FROSTBURG – Will Baxter, an art student at Frostburg State University, has wanted to become a professional artist since he visited Disney World at the age of 5. He was named a special âartist of the dayâ by a street illustrator and had the chance to draw with an official Disney artist.
âIt was the day I realized that someone could draw for a living,â Baxter said. “And I have never hesitated on what I wanted to pursue since.”
A resident of Cumberland, Baxter takes another step towards fulfilling his dream of becoming a professional artist. He recently won an international competition and was offered an exclusive two-year contract with Illustration Room, an Australia-based design company producing commissioned artwork for businesses, websites, games, apps, magazines, books, advertising, marketing and public relations agencies. .
Baxter, a Bachelor of Fine Arts student specializing in illustration and sculpture with a minor in graphic arts, answered the Australian agency’s global call for new artists to present a professional children’s book concept including three full page pages, character drawings and development drawings. He submitted Halloween-themed artwork, beating several hundred submissions from around the world. Baxter based his entries on a concept he had previously created at FSU for illustration and drawing professor Jamison Odone, who recommended Baxter for the competition.
“My final submission included two characters from wizarding school students, a little witch cat and a little wizard goat traveling through a haunted forest to retrieve forbidden spells from an ancient wizard’s hut,” Baxter said. “The illustrations turned out to be some of the best work I have ever done.”
Odone agrees. âWill worked on it for a while and we went back and forth to polish it,â he said. “He entered the contest because I basically said to him, ‘Will, you’re awesome and you have to enter!’
As Baxter prepares to graduate in May, he is grateful for this and other opportunities offered to him during his years at FSU.
âThanks to the encouragement and tutelage of all the professors in the visual arts department and my professors in other departments, I feel better prepared to face the future,â he said. âI am more confident than I could have imagined in my abilities and have learned so much from the many mentors and friends that I have made FSU professors. “
For more information on studying Art and Design at FSU, visit https://www.frostburg.edu/academics/majorminors/bachelor/bachelor-of-fine-arts-in-visual-arts-bfa.php.