One thing that I have really embraced since the beginning of the CAF program is being comfortable outside of my comfort zone. My fellow cohorts and I are different in our artistic mediums, approaches, and purposes, which is a relatively new experience for me. I think anytime we step out of our comfort zone we can learn more about ourselves and be inspired by those around us, which in turn aids our growth as artists and can help fuel our creative work. More specifically, the interdisciplinary collaboration that this program promotes can expand one’s perspective beyond their own experiences. This includes personal, diverse stories but also the ways in which we express ourselves creatively. Hearing about the range of artistic practices that are present within my cohort has helped inspire my research to span more areas. To add to this, learning about and seeing what others are passionate about seems to have the ability to ignite our own excitement – being surrounded by other artists and academics helps keep me rooted in my purpose and passionate about my future.
Perhaps the largest obstacle I have uncovered during the past few months in the CAF program has been the differences in knowledge bases amongst the cohort. As we all come from relatively varied creative and academic backgrounds, learning and discussing our research is slightly different from the experiences I have had within the same major or artistic field. Speaking for myself, I definitely was not sure how to approach discussing my research at first – I didn’t want to give too little/too much information that could confuse my peers. There was a learning curve with this for me, but I believe it will be entirely useful for future projects. Most professional settings are filled with people from all different backgrounds and learning how to make your work accessible and understandable for others is incredibly important.
The Creative Arts Fellowship has brought together six students from diverse backgrounds, which has helped inspire me to discover new hobbies, interests, and skills beyond what I have studied thus far. While some skills may be more accessible than others, it is nevertheless enjoyable to explore the wide range of creative outlets at one’s disposal. One example that I am very eager to pursue in the near future is photography, which holds both personal and professional value. I have always been interested in photography and had a (very secret and very embarrassing!) Instagram account for it back in 7th grade but would love to explore it in a more in-depth and purposeful manner. It is a skill that can be taken anywhere and adapted to meet a plethora of different needs. Beyond that, photography can bring about a better understanding of composition and lighting that would inherently aid my work within the realm of film. Gathering visual inspiration within the world around us is a common initial step for many designers, as it can root the world of the film in the known reality. I’m hoping to one day find the time and patience to diversify my skills and foster a new view of the world around me!