Kyle Roberts

Graphic & Web Design

Special Effects Technician for Tolin FX and Squib FX
The Art Institute of Pittsburgh

I've been illustrating since I was really young, so learning how to take those [drawings] and bring them into three dimensions was mind blowing. Kyle Roberts , Special Effects Technician for Tolin FX and Squib FX
Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design , 2013 , The Art Institute of Pittsburgh

Kyle Roberts is a special effects technician for Tolin FX and Squib FX in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Kyle says that while his responsibilities vary from project to project, he typically is working as a make-up artist, fabricator, sculptor, illustrator, puppeteer, and in on-set special effects. He explains that his job is very demanding, typically taking over 10 hours per day.

Kyle is proud to have worked on two special effects make-up jobs for commercials, as well as two feature films and a music video parody of “The Walking Dead” for “The Hillywood Show.” “I also got to be a part of distressing a costume for the film ‘The Last Witch Hunter.’ That was a dream come true.”

His interest in film began when he saw “Pitch Black” starring Vin Diesel. “The characters, the world, the idea of the film and creatures especially sparked this interest in monster making. So I started to pay more attention to the monsters in film and started designing my own.” Kyle also finds inspiration in music and looks to the imagery used by Marilyn Manson. “His imagery in videos and even on stage is fantastic.”

Kyle says that the best part of his career is that no project is ever the same. “The creative freedom is amazing. I love the teamwork aspect of it, too. More minds working on a single goal generally [leads] to a better outcome.”

Kyle, who in 2013 earned a Bachelor of Science in Entertainment Design from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, says that his education taught him to bring the monsters he drew on paper to life in the real world. “I’ve been illustrating since I was really young, so learning how to take those [drawings] and bring them into three dimensions was mind blowing—and proved that this career choice was attainable.” He adds that in school, he learned to fabricate and use machinery properly—including table saws, band saws, and a drill press.

Kyle suggests that current students work hard and practice their craft. “That class that you think you probably don’t need may turn into something you’ll use a lot one day. Listen, pay attention, and soak up what the teacher is telling you.”

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