This is Brian Fenstermacher, senior Graphic Design student. Brian is from Allentown, PA, graduated from Parkland High School, and had attended Lehigh Carbon Community College (LCCC) and Northampton Community College as an undecided major before joining our PCA&D art family. We asked Brian some questions about his transfer student journey to PCA&D.
When did you decide art was what you wanted to pursue in college?
BF: I constantly changed my mind about what I wanted to do in college/for the rest of my life. Ultimately I found that regardless of the place I was at in my life, I was always interested in some form of art whether that was illustration or photography, videography, etc. When I finally came to that realization, I started looking into what major I could choose that would allow me to continue doing such things and graphic design was the one.
How did you find out about PCA&D?
BF: I looked at a lot of schools in and around Pennsylvania, but finding PCA&D came from just a random advertisement on the side of my browser window. I had never heard of it before and started looking into it after that.
What made you decide to transfer to PCA&D?
BF: I found a lot of positive reviews from alumni. Additionally, it was close enough to my hometown and the artistic scene in Lancaster was a lot more established than I had originally thought.
What was the hardest thing about transferring to a new college?
BF: Moving away from home. I had always been quite the home-body so picking up and leaving (even if it was only an hour and a half away) was pretty difficult. I also came to PCA&D very soon after something had happened within my family and because of that, I separated myself from making a bunch of friends in my first year. That being said, the students were really open and inviting and I think that really helped me to work through some things that were happening in my personal life.
What was the easiest thing about transferring to PCA&D?
BF: Though I came here knowing nobody, I quickly found out that the social environment around the city was unlike most others I had ever been to. It didn’t take long to meet people in cafes and shops around the city that I was able to befriend.
What has been one of your favorite things about attending PCA&D?
BF: In the graphic design department, we have had a number of projects where we worked directly with real clients. I think this is my favorite part because it taught me how to act around professionals and how clients can add a whole new element to working on a project.
How was your experience transitioning into your life in Lancaster City? What are some of your favorite things about Lancaster?
BF: Transitioning into life in Lancaster City was fairly smooth. I came from a pretty suburban area so the whole urban city thing was a bit different for a while but I soon came to really enjoy it. I love the cafes and the people in Lancaster. The people are so diverse and most of them are really interested in helping each other out.
Tell us about your PCA&D faculty.
BF: The graphic design faculty is a really great group. Graphic Design Chair, Pam Barby, is extremely supportive of everyone and gives really genuine and thorough feedback on all of our projects. I can honestly say that I haven't had a bad professor as they are all really passionate about whatever it is that they are teaching.
What tips would you share with other students thinking about transferring to PCA&D?
BF: Go for it and use Lancaster to your advantage. The school gives students a fantastic platform to go into the city and really find some meaningful work and people who are so supportive of what we do as artists. It’s difficult to make that change, especially once you have already situated yourself into a school but if you’re passionate about art/becoming an artist, moving to Lancaster and attending this school is so beneficial.
We asked Brian if we could share some of his artwork with you as well. Let's take a look.