Dylan Carquez is the 2016 valedictorian of the Graphic Desing and Interactive Media program at Toronto Film School. Born and raised in Kingston, Ontario, Dylan says he loves to make things move around on the screen. Whether animating in 2D or 3D space, shooting video or taking photographs, he is always exploring new ways to express himself. And his passion paid off when he landed a job working as an in-house motion graphics designer before he had even graduated.
Motion Design Reel 2015 from Dylan Carquez on Vimeo.
TFS: What brought you to Toronto Film School?
DC: When I moved to Toronto two years ago, I was looking for something new and exciting. I’ve spent most of my life as a musician, but I’ve always had a passion and desire to learn more about design, particularly motion graphics. The Toronto Film School was one of the only programs that featured courses geared directly to motion. Also, the accelerated one year seemed like the perfect way to maintain a focused discipline and meant I could get into the workforce as soon as possible.
TFS:Why did you choose your program?
DC: Design has always been something that excited and fascinated me. I’ve always considered myself a creative person, but I was very interested in pushing some of my hobbies into a more disciplined practice, in the hopes of building a career out of something that I am truly passionate about. The program offered a wide range of knowledge and insight into the industry and it seemed like the perfect starting point to dive in.
TFS: Why do you think you were chosen as the Valedictorian for your program?
DC: I will admit, I don’t think I’m a natural designer or student for that matter. It took me eight years to pursue post-secondary education. What I do possess is a relentless drive to learn and develop both as a person, and as a creative. I think my passion, focus and professionalism is what set me apart.
TFS:If you offered one piece of advice to an incoming student, what would that be?
DC: I believe the most important thing a student can do is push themselves in whatever it is they care about. College/University is an immensely powerful tool, but only if you are willing to put in everything you have, will you reap its full rewards.
TFS: What is one of the most important things you have learned/experienced at TFS?
DC: The most important thing I learned at TFS was certainly to take notice of design. It’s easy to think of your role as a designer as merely being a job, but in actuality, it is a lifestyle. It is our responsibility to look everywhere, and beyond our ordinary field of view, to be inspired to create compelling visuals.
TFS:What kept you motivated?
DC: I am incredibly stubborn, and ‘good enough’ is never ‘good enough’. I’m always striving to be better at what I do, and having teachers who understood and nurtured that compulsion was very inspiring and motivating.
TFS: What are your plans after graduation?
DC: Since graduation my primarily goal has been to hold on to the discipline and focus I acquired at TFS. I have been pushing myself to not only learn new software but how to be a better designer and story teller. I am currently working part time at the amazing Sovereign State studio where I work on branding, identity design and as the in-house motion graphics designer. I am also working on a variety of freelance and personal projects. Keeping myself busy, and seeking out collaboration with a variety of artists is what keeps me feeling fresh and motivated.
TFS: What makes Toronto Film School and your experience here special?
DC: It took me years to finally decide to pursue post-secondary education, and TFS gave me the intimate and hands-on experience I was looking for. Colleges/Universities can get so big and overcrowded, with little to no time directly learning from industry professionals. TFS is the exact opposite, and that’s how I learn best. I had the pleasure of being guided and pushed by some very thoughtful, passionate, inspiring teachers and it was their guidance that shaped me as a creative professional.
TFS: If someone asked you to describe Toronto Film School to them, what would you say?
DC: TFS is best described as intimate, modern and inclusive. We had a diverse group of creatives and were fortunate to have such a flexible program that allowed everyone to take as much from the program as they could.