The Art of

Cecil Colvin

Unconventional is a good word to describe my career path. My engineering-related work/studies exert a significant influence in my designs, but artistic flow and form speaks to me as well. Thus, I continue to strive for equilibrium, while also continuing to improve my skills and process.

It’s worth noting that I have been in technically-related fields for much of my life including Systems Engineering, Quality, and Training roles, but have always maintained a strong interest/knowledge in the arts. This was fortuitous as I was given an opportunity to combine my passion for electricity with my art and presentation abilities, to create basic electricity and troubleshooting courses. From this, I learned a great deal about course design and implementation. The course was a success, but it wasn’t enough for me. The original version was a huge PowerPoint file and people lost interest quickly. I knew I had to re-engage students and try to pull them into active learning so they might derive more meaning, so I began creating videos as snippets of knowledge they could easily access.

My video projects worked out well and gathered a solid following, but a camera has its own limitations. Photography alone was unable to capture all the concepts needed, so I returned to school to learn computer animation. This was a turning point where I finally had the tools I needed to tell the stories I wanted. As a bonus, I also discovered that all the skills I honed along the way contributed to making my art and animations more realistic and more engaging.

I made several videos and animations, the most popular being YouTube’s #1 video on the operation of a microswitch. This video gathered the attention of some people in the defense industry and led to several projects where I have been solidly employed ever since.

 Currently, I spend my days as a VR researcher for the Defense Industry where we create various virtual and augmented reality experiences while also researching future technologies and their implementation. Many of our projects also include video production, 2D graphics, and various concept designs from initial research through storyboards, production, and post.

My academic record is as diverse as my experience, having an AS in Independent Studies with an emphasis in Communication, and a BS in Industrial Technology, and a Masters Candidate in Media Psychology. I also completed certificates in Computer Animation and VR Developement with emphasis in C# programming. Along the way I earned recognition in Phi Theta Kappa, graduated with honors, became a member of the National Dean's List and MENSA. Currently, I continue my education through self-study and building my own VR Development Studio, Chamelion Studios.   

To create my works, I use a variety of software including Blender, Substance Painter, Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Premiere Pro, After Effects, and Unity3D, while also applying learned skills from photography, lighting, and story-telling.

I hope this answers any questions you have about me and my background, but feel free to send a note if I missed anything.

Thanks for being here, and best of luck in all your endeavors,



P.S. - Sometimes I am asked about books I find useful, so here are some favorites on my bookshelf:

Farid, H. (2016). Photo forensics Cambridge, MA: MIT Press

Wright, A. (1995). A beginner’s guide to colour psychology. London, England: Kyle Cathie Limited. 

Mark, M. & Pearson, C. (2001). The hero and the outlaw: Building extraordinary brands through the power of archetypes. United States: McGraw-Hill.

Butler, J., Holden, K., Lidwell, W. (2003). Universal principles of design: 125 ways to enhance usability, influence perception, increase appeal, make better design decisions, and teach through design. Beverly, MA: Rockport Publishers.

Birn, J. (2006). Digital lighting and rendering (2nd Ed.). Berkley, CA:

New Riders National Geographic Society (2006).The ultimate field guide to photography. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society.

Ascher, S. Pincus, E. (2007). The filmmaker’s handbook: A comprehensive guide for the digital age. New York, NY: Penguin Group.

Ghertner, E. (2010). Layout and composition for animation. Burlington, MA: Focal Press

3Dtotal (2011). Photoshop for 3D artists V1: Enhance your 3D renders! Previz, texturing, and post production. Worcester, United Kingdom: 3dtotal Publishing.

Thomas, F., Johnson, O. (1981). The illusion of life: Disney animation. New York, NY: Hyperion.