Erwin Santacruz: CreativeCow.net Leader
COW Leaders : Erwin SantacruzCreative COW Web Writer, Contributing Editor
About his life and interests, Erwin says: "I can honestly say that I am very happy with the direction that my life is going right now. I was originally a pre-med student. 'Big change of career!' you may say -- but I have always enjoyed the sciences. Naturally, I figured this was the logical step to take. Since my elementary school days, I have always enjoyed art and that interest has just grown right through high school and college, so I took art and design classes as well as my more scientific classes. I even dabbled in video editing. Of course, I did it the crude way by having two VCRs hooked up together and did the 'pause and record' thing. Yet, I really never took any of it seriously because I was really into the whole physics and microbiology thing. Plus, how can an artist make a living?" ;o)
Erwin received a scholarship to attend the University of Miami and spent two years there. About it he says: "I never really got the whole college experience because even though I was had a scholarship, it did not cover full tuition. The rest of the money I had to come up with on my own or through school loans. My father could not afford to send me to school so I was trying to work a full time job to pay off that extra tuition. At the time I was short about $5000 which is great deal of money even today. I tell you those were some hard times. Every semester the school would hassle me about the payment that came out of my pocket. The pressure of school work, the school's request for money and the fact that I really was not into my line of study forced me to withdraw from school. I continued to work a full time job with really no direction of what I wanted to do. I kept taking some courses at the local community college just to keep my brain in shape."
About his other interests, Erwin laughs: "I also played in a hardcore band that kept me busy most of time. Eventually I found a job selling industrial lighting. The pay was good and I went with it for about six years. I actually learned a great deal about lighting that I put into use today. But I knew I had to return back to school one day and finish what I had started. Plus, being the only member in my family to ever attend college, I knew it would make my father happy to see me finish school and do something he did not have the opportunity to do. If you haven't noticed, my father is someone I truly look up to and means the world to me. He taught me many things about life that I will always remember and helped me pull through some rough times in my life."
His interest in technology also came from his Father and Erwin says: "One birthday, my father gave me a computer. I had only used computers before for word documents at school and seeing a good friend of mine use Photoshop. At the time I remember he was attending Art school. I really never paid any mind because I had not yet realized how powerful a computer could be. Sure enough, I was hooked. It really started with the AOL chatrooms. Yeah, yeah I know. But hey, we all start somewhere.I was amazed at the things you could do on the web. Set up web pages for the whole world to see and talk to people from all over the world. It was amazing stuff! I proceeded to teach myself HTML and the web technologies around at the time. The technical stuff came pretty easy I guess because of my background. I related everything to science. Slowly I learned my way around and then started to dabble into other areas, mainly 3D and motion graphics. Suddenly it hit me that I should go back to school and get a degree in the arts. Actually a BA in Computer Animation."
Lately, Erwin "...has been in school for about two years and it has been going pretty good. I've taught myself a great deal of programs at work and school but mainly I work with After Effects, Maya, Commotion, Photoshop, and Illustrator. I really want to dig deeper into C++ just to come to grips with scripting and maybe developing my own plug-ins. Programming actually takes me back to my old pre-med college days. I'm also playing with Avid XSI and the Realviz suite of tools.
About it all, Erwin says: "I love what I do now and maybe changing my career choice was a blessing in disguise. I'm new to this field so I continue to learn everyday. I'm completely devoted to what I do and this has its good points and bad points. I have noticed I spend a great deal of time indoors just working on my computers and losing track of friends and family. Well, except my father of course. I enjoy writing poetry. Well, if you really want to call it that. Mainly just thoughts I have buried in my head about my childhood. I'll write on any piece of paper, napkin, ticket receipt any thoughts I have and put them in a folder. Then I'll sit down and sort of make a song out of it. I also love to read. I am one of those people that actually reads the manuals. I love reading manuals because it gives you good insight on the program. I spend way too much money on books but hey, there is no price on knowledge.Erwin concludes: "I'm no expert but I'll be happy to help in anything I can and remember: Greatness is in the details and your potential is only as strong as your extremities. If that made any sense!" =0)
Articles by Erwin Santacruz