A fashion show casting call for models at Moore led to a life-changing decision for Animation & Game Arts senior Devon Benham.
“Instead of going to the casting, I brought my portfolio and my drawings, and I was like, yeah, I want to go here,” she said.
Benham began modeling when she was 15, walking on runways in New York during Fashion Week, and appearing in magazines and catalogs. After five years of hectic scheduling, homeschooling and living in New York, she was ready for something else.
“Modeling was hard. And I couldn’t draw much because I had to focus on my figure and working out,” she said. She got sick from the strict diet she had to follow. “I was just like, I can’t do this anymore. I just wasn’t passionate enough.”
COMING TO MOORE
Benham struggled with dyslexia in high school, and had difficulty in standard classes. But she was always drawing.
“Whenever there was a math test, I drew on the back of it,” she said. “Whenever I had a free space of paper or something to draw on, I would draw.”
The passion for drawing led her to bring her art to Moore, the first college she walked into.
“I thought I was an artist, but not an art student,” Benham said. She had taken basic art classes and sculpture in high school. “Then I walked in and they saw my art, and they were like, this is really cool.”
Benham was accepted, and she was awarded the Jane Walentas '66 Endowed Scholarship and International Travel Fellowship, which was astonishing to her.
“I never knew in my life I would ever get a scholarship, because I was not that academically good,” she said. “I tried, but my dyslexia got in the way all the time.” The scholarship made it possible for her to attend Moore.
BECOMING AN ARTIST
Benham started out as an Illustration major, but after trying the 3D modeling program Maya during a Major/Minor fair at Moore, she got hooked.
“A lot of people were saying, ‘Devon, why aren’t you doing games? You love games and you love 3D modeling, you spend so much time on Maya.’” She switched her major to Animation & Game Arts.
“I used to draw horses a lot, and dragons for some reason,” she said. “I love more mythical things and monsters and scary things. That’s why I thought when I go into animation, I just want to make my monsters come to life.”
Her goal is to work for a small independent gaming company after graduation. She’s grateful she made the decision to become a Moore art student.
“This was such a turn of events,” she said. “I can actually be myself and I don’t have to worry about my figure or what I look like. I’m really glad I switched over to going to school, and Moore gave me an opportunity.”