I’m going back to school! With just that simple line I found myself enrolled at Bucks County Community College this past spring. Shout out to the world’s most supportive husband!
Each year during the fall my business gets put through the ringer and it becomes clear what areas need improvement. The past few years have been spent working out the process. At the end of Fall 2014 I felt great about my skills and the process. I liked the art I was creating but was yearning to expand my artistic talents further. At the beginning of every year I set education goals for myself which usually consist of new photography tricks that I want to learn then I find some workshop to go to. Honestly I am at the point in my career where it is hard to find workshops that cover things I don’t already know. And these workshops get pricey. I seek to learn things that will truly make me expand as an artist and business owner. A lot of photography workshops are geared at beginners and honestly in the beginning that was awesome but now I want more. In 2015 I decided to become a certified professional photographer I wanted to be versed on all things photography and know every “term” my industry had to offer. Certification is based on a tested knowledge base and portfolio review. Professional Photographers of America (which I am a loyal member) offers a certificate program but once I saw that Bucks also had a program – I chose university learning.
My degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania is in marketing and if you know me well, I loved college. Not just the partying (although that was great too) I really loved the classes. College classes help your mind expand in ways you never thought possible. I took a couple of summer classes at Bucks during my undergrad and once I stepped foot on Bucks Newtown Campus again – it felt like home. I was a college student again, complete with new notebooks, textbook I didn’t use and a alma mater hoodie! Seriously you can’t attend any school without a branded piece of their clothing.
In spring semester I took two classes, Photography II and Digital Drawing. I was honestly blown away with the art department at Bucks, the professors and all of the friends I made. Turns out there are quite a few of photography lovers that hang out at Bucks, taking classes to enhance their skills and talking photography all day long. I found my people! Bucks County Community College waived a lot of the classes in the requirements for the certificate program and I only need 8 total however now that I have seen what they offer (and honestly don’t really need a fancy certificate) I am just going to take all the classes in the art department that pull at my heart strings.
This project was for my Digital Drawing class. I have always wanted to illustrate my own children’s book so when I read the description on this class I was sold. The first day, the professor told us our seminar long project was to come up with a narrative and illustrate it – BOOM I knew I was exactly where I belonged. First idea I had was Alice in Wonderland. My idea for kids’ book has always included photographing the illustration and then adding hand drawn elements in Photoshop. Come to find out – it’s not really a new idea. After a semester of learning about illustration my mind has been completely opened, there are literally 1000’s of ways to illustrate anything! My new favorite children’s book writer and illustrator is Mo Willems. His book Knuffle Bunny Free was the inspiration for this art project. He took images of the NYC then drew in his characters. I am not too good at drawing people or characters so I decided to do the opposite. I first photographed my characters (which are my good pals and did an AMAZING job), then took the photos to different locations and found backgrounds to fit the kids into. Using Photoshop I merged the kids with the backgrounds then used different paint brushes and photo editing techniques to create the whimsical elements. All in all I really like the way it turned out…so did my professor, I got an A on the project and an A for the semester!
With my AWESOME FALL SCHEDULE I won’t be taking any classes but I look forward to taking some in the spring.