There’s something about Chris Titze’s art that is almost hyper-realistic.
The colors seem deeper than you would find in nature. There is more shine to metal. The light falls just right so that your eye is drawn to the intended focus.
It’s no wonder that Titze, an associate professor of communication design at Collin College, was named one of Luerzer’s Archive’s “200 Best Digital Artists Worldwide” in its most recent special collection. The magazine, commonly known in the advertising and communications design industries as “The Archive,” is an internationally respected publication that professionals look to for inspiration and trends. Although it is a trade magazine, it has a global circulation of 38,000 and is considered an indispensable resource by many.
Titze’s work was chosen from about 5,000 submissions by top artists from around the globe, and while he was pleased to be chosen, he was not completely surprised.
“I researched the previous winners and I felt the quality of my work was equivalent to the winners in the last issue,” Titze said. “I knew I had a good chance of being at least one of the finalists.”
One look at his portfolio (www.christitzeimaging.com) and it is easy to see why. From heavily-composited life-like images and minimalist stylized product shots created for advertising clients to self-initiated art pieces that touch on his own sense of whimsy, Titze’s skill is plain to see.
Graphic Design Department Chair Laura Flores said that Titze’s skill and the ability to communicate it to students is one of the reasons he teaches for Collin College. She described him as highly skilled and very creative.
“He is so aware of details,” she said. “He knows how to use lighting to make things work.”
Flores said there is a kind of “glow” to his work that draws the viewer in. She said that between that level of work and the tongue-in-cheek humor that Titze often displays in his self-initiated projects, she is impressed by his work.
“He really brings his subjects to life,” Flores said.
That is an interesting turn of phrase, considering Titze’s first inkling of going into digital art was his love of video games and game character design.
“I played the Super Nintendo and that generation of games,” he said. “As a young kid, video modeling and doing things like that seemed to be the coolest thing ever.”
As he got older, Titze said he realized he could have a better career in commercial design and used a scholarship to the Art Institute as a launch pad to a professional career. He worked in an agency setting for a while before deciding to work as a freelance artist.
He works mostly from home now, where he can spend time with his family. He is also a member of the WELD artist coworking community in Dallas, where he works with others and recharges his creative batteries.
Titze teaches Digital Imaging II, an advanced Photoshop class, at Collin College and has been doing so for about three years. Flores said he has a reputation as a hard but fair instructor that the students love.
Although he never saw himself as a teacher, Titze said he enjoys the chance to share his craft with students and help them build their portfolios so that they can show their work once they are out in the working world.
“In the end, the portfolio is the most telling (thing about an artist),” he said. “It is very empowering to be able to watch your capabilities grow.”
Who knows? Maybe one of his students will earn the same kind of acclaim for their work.