By Douglas Maxwell Myer, Contributing Writer
Northborough/Southborough – Antonio Montilla is a recent graduate from the class of 2017 at Algonquin Regional High School. He demonstrated a great ability with creating illustrated drawings in school and then began branching out his skills into digital art during his junior year. Montilla’s artistic achievements in Algonquin have afforded him the opportunity to attend Ringling College of Art and Design in Florida where he will study computer animation.
Montilla is originally from California and then moved around to other parts of the country including Philadelphia and Texas. While he lived in Philadelphia, he was inspired to take part in art when a cartoonist named Marc Kisler visited his school. Montilla’s mother’s side of the family was also heavily involved in the arts which became another large factor in encouraging him to pursue in the field. One of his uncles is a game artist and his other uncle works in special effects. Montilla’s aunt constantly made amazing doodle drawings that he would watch her create.
Montilla got his start in drawing as a kid when his friends would play pretend superheroes or gunfights; he enjoyed drawing the activities that they plotted out. Over time he would use someone to pose for his drawings and found a niche in making sketches of hands.
He said he considers drawing from the imagination the most challenging part in creating an illustration.
“Copying something isn’t as hard as most people think,” said Montilla. “It’s just a lot of attention to detail. But creating a scene or figure out of your head is a challenge on an entirely different level. In order to create something original you really need to understand things like depth, perspective, shadows so that your art has personality and life to it.”
During his senior year, Montilla took an advanced placement art and digital art course. He loved the freedom he had in his AP drawing class but he also enjoyed learning the technical skills, such as using an iPad Pro in his digital art class.
“I’m really used to the feel of a pencil and sometimes the screen just can’t match the precision of a pencil to paper,” he noted. “However, it is a lot easier to fix mistakes in digital art.”
Montilla looks forward to the challenges he has ahead of him at Ringling College of Art this fall.
“Ringling is the second-best school for animation,” noted Montilla. “I really just want to make the most of my education while I’m there so that I can land a job at one of my dream studios.”
The experience will certainly expand Montilla’s skills and passion in art.
“I love when I really lose myself in a piece,” said Montilla. “It’s kind of like a runner’s high, you got to build up steam but when you’re really in the groove there’s nothing like it. It’s a sensation of serenity and utter focus. And when you’re finally done you can just stare at the finished product for hours on end of something beautiful, something all your own.”