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RMCAD Alumnus uses skills to create props for haunted houses

We love seeing our alumni thrive in life after RMCAD! Illustration alumnus, Nick Eseman is making strides in his role at Scare Factory, making large animated props for haunted houses. Nick is a well-rounded artist and individual, which is why we wanted to ask him some questions about what he’s been up to.

Tell us about yourself! Give us a background about where you are from, when you graduated, why you love what you do, etc…
I am an artist, a father, and a OIF and OEF veteran. I spent 7 years in the Army from 2007 – 2014 and served in the 4th Infantry Division and 1st Infantry Division. I am currently living in Columbus, Ohio and work After the Army, I studied Illustration at Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design and graduated summa cum laude in December 2017.

After a few years of falling on my face as an artist I was brought on as an art assistant at the Scare Factory.

I love what I do because I love what I do. I get to make monsters for a living.

Tell us what you do in your role at the scare factory…
I started in the art department, which entailed mold casting, trimming, priming, and painting.  A short while after I was thrown into the technical department where I learned the pneumatic and electrical programming processes of animatronics, e.g., designing and programing control boards, installing valves, passthroughs, plumbing lines, and etc., which basically means I learned how to animate the characters.

I bounce around a lot from the art department painting, detailing, and finishing characters, to the tech department, and some carpentry work when needed.  

What has been one of the biggest milestones since landing this job?
One of the biggest milestones was my first finished character, the “Thrasher Zombie,” which we sold at Transworld within the first day and is also featured in our catalog.

How do you apply your illustration skills in this type of work?
I apply a lot of basic compositional techniques such as use of space, and form, as well as using basic color theory for assisting in focal points and eye tracking with certain elements. Story telling is huge in this industry, and every character has a unique theme and their own story to tell, and it’s my job to bring out the best in every character we produce.

How has your RMCAD education helped you in the real world?
I have to give all the credit to the outstanding Instructors I had the privilege to learn from…Thank you all! (Especially Kaz!)

What does it mean to you to be a RMCAD alumni?
I am proud of my RMCAD alumni status. I learned a great deal from my studies, and I was able to prove to myself and others that it is possible to achieve your dreams as long as you don’t give up, stay persistent, and know your worth. I failed to reach my artistic goals after graduating more times than I count, but I didn’t give up. I never thought I would end up where I am today, but that’s life. Oh, and that .edu unlimited google drive storage is a huge benefit.

Make sure to check out Nicolas’ website and Instagram.


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