based out of Toronto, Canada. He has worked at a variety of studios in the city mainly doing set design, prop design, paintings and other production related tasks . Outside of his professional life Mark enjoys exploring his own style of art through paintings and designs.
What is your background as an artist? What educational experience/background did you have coming into CGMA? Do you have professional experience?
In High School I was always interested in getting into the animation industry as a traditional animator. However as I entered college I began leaning towards design and visual development as traditional animation began to fade out. I found it quite satisfying to be able to create the look of things and watching them to come life through the stages of production. I attended Sheridan College where I received a BAA in Animation. Upon graduation I was fortunate enough to get my first job at a very cool studio in Toronto called House of Cool which mainly does pre-production and storyboarding work. This inspired me to push my skills and always aim to improve. I have worked at a few other studios in Toronto as well. Currently I am at another great studio called Arc Productions.
Why did you decide to take CGMA classes?
I came across CGMA one day when I was looking up some tutorials online and found a link to the site. The courses on the CGMA site seemed to offer specific topics which I wasn't really taught in college. Being that I took an animation program it was not entirely focused on design so I felt like this was a great opportunity to further my education towards my goals. Also the teachers were all professionals so it was a great way to learn from people working in the industry.
What classes did you take and why did you choose them?
I took The Art of Color and Light
, Digital Painting
and Environment Design
. I chose these courses because they all relate to my goals as well as the professional work I do, so I felt it was best to focus on upgrading these skills. Also a few of my favorite artists were teaching these at the time so it was an easy choice.
How did taking classes help you refine your craft and help you along your artistic journey?
They helped exploit my weaknesses and get the answers I needed to help me improve. Also it is pretty inspiring to watch the lectures and hear professionals give insight to their process and experiences along their path as well as share their knowledge.
What was your first big gig and how did you get it?
I have worked on a few cool projects in the past but the one I am most excited about would be the one I am currently working on at Arc Productions. Unfortunately I can't really discuss the details about it but its quite a big property and I am excited to be a part of it. I had previously worked here before so I was fortunate enough to come back for this project.
Why would you recommend CGMA to another artist?
I would recommend CGMA to another artists because the courses are specific and progress with difficulty as the weeks go on. By the end you are able to look back at previous weeks and see where you have improved. The instructors are all great and provide helpful feedback in order to push your skills further. There are a limited number of students per class which allows the instructor to dedicate time to each student. The types of assignments given also make for good portfolio pieces and they are fun to do.
Why is having professional feedback important to you?
It is important to me because these professionals are the ones that are working in the industry so they have an eye for quality. It is also a great way to push the professionalism in my own work and constantly improve. Many times I handed in work not knowing what to improve. With the professional feedback I was able to get the feedback I needed in order to push my work further and correct bad habits.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I want to thank CGMA for interviewing me as a featured artist, I am always working to improve my skills as a visual development artist. It is a tough industry and its important to continue learning and growing as an artist. With art the best way to improve is by constantly doing it and more importantly thinking while you do. Hard work pays off and I have seen improvements with my work in the past year. I also want to thank all the instructors for taking time out of their busy schedule to share their knowledge and skills.