The Chemistry of Art

June 13, 2019
News & UpdatesElijah Sheffield

Coming from a family of engineers and chemists, my interest and love for art and motion studies is a family trade anomaly. I grew up enjoying various forms of art and my taste in medium would shift on a regular basis. I explored my many interests all on a surface level, becoming a jack-of-all-trades, but a master of none.

When I began college at Harding University, I started as a graphic design major. Through my studies, something just didn’t click with me, and I quickly changed my major to advertising to pursue something that employed art and psychology. My sophomore year, a year and a half into my advertising studies, I stumbled upon the Instagram page of animator, James Curran, and fell in love with his art. It wasn’t just an appreciation, but a deep desire to produce something so beautiful myself. And with that, my passion for animation was born.

I spent countless hours watching YouTube tutorials, sent an unnumbered amount of emails to professionals in the industry, and made terabytes worth of terrible work, practicing my new found love. Eventually, I came into my own and learned quite a bit about motion principals, artistic compositions, and the technical side of animation and modeling software. With a thorough self-attained education and a deep passion and love for the craft, I built a demo reel flexing principles and understanding of Cinema 4D and the art created within it. Through the process, I found a more refined love for 3D modeling and came up with the dream to work in asset modeling for video games. Armed with that reel, I applied to internships for animation and modeling and to grad schools for 3D animation to further refine my skills

Elijah's first 3D Compound Interest GIF

All in the same week, I was accepted into Savannah College of Art and Design for their animation program and approached by Alchemie about my application to their summer internship program. After a couple rounds of interviews and an art test, I was offered the position for the summer. In just days I went from the nerves of not getting accepted into a graduate program and the doom that comes with the great unknown of summer unemployment to being enrolled in my dream program and having an awesome internship in Michigan. This amazing shift allowed me to relax and enjoy my final semester at Harding.

I packed my bags, moved north, and showed up to my first day of work on May 20th. Except, due to a miscommunication the Alchemie team was expecting me on the 28th of May! Despite catching everyone unprepared, I was immediately put to work. In my first week, I worked with the team to create a new bumper for Alchemie videos, worked on marketing materials for social media content, and collaborated with the content team to find a new format for Mechanisms videos.

Despite having little to no experience with chemistry past a high school crash course and an occasional chemical explanation from my father, I’ve created artwork and animations for college-level organic chemistry and chemistry education. Combining my artistic passions with the impact-driven technology of Alchemie has already been a great learning experience. Returning home at the end of this summer, I’ll hopefully have just enough chemistry knowledge to hold my own in my family’s science-driven conversations.

Co- Author

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