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Art Alumnus Zach Bush "Does What He Wants to Do"

RADFORD -- Zach Bush, of Falls Church, graduated from Radford University in the winter of 2008 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. By the time he crossed the stage to accept his diploma, Bush had already soared to great heights in graphic design, winning numerous awards for entries in local and state competitions. He was prepared to go straight to work and since that time, has made a name for himself in the arts. One of the highlights of his young career happened recently when one of his illustrations was used on the cover of Advanced Photoshop magazine, a widely read publication in the field of graphic arts.

Cover by Zach Bush Bush had been featured in Advanced Photoshop but never on the cover. He previously was asked to do work for the magazine but due to his own deadlines, he declined. Bush kept in communication with the editors and staff and when time allowed, he worked on the illustration. “I was excited they actually came to me. That was really cool because I wasn’t expecting that,” he says.

A student of Assistant Professors of Art John O’Connor and Kevin Smith, Bush says they pointed him in the right direction. He hadn’t planned to study graphic design. “I got into it about half way through. I came to John and told him what direction I wanted to go. He and Kevin were very supportive in teaching me and giving me encouragement,” Bush says.

The professors provided materials for Bush to use as he studied and honed his skills. Without their help in supplying materials and ordering DVDs that focused on the field he wanted to pursue, Bush says he wouldn’t be where he is now, a freelance graphic designer doing what he wants to do and not doing what he doesn’t want to do.

Bush worked for a company after graduation because he needed a steady income to establish himself. His goal was to work for himself so he could pick and choose his projects. “I don’t do projects that I don’t want to do. When I work on things, they are not complete until they’re perfect,” he says. His favorite illustrations to work on are his own. “I like working with no deadlines and in no artistic direction. I go wherever I want and in the direction I think is better,” Bush says.

Visitors to his Web site at www.zachbush.com can see myriad works. He says he likes what he does because it’s 100 percent original. His inspiration comes from many artists, his favorite being movie illustrator Dylan Cole. When he was a student, Bush studied Cole’s work on DVD. Through tutorials on the discs, Bush picked up skills and challenged himself.

Bush speaks openly about his faith and spiritual beliefs. “I give credit to Jesus Christ for my talent,” Bush says, adding that he feels he has an obligation to use that talent and go wherever he is led. He believes if he puts his life and talents into bigger hands, he will do well.

“I would really be interested in moving out to California and working there,” Bush says. “I have a few clients I’ve been working for that are on the West Coast and I could get in through them. I’ve always had an interest in California and working there. Plus, it’s warm,” he adds. Another place of interest is New York. He plans to explore all his options. He wants it to be a good fit. “There are still opportunities and possibilities,” Bush says.

April 1, 2010
Contact: Bonnie Q. Erickson (broberts@radford.edu; 540-831-5804)

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