Crazy dream wins CQU digital media student national art prize

20 October 2021

A CQUniversity second-year digital media student has turned a crazy dream involving a hot air balloon into a nationally applauded artwork' winning a $4000 technology prize in the process.

Rockhampton 20-year-old Thomas Rynne has won the Wacom Dream State Competition' a national art competition that invited entrants to illustrate their craziest dream using a Wacom graphics tablet or display.

Mr Rynne said the art concept was born out of an assignment which required research into colours and styles.

"During this research' I was inspired by the colours in styles such as vaporwave and synthwave. Due to this recently being one of my primary focuses I decided to use the competition to experiment with these colours'" he explained.

"The dream I chose to draw was recent. In this dream' I was on a hot air balloon high in the night sky. This was not an ordinary hot air balloon though' it had a circus-type event happening around the basket and in the balloon.

"I decided the best way to show this crazy event was by having the 'kooky' affair extrude from the balloon.

"My art has primarily showcased the main senses such as sight (eyes)' hearing (ears)' smelling (nose)' touching (fingers)' and taste (tongues)."

Mr Rynne drew the piece digitally with a Wacom Intuos Draw Small tablet using Photoshop' with digital brushes he received through the CQUniversity's Bachelor of Digital Media course.

.Dream Wacom Entry Thomas Rynne

Wacom are the world's leading manufacturer of digital drawing tablets. The 'Dream State' competition runs annually and is open to universities' TAFEs and some secondary schools who are Wacom Accredited Training Centres.

This year' there were 44 student entries from all over Australia' all of which were executed to a high standard.

CQUniversity fielded three digital media student entrants: Benjamin Wood (Bundaberg)' Lara Pugh (Noosa) and winner Thomas Rynne (Rockhampton).

Digital media lecturer Jim Picton said despite stiff competition Mr Rynne's unique' colourful and rather 'trippy' design caught the eye of the judging panel.

"I encourage all my students to have a crack at industry competitions when they have the opportunity'" Mr Picton said.

"Not only are these 'authentic' opportunities' but they allow students to refine and extend their digital media knowledge and skills' whilst challenging them to develop their 'soft skills' which are in heavy demand by employers.

"I am immensely proud of the work of all of our Bachelor of Digital Media students and believe that they punch well above their weight.

"Thomas is the second digital media student to win this award in five years' with distance student' Brodee Leonard' taking it out in 2017.

"Considering that Thomas is only in his second year of digital media studies and has a full-term workload to complete' the level of enthusiasm' creativity and execution that Thomas has applied to his entry speaks volumes about his character."

For his efforts' Mr Rynne received a Wacom Cintiq Pro 24" graphic tablet worth around $4000 which will help set him up as a digital media professional.

Mr Rynne said the win boosted his confidence with his drawings.

"Getting the approval of Wacom who equips professional artists word wide has been incredible.

"Being displayed amongst all the amazing entries by Australian and New Zealand artists was a great privilege' and I am incredibly grateful to Wacom and CQUniversity for giving me that opportunity."

Mr Picton said illustration was a key skill for digital media professionals and it informed all types of visual communication.

He said that was why first year Bachelor of Digital Media students complete a unit called Illustration and Visualisation.

"Those who actively seek opportunities to develop their interest in illustration often find a way to work it into latter studies in graphic design' game design and development' 3D modelling' animation or storyboarding for film."