KWC expands graphic design, animation programs | Community | Messenger-Inquirer.com – Messenger Inquirer | Candle Made Easy

The graphic design and animation programs at Kentucky Wesleyan College are expanding to offer more courses and beefing up some of the courses previously offered.

Heather Logsdon, chair of KWC’s Humanities Division, said she’s pleased the division is growing to offer courses for animation majors.

“We had animation classes within the graphic design program, but now there will be multiple classes dedicated to animation,” she said.

With plans to continue expanding the department, Logsdon said a lot of “great things” are about to happen.

“Right now the money is in graphic design, but the demand for animation is increasing because most studios have transitioned from traditional hand-drawn graphics to more digital designs,” she said.

KWC houses a Mac lab with more than 20 new 27-inch iMacs equipped with Adobe Creative Suite, Blendr and Mya programs and several 3D printers.

Shea Stanley, assistant professor of graphic design and KWC’s newest addition to the faculty, said the pull of the visual arts from outside the faculty is a draw for him.

“What surprised me when I first started teaching as an assistant at KWC was the number of non-art majors taking art classes,” he said. “This willingness on the part of students to step out of their comfort zone and take on the challenge of trying something different, in this case visual arts, can have a huge impact.”

A graphic designer and illustrator for over 25 years, Stanley said his biggest influence on the career path has been animation.

“As a kid, I was fascinated by classic Disney cartoons and Warner Brothers’ Looney Tunes,” he said. “I was fascinated by the process and that led to my love of drawing and later my obsession with art and the creative process.”

Logsdon, who took over as chair in 2019 after serving as an associate professor from 2010, said growing this program is something she’s been working on for years.

“When I started as a student assistant in 2010, graphic design was only offered for about a semester,” she says. “It was mainly traditional trainers who applied for the positions. I was a graphic designer and I always wanted to take the courses online.”

Stanley said he thinks KWC, and Logsdon in particular, has done a great job of creating and maintaining enthusiasm for the fine arts program.

“From my experience at other schools, there’s definitely a desire for more of this type of teaching,” he said. “Animation continues to grow as a medium for telling stories of all kinds. It’s not just a medium for children. There are many artists out there using the medium to tell complex, compelling and deeply personal stories.”

Logsdon said while her main goal is to expand the animation program, she has some smaller goals along the way. One of them will be offering a 3D modeling and printing course starting this fall.

“This program is great for 2D artists looking to expand into 3D,” she said. “I want to marry the two together and I think the students will love this course.”

Stanley said the addition of a new 3D printing and modeling class will only increase student readiness within the program.

“Animation as an art form has moved beyond the cynical notion that it was created just to ‘sell toys to kids,'” Stanley said. “Now we can offer our students the tools to tell their own stories at a professional level because we use industry-standard software in our courses. By adding a 3D modeling and printing course, we are introducing a rapidly evolving technology that opens up a whole new career path for artists.”

Logsdon said she hopes the new animation courses will be approved because she believes animation is something that appeals to everyone.

“Animation has a visual impact on an international audience,” she said. “Everyone young and old can enjoy it, from Pixar and Disney to commercials and website designs. It’s included.”

The courses would allow students to apply creative thinking while learning technical skills used in the industry.

“You’ll be working on hands-on projects right away in the first week,” Logsdon said. “We would take what’s usually in a book and do it all in a week and have fun doing it.”

Stanley said the department wants to continue to educate prospective and current students about the quality of the department and the educational experience that KWC offers.

“As we grow and expand the arts program, we plan to provide educational opportunities that few schools in the state and area offer,” he said. “Our graphic design program has won numerous awards. We also need to constantly rethink the idea of ​​’fine arts’ education at the university level and continue to integrate new, ever-evolving technologies into our program offerings.”

KWC’s graphic design program was recently recognized by Animation Career Review.

“Our program is rigorous and our graduates have high employment rates,” Logsdon said. “Graduates possess knowledge of industrial operations, business operations and effective customer communication.”

Stanley said the department wants to continue to educate prospective and current students about the quality of the department and the educational experience that KWC offers.

“As we grow and expand the arts program, we plan to provide educational opportunities that few schools in the state and area offer,” he said.

Stanley said he looks forward to the opportunity to give students a more up-to-date outlook on what a career in art can be like.

“There’s long been a stereotype that the only career an art degree leads to is that of a ‘starving artist,'” Stanley said. “That’s just not the case anymore. Just looking at the world around us, we are surrounded by art and design every day. Be it animation, video game design, filmmaking, fashion, web design and even grocery store food packaging design.”

Leave a Comment