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Oliver Korssjøen

Student, Concept Artist

Student Spotlight

First Place - Mascot Design Winner

Mascot design inspiration: I wanted to capture the social environment that I have experienced while studying here and to make sure that the character itself would be appealing and immediately recognizable. As I usually do when designing characters and creatures, I set a short list of keywords for the design to guide my process;

  • Non-human
  • Biped
  • Immediately recognizable/ unique
  • Punk/ alternative
  • Digital/ computer/ games

I tried a few different sketches that used more simplistic/ basic shapes, as this often can help in making the design easily recognizable (just think about the three circles that make up Mickey Mouse). These sketches felt a bit too “alien” and, although the basic shapes were appealing, the creatures were not very recognizable. Instead, I started to look for inspiration amongst photographs of real animals and realized that a bird-inspired design would fulfill the requirements set by my first two keywords.

I took the shape of the famous kiwi bird, simplified it, and added a unique haircut to make it stand out from its real-life kiwi brethren.

Trying to add the last keyword to the base design of the bird, I figured that the design “too busy” / not focused enough and decided that those aspects should rather be represented by accessory items and/ or the animations it would be used for in the future. 

Mascot design motivation: This kind of design is quite far away from the content of my regular portfolio, but I’m all for trying new things and challenging myself by attempting different styles from what I’m used to. The promise of a prize for the winning submission was what tipped the scales for me to submit the design — but the context of the competition, in itself, was what made me interested. I believe that it’s important to have “real” goals for the designs that I make. Drawing and designing things based on my whims and fantasies is all good and fun, but doing so with a pre-defined goal is the best way to practice design. In a way; maybe this is what defines the difference between art and design? Anyways, I would like to do both.

Personal and Career goals: For quite some time, I have been building my skills and knowledge within the field of digital art and design, while simultaneously focusing on aspects of organizational knowledge, leadership, and innovation. When I first started my education at the Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, I learned about “the T-shaped worker” — the idea that the ideal worker has general knowledge of a lot of things and that you need at least one kind of specialization if you’re going to win out when applying for jobs. Just recently, I emerged as the preferred candidate for the position of CEO with a small company that takes aims to develop innovative extended reality apps/ games for training and learning for leaders in different kinds of organizations and companies. This is my dream job because I get to work with and utilize a combination of (nearly) every one of my interests and experiences from my time here at the University.

What brought me to the Inland University and what positive experiences have I created here: What brought me here was my passion for art and design — particularly my interest in concept art. Over time, I have grown to respect, learn and love other aspects of the audiovisual arts and technologies as well. I have learned a lot from lectures, textbooks, online resources, industry contacts, and especially from my fellow students. If anything, it is the countless conversations and discussions with my fellow students that I cannot imagine having gone without. It is from these interactions that I have learned the most and gained the most motivation and inspiration.