Well this is awkward.
What I learned at Umass was how to motivate myself. I developed an ability to quickly and continually create work that has a consistent quality.
Don't just learn what's going to be on the test. Learn dedication; it's the only thing you will be tested on.
One of the most important things I've learned while attending the UMD art program is to compose an illustration with action being the main focus.
It's okay to change your mind. Just because you came to UMD with a plan doesn't mean you can't alter it. Maybe what you wanted to do isn't what you expected; maybe something new fills you with passion; whatever the reason, don't let old dreams box you in. Changing your major or adding a second major isn't the worst thing in the world, the worst thing in the world is following a path that leads to a place you don't want to be, just to get somewhere. Be flexible, venture off the path and find out where opportunities might lead.
As a Digital Media Major, I often worked on a multitude of projects simultaneously, each requiring different skillsets, each utilizing different media with different delivery mediums. If there is one thing that I learned that has definitely aided my abilities in design and my creative process, it's the ability to adapt to a constantly changing workflow. This constant change has exposed me to a wide variety of design processes, techniques, and concepts that have allowed me to create a diverse body of work, a portfolio which contains everything from book design, generative art, and even virtual reality and level design.
In my four years at UMASS Dartmouth I have received much instruction and also learned many lessons on my own. The most important one of these lessons is: art is alive and fluid. Through this idea, I have realized that you can make any art form or medium about any subject matter in any way you can imagine it. I am a digital photographer who is still elbow deep in darkroom photography and I also enjoy combining and experimenting with other mediums such as print making and metal working as they can all relate to each other.
Well this is awkward.
Throughout the past four years at UMass Dartmouth I have learned so much about myself as a person and as an artist. At the age of eighteen I realized that art was my passion, my refuge from all the disaster in the world. I went into school with a great love for drawing, but lacked the knowledge of art itself. My professors at the CVPA have taught me over the years that stylization comes after skill in a drawing and to become a successful artist you must create something completely out there to be noticed.
The most meaningful lesson that I have learned during my time at UMD is that being self-motivated is just as if not more important than class work. If you really want to succeed in a creative field you need to find out the skills needed and be passionate about progressing in your own time. It is important to be creative for yourself and not just for class.
“Keep working! Youʼll get there!”, is probably the advice Iʼve heard repeatedly from all of my instructors. As well, “Donʼt be afraid to make mistakes!” and “Donʼt be afraid to ruin your beginning drawings and paintings!”, as this is all part of your process as an artist. It is an ever-going and ever-changing process, practice and work. “We all have hot days and cold days!”: some days it all works wonderfully, many are scraps, and best yet: many are beginnings for something greater!
Form a strong dislike for poorly designed fonts, like Comic Sans and Papyrus. Go to as many lectures and gallery openings as possible. Start networking early; meet and connect with professors and alumni. Never stop asking questions. Color theory is a pain but also very important. If you ogle at lettering anytime you go anywhere in public, then you did this whole Graphic Design education right.
The most important thing I learned in college is that you need to do what makes you happy. Never give up in the pursuit of your passions.
The most valuable lesson I have learned through UMass Dartmouth is the discipline to continue to produce work and challenge myself within my work.
While working make sure to do it because you love it. If you have no faith in it then your project will not be as you hoped it would turn out. Photography is a spectacular medium to work with and you can express yourself using it in any way you wish.
CVPA has impacted my life in such a positive way. I have met some awesome people and made connections to interesting people that I hope to stay in contact with as life begins to unfold.
The best advice I received while at UMass was to embed yourself in your work. I have learned that in order to be successful and enjoy what you do, you must put all of yourself into it and give it everything you have.
More than anything else, I learned that it is of utmost importance to develop an obsessive-compulsive relationship with Command + S. Maya and the Adobe Suite are merciless in their tendencies for abrupt crashes, and do not take pity on the art student who does not neurotically save their work in five minute intervals (if not more frequently).
The most meaningful advice I've received during my time here was from my professors. It may have been the most painful to hear because of my immense passion for art and my unwieldy stubbornness, but it helped a lot. I was told that my art had "no spark" that made it really stand out above others, that I should try different things, go outside my comfort zone, but most importantly, be open to change what I’ve created, that no piece will ever be perfect. This helped push me to become a better artist.
During my time at UMass Dartmouth I learned how to work effectively in a team to create one cohesive project. Being able to share ideas with others to come up with a better end product was very beneficial.
One of the most important things I've learned in my time at UMass was from Ellen Lewis Watson, "there are no perfect curves," she said. This applied at the time to a figure drawing class, pointing out that the delicate and complicated shape of a shoulder or calf was (in my drawing) a "perfect curve," when in reality that doesn't exist. We tend to take shortcuts and oversimplify. If you stop being lazy and really start paying attention to what you're doing, you can create amazing work.
“Dr. Cheeseburger, are you here today?” -Prof. Scott Ahrens, calling out attendance. If there is anything that I have learned at UMD it’s this, life is too short not to enjoy every moment. Always be yourself and live life to the fullest, even if that means coming up with a fake alias on the first day of class that will follow you for the next 3 years of your college experience. If you are always true to yourself you will never be unhappy.
College is the place where you start to write your story. You have so many opportunities to learn, grow and mature. Its alright to screw things up a little while you're here, or else it would be a terrible plot. Your character is built from how you fix the parts you messed up. Do it right and make it fun. College is too expensive to do it twice.
Do what you love and love what you do. Thats really all that matters. CVPA students always got the brunt of jokes relating to how easy it was to be an art student, when in reality it wasnʼt an easy four years. Between the all nighters painting with gouache and the crits where our hearts were torn out most of us had to have questioned if this was the right path for us. Without a doubt it totally was worth it, Iʼm doing what I love... and if you love what you do, you never have to work a day in your life.
The best bit of knowledge I received while attending UMass Dartmouth was to do everything to catch the slippery idea of self-motivation. You can be taught technique's, learn the correct materials etc. but when working in a creative field unless you put yourself to work it is impossible to be successful.
I learned a very hard lesson throughout my years here. Sometimes, you have to be you and forget that you are standing in the middle of a crowd of other designers. Bend the rules and make it your own despite what other's may think. Don't lose yourself.
The most important lesson I've learned is that an artist should never be afraid to try new things.
My name is Bing Lin, which literally means ìiceî and ìforestî in Chinese. This name exudes an air of harmony, a concept that also informs my artistic practices. During my undergraduate education, I chose digital media as my major area of study. I have gained knowledge of strengths and weaknesses of various types of digital media and technologies via hands-on experimentation and studio classes. These skills and practices enable me to seek a way of combining all the diverse media and embrace new technology. Additionally, the most important skill I have gained is to see, evaluate and create harmony.
One of the best advices I have ever been told was you always have a reason for everything you do. Now this can be said about many things but in the context it was said in was design. It was sophomore year in Jan’s class, when she asked why did I use a certain font, when I said I don’t know, she responded with always have a reason for everything you do, never just do it. So there you go kids, that’s one of the many great lessons I learned here. Never ever do anything without having a reason behind it, because you don’t want to be the idiot who says I don’t know.
By time it came to choose out of nine schools where I would be attending college, I had a feeling in my gut it would be UMass Dartmouth. After four years I’m glad I went with my gut because the sense of community here especially in the school of Visual and Performing Arts was more then I could ask for. Everyone one inside and out of my classes were friendly, helpful and most of all very supportive for one another. “Design is not just the way it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” -Steve Jobs. I was lucky enough to have some of the best teachers to help me challenge myself, create a strong porfolio and prepare me for the real world. My advice for all the underclassmen is to enjoy your time here and meet as many people as you can because time does really fly by.
One of the more predominant life lessons I learned during my time amidst CVPA was the importance of advocating myself. Early within my college career I had this mind-state that opportunity will find me, not realizing this ideology is wrong by all measures. If I want to build a successful career, I have to take into my own hands of building a name for myself. As I begin my career, it is imperative that I continue to engage in each and every opportunity presented to me because if I don't, I will never see the top of the staircase.
Over the five years I have been in college studying Graphic Design, there has always been one thing that really stuck out to me. That one thing is this, “Don’t be nervous to put in your heart.” Some of the best designs became that way due to the pure emotion behind it. There is a time and place for this to happen, but when the moment arrives, don’t give it any less than one hundred percent of who you are. Love your work and it will live.
As a student I have spent countless hours researching, uncovering, and exploring the many facets of graphic design. I am constantly thinking about all of the ways in which we communicate, and how technology changes these communications. As a designer my goal is to visually communicate smartly crafted ideas, in effective ways, by using a variety of media both traditional and new. All of my design projects start with extensive research of any and all related topics. The best design solutions are informed by this research. Graphic design is a life long learning process. A process that I am excited to be part of.
One of the most important things I have learned is to always be yourself. Always do what you makes you happy. Don't live your life how someone wants you to live it. Be an original, because at the end of the day your happiness is everything.
No matter how hard it seems always go with your heart to do what you want to do and not what others tell you to do.
Always seek criticism, but never compare yourself to others. Carve your own path, and don’t be afraid to fail.
At UMass Dartmouth, I’ve learned that no project is ever finished after the first attempt. Art is a process. It involves trying multiple avenues, getting feedback, and revision. In fact, those last two steps could repeat more than once! Never get discouraged if you’re stuck or can’t seem to get it right. Keep at it. Practice makes perfect, and lots of exploration makes for a great process book!
I've learned how to express myself through images and text. Although a picture is worth a thousand words, my photos are scenes of my childhood and adolescence that I have chosen to return to as an adult. I photograph the places empty and pair them with written recollections of my memories in that place, in hopes that my words will fill the void within the photograph. My fear is that these places will change even further than they already have and that my memories will fade or be forgotten.
The most meaningful lesson I’ve learned at UMD is to continue to push myself and get out of your comfort zone. I’m always striving to be the best artist I can be, and by pushing my limits I feel my work has grown beyond anything I could’ve imagined. Umass has taken a pencil and paper artist and turned him into a digital designer, painter, and sculptor.
One of the most important things I have learned is to get away from the computer. Draw, sketch, paint, take photos, or use your hands. Let other things influence your art. Being a graphic designer, it is easy to go straight to the computer and start designing but it is also important to get your ideas down on paper and sketch first..
I constantly question myself and my work. I don’t ever think that what I’ve made is perfect. Studying here has made me realize that feeling as if your design is never finished is okay, there is always room for improvement. Critiquing with my peers has helped me realize I will be able to walk out of here a strong designer. If you have the confidence to take risks and push yourself further, no one can stop you. When you start to question yourself just remember, you’re probably more qualified than everyone else.
I think the most important lesson I learned was that you gain what you give. Putting in extra effort on a project was the best way to truly learn anything. Taking my time gave me a more satisfactory result. Becoming involved and actually talking to other people only made me feel more connected. Observing and understanding the world of art made me better as an artist. Overall, the key was caring enough to try.
The most meaningful lesson I learned while in CVPA is WWJD. What Would Jan Do? It is the thought that is constantly in my head while I am designing.
During my time at UMD, I have learned that one of the most important qualities an artist needs is to be motivated and dedicated to learning both in and out of the classroom You cannot rely on talent alone and a good artist is always learning and growing. The advice that continues to help me in my career is to always present yourself as an artist rather than a student. If you take yourself and your work seriously, other people will follow suit and you will find the kind of opportunities that will be worthwhile to you.
Being a student at Umass Dartmouth has taught me what it takes to be a designer—passion, creativity, and most of all, hard work. My four years here have shaped me into who I am today as a designer, and as a person. The most important thing I have ever learned is that less is more. I really believe in this, and it is reflected in my work. These past four years are only the beginning of finding my place in the design world, and I am excited to see where my work takes me and what the future has to hold.
Although critique's can be long and boring, you do get valuable information about your work. Once you graduate you kind of lose being surrounded by smart and creative people so I've learned to not take feedback for granted. Also, I've learned to get out of your bubble! Don't be a recluse! It's so important to be social, life is short and boring if you just stay at home alone!
Deadlines and self-doubt are the most deadly threats you will face as an artist. Don't try to fight them both at once.
“Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.” Aristotle The most important thing I learned since coming to UMass Dartmouth is that you don’t have to settle for anything. If you set your mind on something and later realize that that’s not really what you wanted you can follow a different path. Explore all your possibilities until you find your passion, and if you still haven’t found it, don’t despair, just keep searching.
Before going to Umass Dartmouth, I went to a community college to try out Graphic Design as my major and I felt after leaving that I still have barely scratched the surface of design. After going to classes at Umass Dartmouth, I learned that my teachings in the community college guided me to an amazing major and career choice. I learned every day new things about design because of the passionate and knowledgable teachers there.
From the impact of typography to the necessity of simplicity and balance, I have learned a lot about how design not only appears to its audience but how it communicates. Design is appearance, functionality and effectiveness, not matter what the medium or what the project is. Out of all of the lessons I have learned from both my classmates and professors, do not get hung up on small details. Start big and work your way down from there and always pay attention to the smaller details once you get there.
Over the past few years in the design program my progressive and heartfelt professors have helped me shape myself and my style. The faculty, in my opinion, has been a large part of a lot of the products that have come out of UMD. By them, I have always been taught to follow my ideas, and that if I dream it, it can be made possible. The contagious energy from my fellow colleagues as well is something I would advice anyone to always take in. Absorb all of the information that you can, make it all worth while.
I can’t tell you what I learned from school, but I could tell you a story or two. Um yeah of course I learned some rules like don’t use Comic Sans or Papyrus. Don’t use Illustrator when you should be using InDesign, and an m/n-dash is not a minus sign. Critiques always take wicked long, and check over your kerning to make sure it isn’t wrong. Salmon and khaki pants are always in season. Don’t eat homemade gluten free hummus for any reason. My four years at UMass Dartmouth were awfully crazy I wish we taped it. Stay Classy UMD
Take charge of your education and you will get the most out of it. Speak up during critiques, talk to the professors after class, look into studying abroad (it's not as expensive as you think!!). When you become an active participant in what you're learning, you'll find the knowledge you gain truly valuable. Also, get some sleep.
Practice, practice, practice, practice makes perfect. In fact you should never ever stop drawing, never, ever. Draw, sketch,and doodle whenever possible, and have a sketchbook on hand all the times. Always do research, whether it's using yourself as a model or looking up images on the internet or even taking your own pictures, you always need an accurate reference. And have fun, if you are not enjoying your art, change what you are doing.