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News . Feature Stories . At Pre-College, she found a start-where-you-are approach to learning


December 17, 2019

At Pre-College, she found a start-where-you-are approach to learning

Isabela is from Pittsburgh. She attended Pre-College to work on her foundational drawing skills. The faculty helped students focus on making strides based on their own skills and goals rather than comparing them to each other.

Isabela, interviewee

Learn more about and apply to CIA's Pre-College program here. The deadline for the summer 2020 program is April 15.

How is your Pre-College experience compared to what you expected?
I came into this program not really knowing what to expect. I don't really have that much of a background in the fine arts. And I was so blown away from the first moment that I got here. I was so excited. The teachers are really, really helpful. I think one of the coolest parts is they really want you to work on improving yourself. So it's not necessarily comparing you to other people, or saying "Look, you should be more like this" It's, "How can we make you your best self, and how can we show that through your work?"

What's the vibe like?
With a bunch of high school students here, I was kind of expecting it to be more cliquey. So one group over here, one group over here, and there's not really much intermingling. But it's been really nice seeing how everyone is so welcoming and lets anyone hang out with anyone. So there are little groups, like the animation kids, and then the illustration people. But then they also work together. And they're like, "Look what I did today. Check out this cool project." And it's a really nice community.

Had you ever been to Cleveland or seen the area?
This is my second time in Cleveland. I came once for a few hours to see Hamilton. But I've never stayed here for an extended period of time. This place is awesome. I was like, oh, it's Ohio. Like, what is there in Ohio? There's cornfields. There's farmers. But I was completely shocked when I saw the street of all kinds of shopping places and restaurants and all kinds of cool, funky people, by the hospitals. It's a really lively area and I like that.

Have you had a chance to go to the museums?
I went to the Museum of Contemporary Art and I had the coolest experience. I got to meet one of the installation artists and talk with him about his work because he just happened to be walking through the building that day.

Do you think your class work will help with your portfolio?
For sure. Before, my portfolio was basically non-existent. I really just focused on photography. But I've been able to do a lot of different types of drawings and really—because I'm in the foundations in drawing class—show my skill set in kind of the basics of all mediums of art.

Who would you recommend Pre-College to?
I would highly recommend this program to anyone who is willing to put in the work. It is really intense. But it's really rewarding if you really put your whole being into it. If you are the kind of person who likes to take lots of naps, and kind of just chill out, and not really focus, then it's going to be a little bit difficult. But for anyone who is really motivated to improve themselves and improve their art skills, I would highly recommend this program.

Learn more about and apply to CIA's Pre-College program here. The deadline for the summer 2020 program is April 15.

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