Portraits of CCAD in the midst of COVID-19

Since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in Ohio in early 2020, homes have become more than simply residences, they’ve become studios, offices, remote broadcast locations, ad hoc schoolhouses, bakeries, refuges from the outside world, and so much more. Life has taken on a new rhythm over these months. It’s sometimes chaotic and hectic, as we attempt to complete many tasks at once, often with limited resources; at other times, the pace is considerably slowed, as fewer planned activities lead to emptier calendars and more downtime.

As they adjusted to our new normal, Columbus College of Art & Design family members reflected on how the pandemic has impacted their creative practices, the lessons they’ve learned, and the advice they have for our newest class of students. See more from them below, and keep in touch with other members of the CCAD family with #CCADcreateaway on Instagram. 

Photos by Ty Wright.

julie abijanac on porch

Julie Abijanac (Fine Arts, 1992)
Fine Arts

What she’s learned during the COVID-19 pandemic: “That it is okay and important to slow down. To enjoy life. Acknowledging and value what slowing down means. For us, this was realizing that connections of any kind are intrinsic to who we are. So, we're are spending quality time with each other and our pets. Along with socially distanced time with family and friends. In this time of COVID, these moments have been more meaningful than before. Needless to say, we are looking forward to the day where we can ACTUALLY put our arms around our friends and family. So please stay safe and healthy!”

charlotte belland on porch

Charlotte Belland (Advertising & Graphic Design, 1997)
Professor & Chair

How the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted her practice: “Prior to the pandemic, I focused a lot of my drawing time on animals that you could only see at zoos or sanctuaries. The pandemic refocused me back into the natural spaces around my neighborhood. I am very lucky to have a backyard and I have spent a lot more time observing the animals in this microhabitat. The birds that visit the feeders and flowers have become so used to me that I can get super close with my sketchbook. I look forward to translating the drawing lessons from the iconic species onto the little critters that share our spaces.”⠀⠀

Advice to CCAD’s new students: “Find your balance between making and recharging. Being exhausted is not a badge of honor. Avoid falling into a spiral of ‘not enough time’ by scheduling your day to best reflect what you need to be healthy. If you find yourself complaining about being tired or ‘there's too much work,’ then take a step back and be honest with yourself. What are you doing (or not doing) that is contributing to your current situation? Your future self will thank you.”

helen hoffelt on front porch

Helen Hoffelt

What she’s learned during the COVID-19 pandemic: The pandemic has taught me to slow down, to not be as distracted by the noise of everyday life, and to appreciate that life is temporary and fragile.”

Advice to CCAD’s new students: “As you step into a whole new world, exploring new things, embrace failure. This gives you the freedom to experiment and to not be disappointed if things are not perfect. Failure is one of the most effective ways to learn and is often the first step to creating something new.”

kelly malec kosak on front porch

Kelly Malec-Kosak
Master of Fine Arts

One productive thing she’s discovered that she will continue when the pandemic ends: “I love to walk and have found that shorter but multiple walks in the day have made me a lot more energetic—I would guess I’d keep doing that!”

jim lutz on front porch

Jim Lutz (Advertising & Graphic Design, 1978)
Advertising & Graphic Design

How the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted his practice: “The pandemic has reminded me how much I value human interaction. Being separated from family and friends has been tough ... particularly since it used to be so easy to visit almost anytime or anywhere. The pandemic has also reminded me how fragile life is.”

Advice to CCAD’s new students: “Stay connected to family and friends, regardless of how hectic your classes or work schedule may be. Anything that feeds your soul and allows time for self-care is necessary if you want to feel complete as an artist and designer. If something in your schedule has to go, consider slightly less screen time. Above all, let us know how we can help you in your journey at CCAD.”

taylor preston on front porch with cat

Taylor Preston (Advertising & Graphic Design, 2020)

What she’s learned during the COVID-19 pandemic: “I've learned that the connections in our life are a necessity and we shouldn't take them for granted.”

Learn more about CCAD’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic at CCAD Together. Apply here.