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From Hollywood to HDI

Gregory Bow loves using his art to tell stories.

For a while, that meant working in Hollywood in the animation industry. Now, it means working at HDI.

It might be surprising to learn that animation has a role at HDI

“I create video content that acts as supplemental materials for students to take their standardized testing. So far, I’ve worked to create animations that tell a story with the hopes that these videos will help visualize the story for the student to understand,” he said. “I also work as an illustrator creating picture boards and response options for the tests. Each test has five questions with three answers to choose from. Each of these answers has an illustration to go with it to aid the student in understanding the answers when making their choice.”

Bow got into the arts young. He started young and grew into his passion for art, taking as many classes on art as he could throughout his education.

“I’ve always had an interest in the arts ever since I was a child. I was fortunate to have a supportive family who encouraged me to work on my talents and develop my skills, and I took as many art and creative classes as I could in school,” he said. “I knew in some way I wanted to get into the world of animation. I loved Studio Ghibli films, and they really inspired me to go on that path.”

Bow studied at UK for two years, then transferred to the Savannah College of Art and Design. After three years, he had completed a bachelor’s degree in animation. He called his college career fun and formative. After he graduated, he had dreams of making it as a background artist for Cartoon Network and moved to Hollywood to make it happen.

It was difficult, though. Bow spent time unemployed and working at a movie theater before he finally found work in his dream job.

He did manage to make it though – he worked as a color stylist for Bento Box Entertainment on Legends of Chamberlain Heights and briefly did background art for another project from the same studio and then as a background artist for more than two years on Cartoon Network’s Mighty Magiswords. His work on Mighty Magiswords, bolstered with a little bit of freelance art, continued until the show didn’t receive a third season.

Bow again found himself without a job, and felt burnt out from his work in the industry. He returned home to Kentucky in 2019, shortly before the pandemic, and remembered a project at HDI he had worked for right after he graduated college back in 2009.

Now, he’s back, and he’s embracing a new story that he and his art can tell.

“Working on these animations brings me back to my college days when I created short films, working on all aspects from background art to character designs, animation and sound editing,” he said. “It’s really satisfying to see it all come together! The extra layer that these videos are not for entertainment, but for the sake of education and helping students pass their tests makes the work that much more satisfying.”

In his free time, Bow enjoys video games and playing with his beloved cockapoo, Willow. He has started caring for plants and developed quite the green thumb. On a final note, Bow noted that he feels we can learn a lot about how to take care of ourselves from plants.

“I think people are like plants, we all have our specific needs, and we enjoy and prefer certain environments,” he said. “Growing as a person, it helps to know what you personally need to be happy and healthy and build your life and environment around those things. You can’t serve the world if you yourself are withering away.”