We're excited to share the story of Isaac Kuhn who is a transfer student and a senior in our digital media department. Isaac is the perfect example of a student that knew PCA&D was going to be in their future but also knew that some time at a community college would come first. We talk to a lot of students like Isaac and are happy to help them choose courses at their current college to be sure they have a smooth and easy transfer that keeps them on track.
Isaac is from Carlisle, PA and graduated from Cumberland Valley High School. He then attended Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC) before transferring to PCA&D. We love that one of his biggest hurdles, right now, is deciding which direction his BFA will take him. That's a great problem to have.
When did you decide art was what you wanted to pursue?
IK: I knew I liked both art and science from a relatively young age, but I always assumed that I would end up with a job in the sciences. This was mainly because I didn’t think I could make a living with art. At the time my idea of “artists” was very much the starving artist stereotype. I thought you just made paintings and tried to get them in galleries so people might buy them. I know it’s odd because I saw advertisements, illustrations in books, and other commercial graphics all the time, but it never clicked that those were made by artists. My freshman year of high school the local Vo-Tech school came to give a presentation. It was here that I found out about their Advertising Art & Design program. Of course I signed up and ever since I knew that I wanted to work in the commercial arts field.
How did you find out about PCA&D?
IK: I found out about PCA&D when one of their Admissions Counselors came to my high school to give a presentation. This was also about the time that PCA&D was unveiling its Digital Media major.
What made you decide to transfer to PCA&D?
IK: I knew I wanted to attend PCA&D before I began attending HACC. However, there were a couple reasons why I liked PCA&D. The Digital Media program. While other schools I looked at had some digital art related classes as options in their various art degree programs, none of them anything so closely dedicated to what I wanted to study (such as 3D CGI) as PCA&D. I was also very excited about PCAD’s digital design space. In this studio there is a sound recording room, a green screen room, and around twenty computers all with a Wacom Cintiq setup.
What was the easiest thing about transferring to PCA&D?
IK: Figuring out what classes I should take while at HACC in order to avoid classes that wouldn’t transfer was really easy and stress-free. I had attended an open house at PCA&D and was able to speak with admissions and Jessica Edonick, the Dean of Student Services. They helped me to plan out which courses I would need to take in order to cover the required Foundation Year curriculum offered at PCA&D and pick out other classes that would ultimately transfer.
What was the hardest thing about transferring to a new college?
IK: Honestly, it wasn’t really that difficult for me. This is partly because I made sure to get everything lined up ahead of time, had taken all the classes I needed, knew that everything would transfer, and was prepared for the transfer. I was however, finding myself being frequently turned around and momentarily lost within PCA&D’s hallways the first few weeks I was there. I eventually figured out the school’s layout.
What tips would you share with other students thinking about transferring to PCA&D?
IK: Definitely get in contact with the staff at PCA&D and they will help make the process of transferring much easier. I also found it very helpful to plan out which classes I need to take and other classes in which I had interest. I didn’t want to end up taking a bunch of classes that wouldn’t transfer.
What has been one of your favorite things about attending PCA&D?
IK: One of my favorite things about the college is all of the wonderful clubs and student organizations. Especially the professional clubs such as SIGGRAPH, LUX, AIGA, and the Society of Illustrators. These are student branches of larger organizations dedicated to those who work in the arts. My personal favorite is of course SIGGRAPH (since I’m a Digital Media major). These clubs are often led by upperclassmen of the majors related to the club and consequently are a great way to continue learning new things outside the classroom as well as being social. And since they are part of larger organizations, many of these clubs participate in special events and activities. The biggest for SIGGRAPH is the annual conference which the PCA&D chapter has been actively sending student volunteers to for several years.
How easy or hard was it to make new friends at PCA&D?
IK: It was relatively easy, especially considering that I’m not really a very social person to begin with. PCA&D has a small and close knit community, and there are a lot of really nice and outgoing people here.
How was your experience transitioning into life in Lancaster City?
IK: Moving to Lancaster has been a nice experience. It’s a great little city, very easy to get around (anything within the city is pretty much within walking distance), downtown can be lively but there are also some quite sections of town (like where my apartment is located). I really like the variety of architecture held within the city. During my first semester at PCA&D I had a digital imaging class so I often found myself just wandering around the city with a camera in hand looking for good locations for whatever photos I needed to take that week.
Tell us about your PCA&D faculty:
IK: All my professors have been very friendly and approachable. They are always willing to help out with any problems that arise, which is great cause I know I’ve run into my fair share of technical problems. And while you may only have class with them once a week, they check their emails regularly so it’s always easy to get in contact them outside of class. Which is, again, fantastic for when those unpredictable technical problems occur.
What are some of your goals once you graduate from PCA&D with your BFA degree?
IK: After I graduate, I plan to work on some personal projects (which will help polish up my portfolio), and then start applying for jobs. However, at the moment I’m still not sure what I want to do more, character animation, motion graphics, or photo retouching. So I may end up just making three different portfolios until I figure it out.
We're so grateful to Isaac for sharing his transfer story. Let's take a look at some of his work.