Local animator and illustrator Chris Kennett took BSSC Media students inside the world of multi-media design and publishing when he visited the college last Tuesday.

Chris’s professional journey from self-confessed ‘photocopy boy’ to international Star Wars illustrator was a great example to students of what can happen when you put your work ‘out there’ and keep saying yes. It’s a formula that has been hugely successful for Chris, leading him to projects as diverse as TV animation, video games and now major publishing projects.

“Whatever is available to you, just jump on it,” he urged students. “Whether it’s a Hollywood blockbuster or a character for an eCard, just do it and see where it takes you.”

“Every opportunity you take gives you a foot in the door of the industry,” he added. “I never dreamed I’d be working for a major US publisher like Random House.” Chris also offered students great insights into the challenges, pitfalls and joys of a career in freelance media and encouraged them to be both patient and persistent.

“Surround yourself with creative people who are into the same things as you, and share your work,” he said. Put it out there… you never know who’s looking.

“Most of all, you have to love what you do.”

Media teacher, Rachel Quillinan, said that it was Chris’s second visit to the college and his humour and enthusiasm had a lasting influence on the students.

“Many of our students are creating such distinctive content in various media formats and seek advice on how to get their work to the next level,” she said. “Chris Kennett is so honest and open about his career in illustrating, television and publishing. He has a unique way of clarifying the skills required to be successful in the freelance industry.”

Along with the Little Golden Book Star Wars series, Chris is currently working on the Pixel Raiders series published by Scholastic.