Interview with an Art Student

A VoiceBox Ambassador shares her experiences and tips about attending an art university
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Created by VoiceBox

Published on Jul 2, 2024
paint brushes and paint covered palette
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Amy is a VoiceBox ambassador from the US. She is a talented artist currently attending the Savannah College of Art and Design. We sat down with her to chat about her experience so far and her tips for those aspiring to attend art school. You can check out her work published on VoiceBox here.

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Hey Amy, Thanks for agreeing to talk to us today! Can you start by telling us a little bit about yourself?

My name is Amy Foos, I am a 20 year-old art student going into my junior year at Savannah College of Art and Design. I am an illustration major with a focus on publication and animated illustration. 

How has your experience of going to an art school been so far?

So far, it’s been really good! I’ve managed to make a lot of friends who all share the same love for art, which is amazing. And since taking art classes I can see a huge improvement in my work. I feel like the way the courses are structured is beneficial for the way I learn. I don’t feel like I would get as much out of my classes if I went to a regular college. 

Amy at SCAD Beach
Amy at SCAD Beach

What influenced your decision to attend this particular art university?

There were multiple options for art schools I was looking into and this one fit my checklist the most. It’s close to home in comparison to the other schools I was looking at, it was cheaper than some of my other top schools, and the city itself (Savannah, Georgia) is absolutely beautiful. 

What sort of things did you have to do when applying for art school?

In my junior and senior years of high school, my main focus was building up a portfolio that I was proud of. Not all the schools I was looking at required a portfolio to apply, but some of them did, and having a portfolio helped me earn scholarships. I tried to show a variety in styles and mediums. I included things like studies of different environments, character designs, painting studies, and I even included drawings from my personal sketchbook that I liked. 

What is your primary medium or discipline, and why does it appeal to you?

Although recently I have been trying to get more into digital art, I am definitely more comfortable and confident with my ability with any traditional medium (painting, drawing etc). Growing up and creating art, I only had traditional supplies to work with, so I am a lot more familiar with how the traditional mediums work. However, I’ve been getting a lot more experience with digital than before and there has been a huge improvement with it. I’ve been getting comfortable with programs such as Photoshop, Clipstudio, and Procreate, which are all very important to know in the illustration field. 

Amy working on an art piece
Amy working on an art piece

Do you have a favourite artist/artists?

I have lots of favorites, but some off the top of my head would be Yashiro Nanaco, Tiffany Tan, Irene Martino and the creator sketches.of.shay. All of these artists have different styles, but have influenced either my process work or my personal style. I also enjoy seeing their work because they are all also in the illustration field, and it helps me envision jobs I may end up doing in the future. 

Tell me about your favourite project that you’ve worked on so far

So far all my favourite projects that I have done have been the ones that are directly related to my major. Stuff like creating a band poster, nursery rhyme illustration and an editorial piece for an article. I’ve had the most fun with them, and they help me practise for jobs I may have in the future. 

Set up for a still life art piece Amy was working on
Set up for a still life art piece Amy was working on

What has been the most challenging part of attending an art university?

So far for me it's being around other very talented people and comparing their work to mine. I found that the confidence in my work can dip from time to time when seeing other people’s work, but I try to think of it as motivation to keep getting better myself. 

How do you envision your career path after graduation?

It looks like I will start out with freelance illustration work until I get a good size professional portfolio, and then I will try to get hired by a company that needs illustrators. I also might end up illustrating books in the future if I get the opportunity to.

Do you have any advice for aspiring art students?

The best thing you can do for yourself is practice as much as possible and use that practice as a way to have fun with it instead of art feeling like a job. I find that if I practise every day and set little goals for my work then I feel a lot more confident and proud of the stuff I create. 

You can check out more of Amy's art here as well as follow her art Instagram account here.

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