What to Expect Your First Semester at CCAD

by Katy Daiber

Art school is different.  It's different from your high school and from other universities, which is awesome!  Classes ended yesterday here at CCAD, and here's what to expect your first semester at CCAD.

1.  You will learn a lot.  This past semester I've learned many things that I wasn't even anticipating such as being able to work Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and Indesign.  As well as draw nude models, speak about art's "juxtaposition," and realize how many careers are available to art majors.

2. You will work HARD.  The expectations and workload are high, very high.  This sometimes means I work in the studio from 7-11 pm after classes, or that we all sit in my dorm and have a homework party.  But it pushes us to become greater artists.  It gets us to create under pressure and prepares us for careers.  And it's not like you'll be working alone.  Freshman year, everyone has basically the same classes: Intro to major, drawing methods, visual literacy, and writing and the arts or philosophy.  Hence, the homework parties.

3.  You will change, for the weirder.  They say that art school makes you weird, except for industrial designers, apparently.  I definitely has changed me, and I'm in love with the artist I have become.  Now, I am more open to the ideas of gender fluidity and feminism.  But welcome to CCAD, where there are no genders! Everyone is very accepting and it's a safe place to search for you really are while focusing on your art.  In fact,  at art school no one expects you to wear bras, shave, or wash your hair regularly.  (That's what dry shampoo and baby powder is for!)

4. You will realize that art can be so many things that you never expected.  When I arrived at CCAD, I was planning to major in illustration, but I was also hoping to dual major in fine arts.  After a week of Illustration classes, I realized that it wasn't for me and switched my major to fine arts.  I played it safe for my first project of the year, and did a mixed media self portrait.  But as I began experimenting more into the semester while researching contemporary artists and talking  to upperclassmen and my professor, I realized that art can be so many things.  For example, Duchamp painted his signature on a urinal and titled it "Fountain" and it is now one of the most famous pieces from the Dada movement.  I was planning on coming here to create large scale drawings and paintings, but I also started experimenting with other materials such as fabric, wood, collage, paper mache, and so on.  You can see my progression on my Digication page, here.

5. You will become part of the CCAD community.   CCAD has a campus like a family.  Here, we all work together and help each other with our art.  I've had some photography and cinematic friends document my artwork.  I've modeled for fashion designers and asked graphic designers for help with designing business cards.  Here, everyone is willing to help another out in the name of art making.  Also, since CCAD is a relatively small school, you get to know mostly everyone.  When friends visit from their universities, they're always surprised at how friendly and accepting everyone is.