Southern Utah University Blog

Meet Our Professors: Ben Sowards, Illustration

Posted: June 07, 2019 | Author: Kaylene Linford | Read Time: 2 minutes

Dropping out of preschool so he could have more time to draw, Ben Sowards is a successful artist creating works and illustrations for a variety of clients, while also an associate professor of illustration at Southern Utah University, inspiring students to find their creativity.

Ben Sowards

After receiving his bachelor’s degree in fine art illustration, and master’s degree in Fine Art in Painting, Sowards worked briefly in the video game industry as a concept and product artist. Now for the last 18 years at SUU, Sowards develops his passion for learning and illustration with his students.

“I love teaching because I love to learn. Teaching illustration gives me permission to explore the meaning and origin of story, the human story that connects all of us,” said Sowards. ”I get to investigate human anatomy and its power to convey meaning through gesture and representation.”

Sowards teaches illustration through drawing and paintings, as well as sculptures that begin with the skeleton and continue through the muscles and skin. In a single day, Sowards will paint and draw, relying on tradition, and use digital painting and sculpting tools that are at the leading edge of technological development.

“Illustration is a rapidly evolving field, experiencing a period of unprecedented expansion and diversification. There are no two illustrators that would develop a solution or create an image the same way. I am continually delighted and inspired by the creativity of others,” expressed Sowards.

Sowards teaches the following classes at SUU:

  • ART 3110: Life Drawing & Anatomy
  • ART 3450: Portrait & Figure Painting
  • ART 3500: Digital Illustration
  • ART 3510: Visual Development
  • ART 3550: 3D Digital Illustration
  • ART 4510: Visual Development Lab
  • ART 4890: Internship
  • ART 4990: Senior Seminar-Specific Area of Study

“We like to say that at SUU, ‘professors know your name.’ It goes beyond that. Small class sizes allow me to spend enough time with each student to learn much more about them than just their name,” said Sowards. “Understanding a student’s individual motivations and goals allows me to customize course content and create experiential learning opportunities.”

Sowards would like to remind students in his classes that “whatever you choose to do, do it with your whole heart.” His proudest moment working at SUU is seeing a student experience a breakthrough in the classroom or realize a professional milestone.

Learn more about the Department of Art and Design at SUU.

Tags: Faculty College of Performing and Visual Arts

Related Posts