Chris Jones may have majored in industrial design as a student, but it was a photography project that ignited his passion as an artist.
"While at CCS, I was required to take photos for one of my industrial design classes," recalled Jones. "I got my first film SLR at that time. After the class, I used the camera for travel and events. I switched over to digital in 2004 and purchased a Nikon Coolpix 5700... just a step above a point and shoot.
"After shooting a few artistic portraits of a friend as part of a student alumni show put on by the BART group at CCS, I officially got the buzz. I went out and bought a Nikon D70S and hot light set. My living room became my work space and I joined a few model sites to network. A few years later, I opened my own studio and moved up to a Nikon D200. Right now I'm in the process of printing out 50 books of my photography to send out to magazines."
Jones has shot for Hour Detroit and cardesign.tv as well as other print and online publications. Most of his portfolio falls under "fashion photography," but recently the artist has found ways to mesh growing photography skills with his successful career in transportation design.
"The designer in me headed toward fashion because I like shooting people in artistic ways," Jones explained. "But lately I have gotten more and more into automotive photography by combining it with my fashion photography. Intersection magazine has been my inspiration for this. I have been building a stronger automotive portfolio by shooting for cardesign.tv and even writing a bit for the site. I'm working my way to photo journalist status, and I get to drive a new car almost every weekend!"
<span class='CALLOUT'>At CCS, instructors show you the right way</span>, then show you where you are in relation to that. It puts your skill level in perspective and makes you improve
Jones is also working on contract as an Alias modeler at ATG, a privately held California corporation specializing in automotive engineering, low volume manufacturing and motorsport program management. He creates models on the screen, but unlike a CAD designer, his work emphasizes more of the project’s look rather than the mechanicals underlying it. However, he works side-by-side with engineering support. He is currently helping to move the Local Motors Rally Fighter car from its concept stage into production.
Prior to his current position, Jones worked as an Alias sculptor at General Motors, Ford, Modelo, and Fisker Automotive. One of his first projects was to design the wheel for the 2001 Seville STS.
"That was the first time creating something, then seeing it as a finished production product," said Jones. "Plus, I was really excited to work on it because I like Cadillac."
Although Jones has had a lifelong tendency toward creativity, he credits CCS for helping him develop as a designer and an artist.
"At CCS, instructors show you the right way, then show you where you are in relation to that,” said Jones. "It puts your skill level in perspective and makes you improve. That's one of the reasons my photography skills have increased so quickly. Once I have a goal, I go for it. After CCS, I feel that there isn't anything I can't do."
- Graduation Year: 1995
- Employer: Self Employed
- Title: Alias Modeler
Designed and created by DDM Marketing & Communications.