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Spartans at Work: At Lucas Arts, “I’m Learning That I Have Certain Assets That Can Help and Serve a Purpose”

Female intern wearing a brown t-shirt stands in front of the Palace of Fine Arts

Jeanie Chang, ’13 Animation/Illustration, spent the summer working as a concept artist with the Lucasfilm University Jedi Academy Summer Internship Program at the Letterman Digital Arts Center in San Francisco (Dillon Adams photo).

By Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant

(This summer, SJSU Today hit the road, visiting students and recent grads on the job across the country and around the world. Our Spartans at Work series continues with the class of 2013’s Jeanie Chang.)

For Jeanie Chang, ’13 Animation/Illustration, being “on the job” means having the right attitude and work ethic.

“You can’t just create a pretty picture, it has to serve a purpose,” she said.

Chang  spent the summer working as a concept artist for LucasArts, a top developer of interactive video games, at the 12-week Lucasfilm University Jedi Academy Summer Internship Program at the Letterman Digital Arts Center in San Francisco.

Her team recently released a trailer for the third-person action video game Star Wars 1313, due out next year.

“As a concept artist, I worked on coming up with ideas and the storytelling for the environment,” meaning the scenery behind the characters, Chang said.

In addition to visually representing ideas, Chang worked on reference-gathering and organizing to help the other artists on the team.

Much to Offer

At Lucas Arts, “I’m Learning That I Have Certain Assets That Can Help and Serve a Purpose”

Jeanie Chang’s skills building an environment, or background, are clear in this example from her porfolio at http://jeaniechang.blogspot.com/.

The summer program provided her with many learning opportunities, all of which have helped her to “know better what to expect” in the gaming industry. The most rewarding aspect was learning she has much to offer.

“After to talking to people her, I’ve realized that I know how to really dress up a set and put history behind it,” Chang said. “I have certain assets that can help the company.”

Other rewarding opportunities for Change included seeing behind-the-scenes artwork and working with her concept artist mentors, three SJSU alums.

“We’ve had the same teachers and know the same people,” Chang said. “We speak the same language about art.”

What’s Chang’s advice to those thinking about taking an internship?

“This is your time to really focus on learning and take advantage of all of the opportunities,” she said.