Student Spotlight: Tony Meers
Major: Motion Picture/TV Program
When Tony Meers graduated from high school, he wanted to be an artist and go into animation.
“However, the myth of the starving artist was instilled in me, so I let others set my goals,” he said. “While I excelled at those goals, I never followed my heart.”
Meers, who has dyslexia, began taking classes at College of DuPage in high school, studying a variety of subjects ranging from photography to culinary arts. And his career has taken many paths, including chef, carpenter and sign language interpreter. He even had an advanced internship in digital imaging at Disney.
But he never forgot about his love of art and animation. During a family gathering, Meers began speaking with a cousin who owns a large advertising firm.
“He said to me, ‘I thought you’d go into art after high school. I’m surprised you didn’t.’ So I decided, why not follow my passion like he has?”
Meers returned to College of DuPage and began to study animation.
“I started to hone my skills as an animator,” he said. “Each semester I saw progress.”
In 2015, he participated in the annual Animation Night, during which animation students screen their work. Meers presented “Sk8Dude,” a 2-D animation that runs just over two minutes. The piece consists of 32 separate animated shots, each one composed of 90 to 120 drawings.
“It was more than I anticipated. This project was very life-consuming,” he said. “But I thrive on the critiques of others. What I’m trying to get across in my story, I want to make sure the audience understands it.”
Meers earned his associate’s degree and spent the next year taking independent study courses from COD, improving his 3-D modeling and animation skills. He now has a sample of work with the beginnings of a web page to help showcase his work. He also took a piano class from Michael Frisch and developed a new skill that he will enjoy for the rest of his life.
Thanks to a number of scholarships, Meers is now at Columbia College pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Animation. His goals is to work at a large studio animation house.
Now that he’s following his passion, Meers is thankful that College of DuPage once again helped him.
“The instructors in the Animation program either have worked or are working in the industry, and they pass along that experience to us. They also have great contacts within the industry,” he said.
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