Tucked away in a professional-looking office park in San Bernardino California is Art Institute Inland Empire, a career-minded school that trains artists in game art, web design, animation, fashion, and the culinary arts.
Santosh Oommen, the school’s academic director, (left) takes time away from his career in animation and visual effects to teach at the school. The school's geographic position in southern California allows it to attract a faculty with deep professional experience.
Students in the class on conceptual storytelling, taught by Stephen Bautista, sometimes work with classic stories, such as The Island of Dr. Moreau, by H.G. Wells. They design characters and environments to blend with the source mood and material.
At the beginning of their academic program, everyone is issued a wheeled backpack preloaded with textbooks that they’ll use in their foundational classes.
The school was crowded the day I visited because orientation was going on, so some people had a hard time seeing the screen.
Although young artists become versed in the state-of-the-art digital tools, they start out with traditional figure drawing and perspective. “We believe that traditional mediums are the way to start, and they go from there,” Mr. Oommen told me.
Official website, link.