When it came to winning at life, Alex Puh had the right specs, and the optimal strategy. Gaming was his hobby, but he wanted it to be more.
Blending his passion with his pursuit of a paycheck, Alex began his educational journey at Riverside City College as a student in the Digital Media Arts program. It was at RCC that he stumbled upon a class that completely rerouted his career path.
“I happened on a 3D modeling and animation course which absolutely changed my entire world,” explains Alex. “I decided at the end of that program, that I definitely wanted to go into video games.”
With this realization, Alex began level-design on his new career. After completing his education at Riverside City College, he knew he wanted more out of the digital arts and CGI aspects of the industry. One program that checked all necessary boxes was Irvine Valley College’s Interactive Media Arts (IMA) program, which Alex describes as “everything that I wanted in a game development program.”
The program focused on the fundamentals, like concept art and computer aided drafting (CAD) courses, before launching into the gaming-focused software for 3D renderings and development. As his studies progressed, Alex became more familiar with intricate software programs like Autodesk Maya, Zbrush, and Substance Painter.
Dr. Patricia Beckmann Wells, Digital Media Arts professor at Irvine Valley College, describes Alex as “a natural leader,” and believes he demonstrates qualities that will launch him into a successful future.
“Art, especially when created with a technical brush, requires persistence, vision, and a level head,” explains Dr. Patricia Beckmann Wells. “Alex combines all these skills to excel in a very difficult art form.”
Throughout his time at IVC, Alex has been able to discover a delicate balance between his personal work and his passions. “There was an additional layer of challenge in finding time to dedicate to my personal projects,” the future video game artist explains. “I put a lot of side projects on pause to focus on my schoolwork.”
Obstacles aside, Alex still finds creative fulfillment through his education.
“I think the silver lining was that there was a good intersection between my personal interests and the demands of the class projects,” he reflects. “I was able to create things that both interested me and satisfied the requirements.”
Alex is currently continuing his Certificate of Proficiency in Environmental Design and Game Design at IVC, with plans to wrap up his studies in the spring. As for future plans, Alex is still polishing his portfolio, looking to gravitate towards 3D Environment Art or Hard Surfacing, with specific specialization in 3D props for video games, like buildings, weapons, and more.
As Alex wraps up his work in the IMA program at IVC, he’s ready to take his Laser- launched career to the next level.
“My dream job would be to work at an AAA company within the state,” explains Alex, who was inspired by franchises like Call of Duty and developers like Treyarch, Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer Games, and more. “Many of my personal projects are inspired by the works of Turtle Rock Studios which I would also love to work for.”
While reflecting on his beginnings at Irvine Valley College, Alex has a piece of advice for students looking to enroll and upgrade their career opportunities.
“Make an effort to get to know the people around you,” says Alex. “Show your instructors enthusiasm for their subject and try to build rapport with them so you can open up channels of communication beyond class, just as you would with friends.”
Browse Alex Puh’s online portfolio.