Utah Valley University (UVU) motion design student Evan West and his wife, Ashley West, a Brigham Young University (BYU) student, were named first-place winners in the LG Electronics “Wonderbox Showcase,” a digital art competition for college students in New York City on Dec. 14.
In the process, the couple won $25,000 and the right to have their artwork displayed on LG’s Times Square billboard through mid-January. They also received a 27-inch LG Ultrafine UHD 4K Nano monitor, which is ideal for creating digitally animated art.
Their winning design consists of a digital red and white rocket ship that careens through space, surrounded by meteors, planets, and stars, and somehow manages to jump right off the screen to greet passersby. Their artwork will be displayed on LG’s Times Square billboard through mid-January.
Evan West is a motion designer who wants to pursue his love for animation and design working at a top-tier motion design studio, and Ashley is an illustrator, textile artist, and clothing designer.
“We wanted to participate in the showcase because it was an exciting way to combine our talents,” said Evan West. “When we saw our names on the screen announcing we had won, we were really excited. You always kind of dream to see your name in lights at some point in your life, and I don’t think either of us expected to see it this way. It was kind of surreal, and it hasn’t quite sunk in yet.”
The inaugural competition was created to inspire creative designers and artists and to help kick-start their careers in animation. Students were asked to submit “wonderbox” animations creating their own digital worlds, opening to reveal a moment that invites curiosity, then amazes, engages, and delights viewers — taking them to a whole new world of possibilities.
“Working together was a sweet spot of creativity because we could bounce off of each other and give really good feedback and really just change the project to go to a place that I wouldn’t have taken it,” Evan West said. “I’m glad we could work as a team.”
West expressed his gratitude for his professors at UVU in helping teach him the fundamentals of good design. “The UVU Graphic Design program has some great professors,” he said. “Bob deWitt, who has since retired, really got me into 3D animation; Jonathan Bybee taught my first typography class; and Gareth Fry has been great in shaping how I see basic design principles. These are professors who have influenced me for good.”