Pratt Alumni Spotlight: Cesar Kuriyama
Cesar Kuriyama is a Pratt alumni who graduated from the Digital Arts program with a focus in computer animation. Last year he released his app 1SE (1 Second Everyday, demoed in the above video) based off a personal project he’d been working on for years. We were lucky enough to do an interview with Cesar, where we talked about his experiences at Pratt and how they helped him to develop the career he has now.
Tell us about 1 Second Everyday.
“1 Second Everyday started as a side project for me, because I took a year off of work to basically leave advertising and try do something else with my life. And I wanted to remember that year off somehow, because I was always really frustrated with my memory. I thought why don’t I just record a little tiny slice of every day, so that I can compile it into this 6 minute montage that would be really easy to relive, and it would include every single day of that year.It turned out that every single one of those moments actually provided me with a visual trigger. I can remember every single day of my life since the day I started. Plus I noticed the positive impact it was having in my life, so I wanted to develop a way so that anyone could do the same.”
So how do you think your experience in your major at Pratt helped shape you as the artist you are today?
“The coolest thing about going to Pratt was that even though I was a computer animation major was meeting people from every single major watching them do photography, film, industrial design, sculpture. And after spending 4 years around all these people and just being constantly inspired by them, I took classes in everything. And all that stuff ended up being a huge catalyst for all the work I ended up doing after Pratt. To me it's like a community of really awesome artists who end up in one place, and the possibilities that come out of those friendships is what was the most valuable to me."
Did you do internships while you were at Pratt?
"My internship story is that I really wanted an internship during my junior and senior year at Pratt even though I felt I probably wasn’t good enough yet. But I tried anyway. I had to make reels. It was preYouTube days so I had to record my animation portfolio reels into VHS tapes, and send them to different studios. I made about fifty VHS tapes and I ended up getting 2 replies. The first one was like ‘We’d love to have you but we’re going out of business’ so I was like ‘Okay’. And the second one was Marvel Comics, which turned into the awesomest summer of my life! I learned so much, and worked on films and comics that I grew up with. It was like living my childhood dream.”
Do you have any advice for current students?
“First of all, really take your work seriously. The work you're doing right now isn’t just your homework, it’s your portfolio. This is what you’re going to be using to apply for jobs. When you leave school you lose the ability to have constant critiques and get advice from your professors, and working side by side with friends who are all in the same situation as you. And it becomes extraordinarily difficult to keep tabs on yourself and keep making projects once you're on your own."
Anything else you’d like to add?
“What is that Pratt quote ‘Be true to your work, and your work will be true to you.’? Pratt is these four amazing years surrounded by incredibly, amazingly, talented people. I would suggest doing as many things you can at Pratt, because it is ridiculous how interconnected art is. You don’t have to become good at everything but just enough to understand a lot of different aspects of art."
If you want to hear more of what Cesar has to say check out his TED talk: http://www.ted.com/talks/cesar_kuriyama_one_second_every_day
Special Thanks to Cesar Kuriyama
Interviewed by: Kat Holland & Britt Gettys
Written by: Diana Li