Student Spotlight: Thomas Burns

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A recurring blog entry highlighting outstanding current students and their work.

1. Where are you from (hometown, country, etc.)
Lawrenceville, GA
2. Where have you been to school (and if grad student what kind of degree did you receive)?
Undergraduate: University of Florida BFA - Graphic Design 1992
Graduate: Michigan State University MBA - Supply Chain Management 1997
Graduate: Michigan State University MA - Advertising 1998
Graduate: Savannah College of Art and Design pursuing MFA – Illustration

Bells and Whistles

3. What attracted you to Illustration? 
The steady pay, low overtime and great medical benefits. Oh, and the 401k plan.

Bells and Whistles

4. Who are your biggest influences?
Some of my earlier influences in the 1980s and 90s were Jon J Muth , Kent Williams, Fran├žois Schuiten, Bernie Wrightson. When I found my way back to design and illustration I started to notice people like Ragnar, Jon Lund, Paul Rogers, Adam Gustavson, Josh Agle. A lot of these more recent influences have big design backgrounds and tend to be more graphic and digital in nature.
5. If you weren’t studying illustration at SCAD, what would you likely be doing?
Working for the phone company filling out purchase orders for fiber optic cable and data switches.  More than likely my cubicle would be located near the janitors closet with no access to windows. Or sunlight. True story.

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6. What do you like to do in your spare time? 
I like to spend a lot of time with my wife and five year old daughter.
I also enjoy cage fighting.

Hot off the presses

7. What is something that most people don’t know about you?
I don’t have any cavities. Really.

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8. What would your dream job/client be and why?
My dream job is to have my own studio and work on posters and a continuing series of children’s books.

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9. What’s your typical process for creating your artwork (technique, media, etc)?
I typically do a lot of traditional thumbnails and comps with pencil or ink or Prismas, then complete an illustration digitally with Illustrator or Photoshop. I’m trying to get a lot more textures and organic elements into the digital work so it doesn’t look so.. digital.
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10. Sum up your personal philosophy in 25 words or less.
The value of simplicity – of driving the important details of your life and not letting the unimportant ones drive you. Or eat desert first. I can’t really decide.

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Thanks, Thomas!

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