Ignacio Torres ('10) had to make a decision. His photography series, Stellar, which uses stills and animated GIFs to make it appear his subjects are moving, had just gone viral. He wanted to be considered for fashion photography jobs. So he listed New York City as his home base and moved there from Texas the next week.
"I moved with no money and took out a loan," he says. "I just jumped in with my eyes closed."
Good decision. Four years later, Torres, left, has made a name for himself in the fashion industry, photographing for Steve Madden, Nine West and others. He also shot the cover of the album Bad Blood by the popular band Bastille.
"It just worked," he says. "I get jobs and projects from putting in the work and then people seeing that."
Torres, who is from El Paso, came to UNT as a transfer student and earned his bachelor's degree in photography. Several teachers inspired him, including Denise Baxter, associate professor of art education and art history, and Dornith Doherty, Distinguished Research Professor of studio art.
After graduation, Torres briefly moved to New York City for an internship at a fashion magazine.
"I moved in the middle of winter," he says. "I was a mess and the city was a mess."
So he moved back to Texas until his success with Stellar propelled him to try New York again and confidence followed. His work has been exhibited in Mexico, Rome and London, and he was awarded silver by the Art Directors Club in Switzerland for photography with KOMET and the Festi'Neuch music festival.
Torres now sees his artwork on the New York and London subways and at his hometown Wal-Mart.
"It's so funny to me," he says. "Oh, cool. That's my work. It's just like a great feeling."