On Thursday, March 2, during the Visiting Artists Program, illustrator Tyler Jacobson was introduced as the “best friend in the whole world” to Ray Bonilla, faculty member of Fredonia’s Department of Visual Arts and New Media.
Jacobson is a fantasy artist who creates posters for movies and similar projects. He started off his lecture by saying how he was generally uninterested in the type of fantasy that was coming out when he was in high school, such as “Lord of the Rings” and “Pirates of the Caribbean.” He knew that he wanted to work in the arts, but he ended up going to college for biology in his first year.
He eventually switched over to fine arts but was still unsure of what he wanted to do. He spent the next couple years experimenting with different career options until he decided to attend the Academy of Art University in San Francisco in 2009, where he met Bonilla and received his MFA.
During the lecture, he showed some of his early work from college, which he admitted that he was less than satisfied with.
He went on to talk about how he landed the opportunity to work for a company that he was a huge fan of. He said that working in the real world was much different than college assignments and some of his art and paintings were not approved right away. However, he did end up getting published by multiple clients.
He explained his work process and how many times he had to go back and repeatedly edit his work, in the end often realizing that the piece was better for working this way. Just recently, Jacobson switched back over to being a freelance painter because he enjoys working under his own schedule. According to him, his creative process happens much better at night which is when he comes up with most of his good ideas. He emphasized that it is important to set aside time to work and be productive, but also have time to do your personal work as that is really when you can let your independent creativity show.
Jacobson has had many well-known clients such as Dungeons and Dragons, Rolling Stone and Sports Illustrated. Some of his awards for his work include the Jack Gaughan Award for Best Emerging Artist 2010 and Communication Arts 2013 Award of Excellence.