At the end of the academic year, CCAD names the faculty-selected outstanding seniors for each undergraduate major. Today, in part six of our nine-part series, meet Illustration outstanding senior Wes Talbott.
Q: What was your proudest achievement while at CCAD?
I have been really proud of what we have been able to do with the Illustration Student Collective. We’ve done several gallery shows and have had some visiting artists come in—our talks have really been inspiring.
Q: What scared you the most while you were at CCAD?
I was never really scared; I always knew I would just take on whatever came.
Q: What are your plans after graduation?
I was brought on as a freelancer for LEGO in April, and I’m working on a project for them right now. I actually just got back from Denmark and got the chance to see their workspace there and meet people on the team. And for after I graduate, I have a couple of people and companies on the list for freelance projects, and hopefully I will get more work through LEGO.
Q: What’s your ultimate dream job or goal?
Right now, LEGO is my ideal company, but being able to work for a small company may be fun just so you have control over multiple aspects of a project.
Q: Why is it important as an alumnus to give back to CCAD?
I think it’s important for alumni to come back and help current students. It’s helpful for students to see someone who has gone through the exact same thing, classes- and training-wise, and have them speak on their experiences and how they eventually made it. It helps encourage those students that may be struggling.
Q: Do you remember a single point that made you sit back and say, “This is why I am doing this?”
Every time I get a job and I start to get sick of it, I just sit back and think “I have no reason to complain—I am sitting here painting.” I have had other jobs at grocery stores and everything, and I hated it. So to be able to do this and get paid for it is awesome.
Q: What smell, word, or whatever will always remind you of your time here as a student?
Polished concrete and white walls.
Q: What will you miss the most?
The interaction with other students. If I stay in Columbus, I plan to hang around here and still go to Illustration Student Collective meetings. We would have alumni randomly stop in and chat with us, and I loved that and want to be one of those people. But definitely just the people and the interactions.
Q: If you could describe what graduation feels like in one word or sentence what would it be?
Q: What was your favorite class at CCAD?
I really liked my sophomore illustration methods class with Joseph Kovach. He made that class, and I am taking two more independent study classes with him.
Q: What did you like to do during your free time?
Build with LEGO; I have a huge collection. At LEGO, you don’t have specific jobs, you kind of do a little bit of everything. One of those aspects is set design. Ever since I discovered that, I have wanted to keep up to date on what kind of pieces there are and how to use them.
Q: What is your fondest memory at CCAD?
I think it’s just the teachers. Sometimes when you show you’re competent at a skill, [outside] people will question why you are even in school, but I learned so much from the entire faculty here that it is irreplaceable.
Q: What would you change about your undergraduate career?
I would have maybe pursued different attributes of illustration, but I don’t think I would really change anything.
Q: What is your advice to future CCAD students?
Work hard, practice all the time, and I think the biggest advice I could give is to do what you love. Sometimes you have to take advice and what people say with a grain of salt and remember you just always have to do what you love.
Talbott is from Johnstown, OH, and was home schooled.
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