Full Sail Stories
Published Mar 27, 2023
Course Director Brings Varied Skill Set to Game Art Program
From character design to cosplay, Kyle Havrilesko has worked on a wide range of design projects.
It would be easy to assume that there’s almost nothing that Kyle “Harvey" Havrilesko – the Course Director for Full Sail's Game Art bachelor's program’s Project and Portfolio VI course – can’t do. From playing an integral role in designing the modern sculptures peppered around Orlando's Lake Nona neighborhood to helping Calvin Klein and Speedo develop an augmented reality application to design apparel, Kyle has experimented (and succeeded) in a wide array of creative and technical fields.
Kyle grew up in Apopka, Florida and dabbled in art classes in high school before serving in the Marine Corps for four years. He first came to Full Sail University as a student and graduated with a Computer Animation degree as a character artist. Since then, Kyle has enjoyed teaching, designing, and creating various multimedia projects.
Along with teaching at Full Sail University for over ten years, Kyle has won awards for competitive cosplaying, worked on two virtual children’s books, and was even responsible for one of the character designs used in the pre-production of the animated comedy Detective Pikachu. He’s also currently working on a faith-based graphic novel called Husk.
This diverse portfolio has given Kyle the experience and industry knowledge needed to lead students through Game Art’s Project and Portfolio VI course. “It's a very small industry. You need to know people. You need to network. You start getting your name out there right away,” he says.
“I try my best to fine-tune students,” he explains. This fine-tuning could look like encouraging a student to demonstrate a variety of design skills on their portfolio or perfecting their ArtStation profile thumbnail so it grabs the right people’s attention. “I have to make sure that I just bring out that artistic beauty that they need to really appeal and advertise their artwork.”
He also makes it clear that it’s all about the students’ aspirations. “Right now, I kind of just have to make students' dreams happen,” he states matter-of-factly.
Much like Kyle’s experience, what makes the Game Art program so appealing is its diversity. “Game art isn’t just about video games…. It leaks into everything.
“We're shooting films in the Virtual Production Studio. We’re designing sculptures. We’re designing gear. We're doing military simulation. We’re printing things out for cosplay and movie props [and working on] engineering and mechanics for aerospace dynamics.”
Kyle’s involvement in these projects doesn’t just make him a better Course Director; it gives him opportunities to improve his craft. “As an instructor…I actually learn so much more from just helping [students] make stuff.”
He’s also passionate about his student benefiting from the multiple collaborative opportunities the program offers: “[Students] should be asking [each other] for critiques and learning and trying their best to help each other out, too, because this is a great experience that they’re going to be getting from all of this.”