Sara Calhoun was one of our year 4 2017 Zinggia Ohio Art Scholarship Winners! We followed up with Sara to see how much she was loving art school. No surprise, Sara loves it! Checkout some of her latest artwork below and on her website.
Q. What art school did you decide to attend & why?
I’m attending Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in upstate New York! The big reason I chose here over anywhere else is the sheer amount of resources and up-todate technology the school is able to offer to its animators or artists in general as learning tools. Students get to learn hands on using industry level equipment from the get-go, which I found astounding!
Q. Are you working with digital illustration & animation yet or is it mostly traditional mediums so far?
Both! For animations freshman are strictly limited to work frame by frame with that good ol’ classic paper and pencil. However, for other non-moving assignments the option to work either digitally or traditionally is up to the student!
Q. Have you learned of any new directions that you can take your artistic talents that you didn’t know about or consider in high school?
Oh yeah definitely! RIT is pretty good at liberating its students from the age-old stereotype that being an animator means making “Disney-Esque” movies. Lots of different careers in animation catch my eye now: from more commercial work in advertising to just working as an independent artist using the medium as your choice form of expression. Animation is limitless and so are we as artists!
Q. Is there anything you dislike so far with your schooling?
This is a tricky topic for me to discuss but short answer- yes. I’m going to preface this with I think it’s extremely important for students to be critical of their school and especially their program of choice. My issues with my schooling have really shown me that you are in control of your own education and you have the right to question what you’re being taught. So with that, I disagree with how the first semester of RIT’s animation program is set up. Instead of taking a foundational art semester like all the other majors within the school, animation students are required to take only live action film classes. These classes the majority of the time were irrelevant to animation and the teachers would openly acknowledge that. I found this disheartening, but fortunately this issue doesn’t occur during any other semester! So I can happily say I’m enjoying my schooling experience much more now!
Q. What classes are you taking this semester, and how is your school work load?
I don’t have as many classes now in comparison to the winter semester so my workload is pretty manageable (I know, cool right?!)! I have only 4 classes: Animation Pre-Production, Drawing for Animation, Renaissance to Modern Art History, and Principles of Animation.
Q. Have you learned to hate Shia LaBeouf less?
I think I’ve grown past most of my passionate hatred but I still can’t forgive him for all the Transformers movies…
Q. What’s been the most challenging school project you’ve worked on so far?
For one of my first semester films I decided to make an Anthony Bourdain style documentary where I visited different coffee shops around the Rochester area. For the most part everything was filmed the same day so by the end I had drank about 5 different cups of coffee! My hands were shaking so much from the caffeine that most of the camera shots I took were absolutely awful! But!! Through the magic of editing I was able to pull the project together! And in hindsight it’s given me a funny story to tell when I order decaf. ;)
Q. How long do you normally have to complete a class project?
A: About a week! Maybe 2 if the requirements are really really intense? But it’s that way for a reason: to get you past the fear of starting something and to force you to get out there and CREATE! And if what you make isn’t up to your standards…. welp, there’s always next week.
Q. Doctor Who or Doctor Manhattan?
Q. Does your school require you to take any financial or business classes later on to help you navigate a more profitable art career?
Well, there is a “Business and Careers in Animation” class that I have to take my junior year! I really wish more colleges incorporated these types of classes into their curriculum since lots of artists do decide to be self-employed at some point. Oh, and I also wouldn’t mind a class on health and self care for artists too… wrist pain is real, my friends.
Q. Are you sick of healthy & delicious Gluten-Free Ramen Noodles yet?
One does not tire of perfection haha.
Read all of the Q&A Artist Interviews with our past Zinggia Ohio Art Scholarship Winners.