Brian Townsend

Media Arts & Animation

Military Veteran; Member of Design Team for Microsoft Surface Tablets
The Art Institute of California—San Diego, a campus of Argosy University

The Art Institute of California - San Diego alumni Brian Townsend

The skills I learned in school helped me turn a hobby into a profession. Brian Townsend , Military Veteran; Member of Design Team for Microsoft Surface Tablets
Bachelor of Science in Media Arts & Animation , 2010 , The Art Institute of California—San Diego, a campus of Argosy University

Brian Townsend describes himself as a kid who was always drawing in his notebook instead of taking notes. His natural creativity led him to a career as a 3D artist and photographer on the design team for Microsoft Surface tablets. He had the prestigious honor of creating all of the shots used by the CEO of Microsoft and President of Windows when the Surface tablet was unveiled—his design work was also displayed prominently on the screens in Time Square in New York City.

Brian creates all of the marketing shorts and 3D animations for the tablets and his job involves photography, 3D animation, and graphic design. “Often I help the design team photo realistically visualize [new concepts in 3D] long before they physically exist. This helps them work through design variations as well as communicate their ideas clearly to the engineering teams who actually build the products,” he says. Brian adds that the most important part of his job involves telling a clear story as quickly as possible, using images and animation.

In addition to his creative pursuits, Brian is a military veteran who served as a combat engineer in the U.S. Army and achieved the rank of Specialist. He served in both Korea and Iraq, and believes that his military training provided the discipline he needed to transition to school and finally to a civilian career with Microsoft in Seattle. “My time spent in the service prepared me for school in ways I never imagined. Had it not been for the Army, I wouldn't have had the same work ethic that allowed me to get so much out of my education.”

Brian, who in 2010 earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Media Arts & Animation from The Art Institute of California—San Diego, says that the skills he learned in school helped him to turn his creative passion into a profession. “[In my job], I use skills I learned from the foundation classes on up through the most advanced classes. I can’t emphasize the importance of the fundamentals enough though. I fall back to those constantly and I still reference my fundamentals of design and color theory books.”

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*As of 2012, a campus of Argosy University