Digital Arts’ Emerging Talent

The new labs in Fogelson Library are shared between the Digital Arts and Graphic Design students. Despite the shared space, however, these are two separate programs—and this year the Digital Arts students are eager to make this clear.

Ronnie Garcia (1 of 1)“I think it would help take a lot of pressure off of the graphic designers,” junior Ronnie Garcia says in reference to seeking out more attention for her department. “I know that a lot of Creative Writing [and] Film majors look to Graphic Design for posters to be made, or props for their set designs because they think that Digital Arts and Graphic Design are the same thing when they’re not.”

Where Graphic Design students are geared toward design techniques used in the workplace and professional aesthetics, Digital Arts students are focused more on skills like concept and character design

“Digital Arts is more of animation and illustration,” junior Shaniya Gerald says. “It’s a great program that lets your imagination run wild.”

However, despite these focuses of Digital Arts, the students in the program have a wide range of abilities and are eager to demonstrate them. One such example is junior Ryan Niiha, whose goal for the coming semester is “to get better at Photoshop and Illustrator, so that I can have better skills as a drawer.”

Shanya Gerald (1 of 1)One area in which Digital Arts students are able to expand their horizons is the Creating Comics class, taught by Contributing Faculty member Bram Meehan. Meehan has had many Digital Arts students in his classes over the last six semesters, and notes the ways in which they adapt easily to the class.

“I find that they have good skills in creating characters, drawing backgrounds, and creating scenes,” says Meehan. “So it’s a lot of fun—can I say that?—challenging them to put all those pieces together in a story that not only other people can follow, but one that connects with readers. I think a lot of the components of sequential art come easily to them, but assembling and refining a comic really pushes them to improve.”

This semester, several Digital Arts students are looking forward to the opportunity to display their work, and push their talents.

“I don’t think [the department] gets the recognition it deserves since it is such a small program,” freshman Carter Bazar says. “You can see wonderful pieces from the current students, but it would be wonderful to hold more events and draw in more potential arts majors.”

Ryan Niiha (1 of 1)With the recent changes to the department comes the possibility for such shows, and for the kinds of events Bazar describes.

“I would definitely love to have more student work displayed as well as an increase of department shows this year,” says junior Sabrina Martinez. “In Alexis there was limited wall space. Now with the false walls set up in the library, we can move them around and increase our show area. Alexis was very white-walled and empty. Hopefully that will change this year with tons of brilliant student work adorning the walls.”

With the student-run show, ‘Ephemera 6’ on the horizon and a number of other as-yet unnamed student shows in the works, there promises to be plenty of opportunities for Digital Arts students to display their talents.