The Artists of Alva: Brian Tighe

Be True to Yourself


Brian Tighe believes in the familiar phrase, “When one door closes another door opens.” His experiences in life, both good and bad, drive him to be a better artist and a better person. Though his greatest passion is art, Brian’s ultimate goal is to bring a positive light into the world.

Like most budding artists, Brian started out doodling in his notebook during class. Unfortunately school was not a riveting experience for him. Not only was there a lack of art classes growing up, but also most of his general courses simply didn’t grab his attention.

“I really didn’t think school was my thing to begin with,” Brian said. “But I enjoyed it more towards the end when my degree got more specific.”

He grew up watching a lot of Disney animated movies and was intrigued by their productions. When Brian watched Finding Nemo for the first time in 2003, he was blown away by the incredible quality of the film and the 3D animations. He decided that was the direction he wanted to go in for his career—making animated art.

“I chose to study multimedia design because I liked a lot of animated movies growing up. I watched a lot of Pixar movies like Toy Story,” he said. “Finding Nemo really intrigued me the most because I was completely blown away by how beautiful the reefs were and how the water even reflected the sunlight coming from outside of the water. It was just amazing how they put that one together.”

While working on his bachelor’s degree at Indian River State College in Fort Pierce, Florida, Brian took an internship at Digital Domain and began learning more about animation. By taking their training programs, Brian was able to learn new art styles, programs, and the process of how to work on large scale projects, like movies.

“My previous work was fun and helpful for me to get me where I am as an artist today because a couple of the places I worked for helped me understand work flows, and also how many artists have their hands in productions,” he said. “Even though each person has a different style of art, they all have to come together as one style.

“I also worked at print shops, so that helped me understand how to get designs from conception to the end result of actually being placed on windows, business cards, and the like. So I saw the full life of a logo and design work. It was actually really cool; it helped me see where the designs go after leaving my hands.”

Brian has brought his experience in 3D animation and graphic art to AlvaEDU and is now producing some 3D scenarios for our courses. Some of the pieces he has produced for us are actually his all-time favorites. One of them was a 3D animation of a lab for an entomology exercise, where a student entered a room and looked under a microscope to identify different types of bugs. He also created a courtroom scenario that merged 3D animation with videos of our staff on a green screen.

“Working for AlvaEDU on the lab animation and the courtroom scenario really pushed me out of my typical design zones,” Brian said. “It was something that they needed, and I wanted to push myself as an artist to accomplish those goals.”

IMG_1006-e1AlvaEDU gives Brian the creative freedom to produce different pieces. He enjoys working on various projects, whether it’s a user interface design, editing video, doing photography, or creating his 3D animations. Yet whatever Brian works on, it always starts with his notepad on paper. Sketching is the first step he takes in conceptualizing a design. Once it goes to the computer, he can play with it to transform it into something different.

“It’s been a great opportunity to work for AlvaEDU because I’ve never been surrounded by so many cool, creative people at work,” he says. “And it’s been a great opportunity for me to expand because I am pushed constantly in all kinds of different directions, to not only better myself, but to better my team as a whole.”

One of Brian’s favorite artists is James Jean. He loves his attention to detail, and gets a lot of inspiration from his work. He says his inspiration not only comes from seeing beautiful things in everyday life, but also observing different artists. Often, Brian will go down to Miami for art shows to get ideas.

“My long-term goals are to always continue to learn new techniques and programs, get new leadership opportunities while enjoying life, and spreading my positivity. The day that I become dormant and say there’s nothing else for me to learn, I’m going to have a very big problem,” Brian says.

When Brian isn’t bettering himself in the workplace, he’s still bettering himself in every other area of his life. On the weekends, he enjoys exploring the Florida landscape and practicing his photography, surfing, and videography skills. His idea of a perfect day is surfing some amazing waves in Costa Rica or Indonesia and sharing his “good vibes” with people. Part of surrounding himself with positive people and living an upbeat lifestyle has to do with his perspective on life.

“I try to stay positive as much as possible because when one door seems like it closes, for the person who’s positive, it’s two doors opening back up. And it can actually show character if you can persevere through that door closing, because it’s not about how that person falls down it’s about how that person gets back up,” he says.

“So if I could really use that as my motto, that’s how I want to portray my message—when the going gets tough that’s when you really see the true side of somebody. It’s just working through it and being true to yourself.”







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