Kenneth Shofela Coker

Kenneth Coker graduated from MCA in 2009 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration. Now, he designs characters for Sony Online Entertainment, the video game development division of one of the largest international entertainment companies in the world. He told us a little about how his time at MCA led to his career.

Kenneth Shofela Coker

What was your major?

What is your job now?
Character Artist at Sony Online Entertainment. After I’ve made or been provided a concept painting for a character, I discuss methods of execution and function-specific requirements with my art lead. I then digitally sculpt maquettes that represent a rough interpretation of the final character using a program called Zbrush. After the maquette has been approved, I create a final sculpt, then paint and texture it using Photoshop. The character is then implemented in the game engine using the studio’s various proprietary software and tools.

What is your favorite memory or highlight from your academic career at MCA?
Fred Burton and [Interim Dean] Remy Miller’s drawing classes. Joel Priddy’s anecdotes (Especially the manatee story).

How do you think your studies at MCA influenced your career?
I had always known I wanted to tell stories using the medium of animation, but at MCA, I discovered there were other kinds of media and methods of executing stories that interested me. The methods of creative problem-solving I learned at MCA have proved to be an invaluable education. Also, I never valued art history the way I now do.

What inspires you?
A good story.

How is your life impacted by art?
Both my parents are artists so I think art has always held sway over me. I moved halfway across the world to pursue a career in art.

What advice would you give to students pursuing or considering a degree in fine arts?
Take as many art history classes as you can.