Nicola Veniamin (Class of 2025)

Name: Nicola Veniamin

Blogger Role: Animation

Major: Illustration

Minor(s): Animation

I chose Marywood because it is an affordable school with a quality art program. The small class sizes here are also great because I truly feel like I am getting the most out of the professors. Initially, I wanted to go to a world-renowned fancy art college for animation, but I couldn’t due to financial restrictions (and skill restrictions…). In the end, it worked out best this way—I would have been unhappy at such a school. Plus, Marywood’s campus is lovely to walk around, and I live only twenty minutes away.

I am majoring in Art because I’ve wanted to work in the animation industry since I was little. One of the qualities of animation that makes it so interesting to me is that it’s like the animator is acting through the character’s movements, in the minute details. Majoring in Illustration is an opportunity for me to try many different types of art. I am dipping my toes into the many possibilities, since I’m not sure if animation is right for me anymore. I am minoring in animation, and I am thrilled about it. Art is not my only passion, but it’s certainly the one I’ve spent the most time with; it’s one of the things I always return to, no matter how long I leave it alone.

When I’m not in class, I am cycling through my hobbies indefinitely. I love keeping a sketchbook, reading, and learning new skills—essentially, trying to find new ways of recharging my creative battery. I’ve recently added guitar and skateboarding to my collection of hobbies. That was the idealistic answer. If you’ve read this far, you get the real answer: when I’m not in class, I’m doing homework. I lose energy for making art very quickly during the semester, and I’ve always had trouble with time management, so as a result I don’t do much outside of classwork.

So far, my favorite art class at Marywood is a toss up between Digital Illustration, Figure Drawing, and Intro to Astronomy. I have difficulty picking a favorite because I’ve enjoyed the vast majority of my classes to this point. Digital Illustration with Kevin O’Neill was right up my alley since every project (with one exception) tied into the greater project, which was to create a story using the medium of your choice. The course challenged me to both make my workflow more efficient and to get more comfortable sharing my ideas with people. I loved Figure Drawing with Collier B. Parker because the human figure is one of my favorite things to draw, and I liked the occasional art history lesson that came with it. Intro to Astronomy with Dr. Craig Johnson was out of my comfort zone. However, I love space, and I am grateful that I got to take such an interesting class—it was a welcome break from art classes.

The coolest thing I’ve done at Marywood so far was become a blogger for Where Creativity Works! I tend to keep to myself, so I haven’t really branched out into extracurricular activities until now. I’m excited to share my thoughts and projects through blogging, and I believe this will be a positive (if challenging) learning experience for me, as someone who would rather walk into the ocean than raise their hand in class.

When I graduate I want to work in the animation industry or in some related field. I don’t have a clear picture of the future yet, but I’m not too worried about it. Over the last few years, I’ve learned to accept what is chucked at me and make the best of it. For all I know I could be a marine biologist in fifteen or twenty years.

I’d recommend the Art program at Marywood because of the intimate class sizes, which allow students to get hands-on teaching from their professors. I have enjoyed, or at least appreciated the value of, every single art class I’ve taken so far, and I believe the foundation art courses were especially crucial to my development. It would be easy to write them off as annoying requirements, but they are seriously great learning experiences if you allow them to be. It’s wonderful to be surrounded by such a variety of artistic styles and talents at Marywood, and there is a great opportunity here to branch out from your comfort zone and try something new.

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