At the end of the academic year, CCAD deans present the Outstanding Seniors for their divisions. Today, in part seven of our 10-part Outstanding Senior series, we interviewed Photography major Leah Fisher.
Q) What was your proudest achievement while at CCAD?
A) My proudest moment would probably be my thesis show. I did a Drive-By Shooting series that was captured while my husband drove around and I would snap pictures out the window of the car. It was the first time I was able to show my work to campus, the students, faculty, and staff. It accumulated after a year’s worth of hard work, and it was great project that I continue to work on.
Q) What scared you the most while you were at CCAD?
A) The foundation classes. They have this reputation for being really difficult, and when I would look at what students outputted from these classes it made me nervous and wonder if I would be able to do that well. The faculty was extremely helpful though in guiding students through the assignments and techniques.
Q) What are your plans after graduation?
A) I am going to continue working at the CCAD Packard Library. I work on archiving old photos that CCAD has and scanning them to help build our Flickr site. It has been a long process, but great to live through CCAD’s history and be able to make these pictures accessible to everyone. I want to be able to finish this project, and it’s nice because by working here, I also have time to work on my own projects and personal art.
Q) What is your ultimate dream job or goal?
A)I went from Columbus to San Francisco and back a few years ago, and I would love to do it again. I want to be able to take my time and drive out there, continuing my Drive-By Shooting project.
Q) Why is it important as an alumna to give back to CCAD?
A) I think it is really important to give back financially. If you have made it in your field based on the skills you learned at CCAD, you should give back to give another student the same opportunities that you received while here.
Q) Do you remember a single point that made you sit back and say, “This is why I am doing this?”
A) Working with Helen Hoffelt made me realize that. There is something to say when not only do you like your work, but other people, including faculty, have the same appreciation for it. Helen really pushed me to new limits and made my work really start to stand out and get noticed.
Q) What smell, word, object, or whatever will always remind you of your time at CCAD?
A) Think. Do.
Q) What will you miss the most?
A) I’ll miss the faculty. When you are here you have someone critiquing your work and pushing you in everything you do. They are tough, but in a positive, constructive way. I don’t know if we will have someone like that in the outside world to be the person to push the boundaries of what we are outputting.
Q) If you can describe what graduation feels like in one word or sentence what what would it be?
A) If feels long overdue. As a nontraditional student, I was working at this for 10 years. To finally graduate is a relief and the end to a great and long journey.
Q) What was your favorite class at CCAD?
A) My independent studies with Helen Hoffelt. I was able to complete two photo projects, once focusing on coal towns and another one on national parks. It was nice to be able to work in a structure similar to that of the real world: to work on my own and create what I wanted to create without strict guidelines.
Q) What did you like to do during your free time?
A) I keep working on my drive-by series. Every Sunday my husband and I drive around Columbus so I can photograph. It is a great for us to be able to spend time together and sometimes my brother comes with us. We are able to explore Columbus and all of its nooks and crannies. We have somewhat of a routine path, but we like to change the route every once in awhile depending on what I am able to capture and what I see that day.
Q) If you could go back to college what would you change?
A) I don’t have any regrets about my time here, but I would go back and work harder in some of my first photography classes. I treated those classes like beginner photo lessons, and I wish I would have just dived right in and started working on some more serious, thorough projects.
Q) What is your advice for future CCAD students?
A) Work really hard and don’t think and dwell to much on the assignments and guidelines you are given; instead just make art.
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