Art Center College of Design | Pasadena, California | Learn to Create. Influence Change.

Justin Oaksford

Entertainment Design

3rd Term

Why did you choose to attend Art Center? 
For a few reasons; It was really the only school I found that incorporated an Industrial Design foundation which, when fused with illustrative technique, gives you a potent and versatile combo. The quality, notoriety and experience of the teaching staff is by far the most superior worldwide—it could only happen in Los Angeles. The final, and most important reason: Some great friends and coworkers helped push me in the right direction.

In what ways has Art Center helped you grow as a designer? 
I had never really been completely immersed in design before. All the amazing work really helps you develop when you soak in it. Aside from superb teaching, having deep, thought-provoking conversations with friends about design has opened my mind to a lot of things, encouraging a broader approach to design thinking. 

Has your view of the role of art and design changed since coming to Art Center? 
I had not realized how strong a role design has in a global perspective, nor how much we as designers can change the way people live and interact with their surroundings.

What do you hope to accomplish through your work?
I hope to inspire people. I still play video games that are more than 10 years old because they are still so inspiring. This is why I am here today—to deliver a world the audience can become engrossed in and inspired by.

Have you found any faculty members particularly inspirational or thought provoking? 
Industrial Design instructor Thomas Bertling and Entertainment Design Department Chair Scott Robertson. Thomas, who is now director of the Entertainment Design Department, is a volcano of knowledge. He will erupt knowledge about every conceivable subject until your brain melts. He's one of those people who can find something he is unfamiliar with, analyze decipher it, and then apply it. There have been a few key moments in Scott's Design Process 2 class in which it seemed like the entire class had an epiphany at the same time. He covered up one leg of a student's creature design homework and asked us, “What do you expect the leg to look like?” When he removed his hand, I think things clicked for several of us—we suddenly understood the importance of keeping consistency in a design

If you're not originally from Southern California, what surprised you most about the region?
The drivers. Within five minutes of first seeing the “Welcome to Los Angeles” sign, I was nearly crushed by a semi-trailer truck. It was pretty scary—but I no longer have a fear of roller coasters!

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