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I didn't look like the typical person who studies this kind of thing. I was turning up at classes dressed as a skater
When Kenneth Smyth started studying for his Bachelor in 3D Art and Animation at Sydney TAFE's Design Centre Enmore, he was just one of about 300 students.
By the time of the graduation ceremony three years later, that number had been whittled down to just 20. But to the surprise of many of his teachers, Kenneth was one of them.
"When I first started I didn't even know if I wanted to do 3D Art and Animation," Kenneth said. "I didn't look like the typical person who studies this kind of thing. I was turning up at classes dressed as a skater. But I somehow stuck with it, and in the process I found I was learning more and more about myself as well. You know, learning the different skills, talking to the teachers. And it ended up making me a better person. I kind of grew up and got rid of a lot of old habits."
In retrospect Kenneth says he probably gravitated towards 3D Art and Animation because he was always hand drawing and doing art when he was a child. There was also the influence of his Dad, who was a signwriter by trade.
"Dad was always drawing and painting when he was younger and had been a signwriter for many years," said Kenneth. "But then along came Photoshop, which really changed the industry for people like Dad. There was less work around and it became really tough."
Although Kenneth had always been interested in drawing, he'd never pushed himself into it or considered it something he could pursue seriously. But then an open day at the Design Centre Enmore opened his eyes to the expansive world of 3D Art and Animation. "I was originally thinking of going to a private college to studying character design," he said. "But then I discovered 3D and I thought that looks more like what I want to do."
While a lot of his friends decided to take a gap year after high school, Kenneth decided to follow his passion, and jumped straight into the Bachelor of 3D Art and Animation. "A lot of my friends who took a gap year are now sitting around still not sure of what they want to do with themselves career-wise."
Kenneth is still working at building up his portfolio and honing the many skills he learned at TAFE. And while many of his fellow graduates are wanting to work in movies, Kenneth has chosen to apply his skills in the advertising world.
"There's always going to be work in advertising, it's always going to be there," he said. "So right now I'm doing little jobs through my Dad. He gets the gig, but then he asks he how I'd approach it."
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