Caleb, Senior, Graphic Design

I was looking at East Coast schools, but the financial people weren’t really helpful. They were offering me scholarships, but they barely made a dent in tuition. At the end of the summer after high school, I was like, ‘I don’t know what I’m going to do. I might have to take a year off.’ Then I got a letter from Santa Fe, because a representative came to my high school in the middle of my senior year. I emailed her about the school, and was able to send in my portfolio. They gave me a great scholarship. I was like, ‘Okay, I need to go to school here.’

It’s been a rollercoaster of experience. When I got here, there was a senior class that just amazed me. They were extremely close-knit, and always hosting shows, exhibitions and workshops. They were creating a community for people who loved to make things. When I was able to experience that community, I was like, ‘This is exactly what I want. It makes me feel like
home.’ After they graduated, I didn’t want to see that go away. I just had some initiative and started some stuff up myself. I founded Alexis Collective, and once I was able to build the culture of it, it started to pick up. That’s important in the creative field also. It can be really demanding and exhausting to be a creative person. Having a community and a culture helps to put back inside you as much as you’re giving away.

At SFUAD, everybody is extremely successful and supportive, and wants you to succeed as much as they want to succeed. That’s especially true of the faculty. I feel like I got a one in a million education here. The faculty and professors here are amazing, and they all build off one another. They’re the most intelligent people I’ve met in my life. The education here teaches you how to be better at what you love to do. If you love what you’re doing and you have the disciplines and the craft down, and you learn how to learn. If you learn how to absorb inspiration and practices, and absorb the mindset of how to be a better artist, that’s a marketable skill in any creative industry. If you’re able to push yourself creatively, it puts you at the top of the pack.

Over this past summer, I rebranded an arts high school in Denver. I was able to get that job because the principal of the school offered it to my typography teacher. My teacher was too busy, and he said, ‘I think I have the student who would be perfect for this.’ It was kind of intense, because that’s an actual job. I was going out into the real world. My teacher told me, ‘You’ll do awesome.’ That’s the biggest job I’ve had, but my professors have also hooked me up with countless small jobs. Having other people treat you as a professional, even if you’re in school, is a really great feeling. It taught me a lesson: I’m a student, but I don’t have to confine myself to student work. I can present myself as a graphic designer. SFUAD gave me the skills, the ability and the responsibility.

Potential Elevated | Future Created

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