Educator/ Video Editor/ Cinematographer/ Motion Graphics Artist/
Documentarian/ Photographer/ Digital Compositor/ Writer/ 3D Computer Modeler and Animator/ Sound Designer/ DVD Designer & Encoder/ Interactive Media Artist/
Digital Painter/ Web Interface Designer/ Movie Critic/ Creative Consultant
Objective To establish an innovative, inspiring, and creative career in the media arts in an educational environment and in the freelance workplace.
Equipment & Technological Skills
Software Experience & Computer Skills
Freelance and Commercial Work
Eric Homan Biographies – Assistant Professor, Media Arts
Short Version #1
Eric Homan is an
assistant professor who teaches Motion
Graphics, Computer Animation, and Video classes at the
Short Version #2
Eric Homan, assistant professor, Media
Studies and Animation, teaches and specializes in video, motion graphics, and
computer animation. He has received several awards from around the world for
his artwork, including a Telly Award in 2001 for his computer animation piece
"Life Forms." His documentary films include Treasures
of the Hocking Hills, David Hostetler: Artist in Nature, Western Heavens
on Earth, and Comic Book Culture. BFA, CCAD; MFA,
Long Version #1
How to sum up one's life in a matter of paragraphs? I'll do my best:
I was born and raised in Coldwater, Ohio, a small town of about 5,000 people on the western-middle section of the state. Coldwater is best known most as a sports town where their high school sporting teams go to state championships almost every year in football, basketball, and baseball. There just isn't that much to do in a small town, so therefore sports ruled all. Though I liked some sports, I found myself veering away from that lifestyle as I grew up. Around the age of 15, I found myself developing a talent for creative writing. Yet I absolutely loved movies, adored music, and treasured reading comics and graphic novels. These were my central passions. I never quite fit in with the rest of my peers since someone who is "creative" and a dreamer doesn't fit in much with a town full of jocks and cheerleaders surrounded by miles of cornfields. I was determined to make something of myself in the field of the arts. Being an outside for most of my youth instilled me with the dire need of having something to prove to the world.
After visiting various colleges and universities, I found myself most in kin with the Columbus College of Art and Design in Columbus, OH, two hours east of where I lived. After graduation and in the fall of 1995, I began classes at this premiere art school with a major in Media Studies. Though I had never used a video camera or done any sort of animation, I felt compelled to by my passions and enthusiasm to make something of myself as a media artist. Through my years at CCAD, I found myself focusing and eventually excelling in video, computer animation, and interactive design. It was during my senior year that I made the fateful decision that my career path would be in teaching. This wasn't too hard of a decision to make since I came from a family of teachers with my parents both being high school teachers and my two older sisters being teachers. I also felt that my creativity wasn't a good match for Hollywood that insisted on recycling their own ideas rather than come up with something fresh and exciting. I also felt that with teaching I could still do my own personal projects and freelance work while sustaining myself with my teaching income.
My decision to teach then led me to seeking out graduate school. After a couple of rejections at my first two choices, I got lucky upon discovering the Center for Electronic Communication at Florida Atlantic University in Ft. Lauderdale. This former research facility in computer graphics had just opened up a new graduate program and I was fortunate enough to be one of the first students to be accepted into the program. So after my graduation from CCAD in May of 1998 (I had a year's worth of transfer credits since I took part in the Post-Secondary program where I took college classes during my senior year), I moved to southern Florida to start my graduate studies in August 1998. I thought my work load was crazy heavy at CCAD. Graduate school was a whole new ballgame. I quickly found myself working upwards to 80-100 hours per week to become as good as I could be as a computer artist working in computer animation and digital video. It took me about a year to gain enough confidence with the Maya 3D software. It was a great challenge to juggle the creative "right-brain" side of my brain with the analytical "left-brain" side of my brain. But once I did, I found myself able to express myself with a whole new artistic freedom. And what pushed me forward was my continued passion for expressing myself and for the medium I was working in.
During my second year of graduate studies, I was fortunate enough to be selected to become a teaching assistant and help teach undergraduate classes in teaching 3D computer modeling and animation. It was a huge leap forward for me in terms of gaining teaching experience and overcoming my own shyness and introverted personality! Then during my last semester, I gained the rank of associate professor and taught a class fully by myself. Talk about trial by fire. Yet still, I managed to take what I've learned, organize and articulate, and learn how to communicate it effectively and patiently! All the while I was teaching, I was working incredible hours finishing up my year-long senior thesis computer art animation project, "Life Forms".
Eventually, I completed my graduate studies in May of 2000. In an incredible amount of luck, I was offered a teaching position at the Center for Electronic Communication since a position was available. So therefore, I didn't have to move upon graduation. I suddenly went from student to Research Assistant where I continued to teach classes, work in the Center, and help out the graduate students with their projects. All the while, I fulfilled my objective of finding a job where I was working while still remaining true to myself, my goals, dreams, and visions. I could still use the technology around me at the Center to keep working on my own personal computer art projects and becoming an even better artist. In 2000 and 2001, I sent my work out to various festivals. My work managed to get into a few and "Life Forms" won a Telly Award in 2001. Then in May of 2001, I gained the rank of Assistant Professor. I went on to teach a fulltime load of class: 3D Modeling, 3D Computer Animation, and Digital Compositing.
Then things took a turn for the worse. Just as things seemed to be going so well, 9/11 happened. Though the devastating events of that day happened hundreds of miles away, the aftershocks of that day continued to have an economic impact across the nation, especially in Florida. People stopped flying and tourism in Florida took a huge hit. State tax revenue from tourism was one of the main financial contributors to state universities. So once tourism plummeted, the university budgets were frozen and heavily cut back. So by the end of the year, I was informed that my job position would not be continued after my contract was up in May of 2002. I was shocked (though not surprised).
Yet as fate and good timing would have it, I had received an email two months prior from Ron Saks, the then chair of the Media Studies department at CCAD. He was informing me that there would be two new fulltime teaching positions added to the Media Studies department in the fall of 2002. So upon learning that my days were numbered at FAU, I quickly got my demo reel together and sent it in to CCAD. After several months of waiting, I found out in April 2002 that I was accepted into one of those two positions at CCAD. I had lucked out with good timing and fortunate contacts!
So in May of 2002, I moved back to Columbus, OH and began teaching fulltime in the fall semester of 2002. Happy with a more private school art college environment, I've continued teaching at CCAD ever since. I went on to teach a wide variety of classes: Computer Animation I, Video I, Video II, Video III, Motion Graphics, and Advanced Time-Based Projects. The best part of teaching is helping other people, passing on some valuable knowledge, and being around fellow creative human beings. There are days where I can't help but be thankful for the route I took with my life. And all the while, I kept making videos and animations that I wanted to see and make. I kept my complete creative freedom and my soul in tack.
Yet that didn't mean I turn down good freelance projects when they come around. The main source of freelance work came in documentary work. The most prominent project I worked on was a grant-funded documentary "Treasures of the Hocking Hills” (2004) about artists in the southeastern side of Ohio. I was a one-man moviemaking crew where I worked as director, videographer, and editor for 41-minute documentary. Other prominent projects was the 19-minute documentary "David Hostetler: Artist In Nature”, which expanded upon the footage shot from the "Treasures…" project. I also worked as a videographer/ editor for a 75-minute video deposition documentary, "Peggy’s Story”, involving a junior high teacher who was involved in a horrible car accident. After that, I worked on several smaller video freelance opportunities that came my way, including a video piece for the Hocking Hills Tourism Association. I also had a stint as a music video director and documentarian in 2001-2002 for Atom Troy for Sony Records when I was down in South Florida.
For my own personal video/ animation projects, I continued to passionately work. "Western Heavens on Earth" (2006) was a 1 1/2 hour documentary about some of American West's greatest National Parks (Yellowstone, Badlands). "Comic Book Culture" (2008) was a 40 minute documentary examination of the comic book allure of someone who seeks new ideas, imagination, and creativity. In addition for over a decade, I continued to make personal art pieces - experimental video and animation to various documentary shorts. I continued to force myself to challenge myself to discovering something new about myself through my art while excelling my own skills with the software that I teach with.
My other main passions have been digital photography and writing, two areas of my life that I am constantly taking part in. There has not been a day since 1993 that I didn't do some degree of journal/ creative writing. It has been my main outlet for most of my adult life. Music, movies, and comics have been additional sources of artistic fuel for me that keep me being creative, expressing myself, and finding my way through life.
I also managed to find my "soul mate" in my life through my wife Lisa that I met in late summer of 2006. By July of 2008, we married and bought a house in Dublin, Ohio. She has been a "grounding" force to my life who continues to keep me "realistic" while keeping me positive. I credit her with giving me a stability to my life that I've always craved. Though she'd laugh at the comment, she's a real angel. Then in April 2011, my wife and I entered a major new stage in our lives with the arrival of our daughter Alyssa.
So that's my life summed up. I hope you enjoyed it. It's had plenty of high and low points, but I've continued on. I've struggled, succeeded, failed, but still continued on. If you're interested in my life and learning things in much greater detail, I've worked on a few extremely comprehensively written personal essays. "The Empathy Files" details what artists, musicians, movie directors, and various others have influenced and inspired me throughout my life. "Portrait of an Introspective Digital Artist" provides an extremely honest and candid look into my personal journey as an artist through exerts from my journals throughout the years. For more examples of my art, go to www.erichoman.com. Thanks for reading!