At the end of the academic year, CCAD faculty select one outstanding senior for each undergraduate major. Today, in part nine of our nine-part series, meet Outstanding Animation Senior Kevin Harkness.
Q. Outstanding Senior is an honor that’s earned. How did you stay focused and motivated to excel academically?
I’ve always kind of had a drive to want to do things. I didn’t want to fall behind anybody. I looked at what everyone else was doing and used that as the benchmark for pushing myself.
Q: What was your biggest challenge as a student?
Keeping up with friends. You get sucked into all the work, and then you realize you haven’t talked to your friends in a while.
Q. Is there a person in your field who inspires you?
I really like Jeremy Vickery—he’s a lighting artist at Pixar. I look up to him.
Q: Do you remember a single point when you realized that you were meant to be here doing what you were doing?
I always felt at home here. I always knew CCAD would be a good base foundation and would teach me what I needed to know to succeed after graduation.
Q: What was your favorite class at CCAD?
Café Sketch. I really enjoy all of the trips that we do and the immense amount of sketching. I feel like my drawing grew the most in that class.
Q: What will you miss the most about CCAD?
Definitely the people. There is such a great, diverse group of people here from every walk of life that helped me figure out things about diversity that I didn’t know.
Q: What word or phrase sums up your feelings about graduation?
Relieved. It’s finally over. I like being in school, but I’m ready to be done.
Q: What are your plans after graduation?
I have accepted a position as a senior technical director and head of pipeline at Fivestone Studios in Nashville, TN.
Q: What’s your ultimate dream job or goal?
I want to try to make it in Hollywood at some point, but ultimately, I want to be a business owner and have my own studio.
Q: What is one thing you know now that you wish you would’ve known as a freshman?
You need to plan your sleep.
Kevin is from Franklin, TN, and attended Fred J. Page High School.
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