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News . Feature Stories . Continuing to grow: Q + A with Animation major Melvin Thomas

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September 09, 2014

Continuing to grow: Q + A with Animation major Melvin Thomas

What's your earliest memory of making art?

My earliest memory of drawing is in elementary school. I think I always drew figures as a kid. I remember drawing in kindergarten.

Did you take a lot of art classes in high school?

I went to the Cleveland School of the Arts for middle school and then I took a lot of art classes in high school. I’m thankful for the teacher I had there because she kind of pushed us to do work. Because of her and the work she made us do, I had a good enough portfolio to apply to this school. In fact she’s the first person to talk to me about CIA.

Why did you choose to attend an art + design college?

I could draw and my parents said I should go to college. I’m thankful for that. I did care about what my parents thought, so I came to school, and I’m glad that they pushed me to go because I’ve learned a lot. I think I’ve matured from being in this environment.

What made you choose your major?

I didn’t know anything about animation when I came to this school. It was more like, I like cartoons and I like playing videos games so those were the two majors I explored (Animation and Game Design). Once I was in Game Design for a semester, I realized that wasn’t something for me and I stuck with Animation.

Is having your own studio important to your education? And how about interaction with classmates, is that important to your education?

I think they’re both important because you need a computer and you need to have access to your own space whenever you need to work. Interacting with classmates is always good. I think that’s important because you can bounce ideas off each other and just have a good time too. And I enjoy looking at other classmates’ work; it provides inspiration. Critiques are good too. You get feedback.

How are your relationships with CIA faculty different than your relationships with your high school teachers?

I didn’t really have a lot of relationships with faculty in high school, except for my art teacher, she was pretty cool. Faculty members here are more engaging. It seems like they really want you to succeed and learn.

What one thing about the CIA experience surprised you the most?

I think the thing that surprised me the most was myself, the way I view things. We continue to grow. I believe everyone should continue to grow. It’s a big change from what I was used to.

What would you say to a high school student considering attending CIA?

If you don’t know what you want to major in, that’s cool; I didn’t know what I wanted either. You’ll have lots of choices. You’ll be in good hands and it’s a nice community. We can bounce ideas off each other in critiques. But work hard because you don’t want to have any regrets when you leave. When I graduate, I know I won’t have any regrets, because I’ve worked hard; I’ve done what I set out to do.

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Fueling up for today's final Pre-College classes and exhibition. Congrats to all the students who made such great work during your two weeks here! We'll see some of you next week when a new session begins. 🎉 https://t.co/5uP3tIQZxB

about 22 hours ago via Twitter

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