BEAU is proud to present this new monthly “Student Spotlight” blog post.
This month our student spotlight is on James “Ryan” Law, an entertainment design student. I asked him the following questions for us to get to know him a little better.
1. Why did you decide to go to BEAU?
I decided to attend BEAU after I graduated from SLCC. I had just gotten my A.A.S in animation and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go to BYU or the Art Institute to get my bachelor’s in it. I first heard about BEAU through a TV commercial that was talking about the entertainment design program. I wanted to know more about it so I made an appointment to come check out the campus. I really enjoyed the tour of the school and met a lot of the staff who were really awesome. It just felt like the right place to be so I signed up for my first classes.
2. What made you want to volunteer at the Leonardo Museum?
I had been working at Nordstrom for about three years and wanted to get out of retail and into a more creative field. I looked online for creative jobs, submitted my resume and portfolio to a couple of places but nothing happened. I came across The Leonardo’s website and looked to see if they were hiring but they weren’t. They were, however, looking for volunteers so I decided to at least volunteer because it would be a fun thing to do and it would look great on my resume.
3. How did you get the job at the Leonardo?
I had volunteered at The Leo for about two weeks when a job position opened up as a facilitator in render, which is their animation section. I applied, got a first and second interview but I ended up not getting the job. I continued to volunteer and about a week or so later I got a phone call from the HR rep telling me that they were hiring cashiers and was wondering if I would come in for an interview. I really didn’t want to be a cashier but I decided to come in for an interview anyway. Driving home from the first interview I got a call from the HR rep telling me they would like me to come in for a second interview. The next week I went for the second interview, and on the way home from that I received a call telling me I got the job. I worked at the front desk for about three weeks when I was asked if I wanted to become a facilitator in render. I of course said yes and have been working as a facilitator ever since.
4. What is your favorite part of your environmental design program?
My favorite part is being able to physically work on things. I’m not just reading a book and being taught what other people have done, I’m working and struggling and figuring things out on my own and with my classmates. It’s a great feeling to take what a teacher has taught you and to apply it. It may not turn out the way you wanted every time but I’m learning so much with every project I do.
5. Any stories about a project or assignment you have had at BEAU?
Probably one of my favorite assignments to date is the one my model making class has done for The Leonardo. My boss at The Leo wanted new stop motion animation sets and I had just started in the model making class so I talked with my teacher about it. She then talked with my boss and we ended up making furniture for one set and a castle for another. It’s a really cool feeling knowing that some of my work is in a museum and I’m being recognized for it.
6. Anything else you want to add?
I think the hardest part about being a student is that you want to work in the field you’re studying really bad but sometimes you’re not at the level your industry is looking for. So if there is any opportunity to volunteer, go for it. You might not get paid at first but you pick up a ton of knowledge, you meet people in the industry, and if all else fails it looks great on a job application. Also if you have a chance to travel, do it.
7. Short Bio
I was born and raised in West Valley City, Utah. I graduated from Hunter High in 2008. In the fall of 2008 I started at SLCC; I graduated from SLCC in 2011 with my A.A.S in animation. I started at BEAU in the fall of 2011. I love movies, some of my favorite directors are Tim Burton, Guillermo del Toro, Ron Howard, Peter Jackson, Steven Spielberg, and Marc Foster. I also love pretty much anything that comes from Pixar and Dreamworks. I enjoy art in all of its forms; there is something about art that inspires the soul. That’s why I’m pursuing an art degree. Not only do I love it but I hope by making art I can inspire someone is some way. Besides art I enjoy camping, snowboarding, shooting, dirt biking, motorcycle riding, traveling, playing video games, and on a vacation sitting at home doing absolutely nothing.