A Word From Our Founder

Sketch Theatre exists for one express purpose — to expose young people to the myriad career opportunities available to creative individuals. There are scores of you out there who love to draw, make things and express yourself. Whether you are interested in drawing comic books, entertainment design (sets, props, creatures, etc), fashion, animation, creating films or making music, there are today more opportunities for you then there have ever been in history. Most adults think that being an ‘artist’ means being a ‘fine artist’ who shows work in galleries and has a difficult time making a living. This is an extremely narrow minded view of a word that today has a much broader scope.

Unfortunately however, the education system in the United States, and around the world, is in a dire situation. Budgets are being cut at an alarming rate, and the first thing to go tends to be art and music. In 2008 alone, $16Billion was cut in California, $400Million in Los Angeles… the home of Sketch Theatre. I myself, an artist and educator who also founded the Gnomon School of Visual Effects in Hollywood, have two young children in the Los Angeles Unified School District. I have witnessed first hand the alarming state of arts education in public schools and how it is now truly up to the private sector to stand up and make a difference.

Through Sketch Theatre we hope to inspire you to the realization that if you are an artist, that it is more than ok… it is a gift of potential that holds no shame in being fulfilled. Don’t let your parents or school system try to force you into a future that you have no interest in. To do for a living what you love is a privilege that few people share… but if you love something, and work hard, you will get better at it. Eventually this hard work WILL result in a career. It takes hard work to be successful, just as with any career… but people are rarely successful at things for which they have no passion. Find your passion and you will be on the road to being just as relevant to society as any other ‘professional’. Sure, we need doctors, engineers and scientists. But we also need movies, games, clothes, fine-art, music and cool looking buildings, websites and cars. Simple but true.

Express yourself. Being creative is one of the most wonderful things that separates humanity from all other forms of life. Most artists in K-12 are made to feel as though their interests are just hobbies, and not ultimately useful in the long term. This is just uninformed non-sense based on an outdated view of the arts in society. All of the artists of SketchTheatre are testaments to the fact that this is just not true.

Sketch Theatre serves to motivate and inspire artists from all walks of life. Here, aspiring artists are exposed to contemporary artists and the various career paths taken by these like-minded individuals who all began their careers by simply putting ideas and expressions down with a pencil & paper. The brilliant myriad of artists featured on Sketch Theatre strip down and expose raw sketches on camera, never failing to captivate and inspire. These people work in a variety of fields, are successful, support themselves, and are proud to call themselves artists.

And then there is the music. Of all of the creative endeavors produced by humanity, who would argue the fact that music is one of the most powerful. We are all inspired and motivated by music more often than any other form of creative expression. Whether we are sitting in the dark with headphones on, going to a concert, listening to the radio, guided by the score of a film to understand how we are supposed to feel about what we are seeing… music is universal and omnipresent in our lives. For this reason, Sketch Theatre combines visuals with music as all of our artists feel strongly about how music has shaped their lives and inspired their work.

Welcome to SketchTheatre… enjoy the show!

– Alex Alvarez

Alex Alvarez

Alex is the creator of Sketch Theatre, as well as the founder and director of the Gnomon School of Visual Effects and founder and president of The Gnomon Workshop. Alex is also a 3D artist and has been published in industry magazines, websites and books. Alex is president of the Los Angeles Maya Users Group and sits on the Advisory Boards for creativecrash.com and CGsociety. He continues to work on personal and professional projects, recently as a creature development artist on the James Cameron film Avatar. Visit his website!

Daniele Volpe

Dani moved to LA from Sicily, Italy. With his hands on just about everything pertaining to web design and development he has become an integral part of Sketch Theatre. He’s also the web developer for The Gnomon Workshop. Dani’s experience comes from years of freelance work, network administration and web design for many ecommerce and personal websites. He’s very passionate about the industry he’s involved with and is able to jump easily from being a designer, to coder, to software and hardware technician, to decision maker.