The Norman Transcript

N-town Q/A

June 13, 2014

Q&A: Stuart Whitis finds balance between classical and digital art



I hadn’t fully committed to the idea of creating art as a commodity but I knew I wanted to have it incorporated into my career, and I thought I wanted to work in the video game industry. So I filled out like 100 resumes and did a bunch of concept art tests. Super motivated to get to Austin, Texas. Got that job (with Super Happy Inc.) and did that for two years.

I loved the work and I loved the company, it was great business, but after a while I realized — the thing about that type of business is it’s a lot of people working together. Like some people focus on sound, and code and art and all that kind of stuff, with the common goal of making media, entertainment — effectively, a product. I enjoy that to some extent, but you’re kind of designing art by committee. It got a little bit watered down and you wish you could have more input. This is the selfish part, but I wish this was more me.

Q: More creative license?

A: Yeah, exactly. I just wish I had more say in this. I realized you can’t really get that out of a job. When I was teaching graphic design at ECU, I told my students you’re picking the book cover you want to imagine, but you’ll never get to do that ever again. It’s always for the client.

I realized the only way I could ever have full creative license was if I was doing art as my own person, having total vision. To have that I would have to pursue that on my own...

There’s literally nothing else I would do or am cut out for but it’s not like a negative statement. I just wouldn’t be happy in anything else so I’m doing this.

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