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September 12, 2015

Creating Things: Q+A with Illustration major Paige Tesmer

Creating Things: Q+A with Illustration major Paige Tesmer

1.) What's your earliest memory of making art?
My earliest memory of making art would be coloring and drawing with my mom. I always loved to draw people and she helped me write their names next to them.

2.) Did you take a lot of art classes in high school?
I didn't really take a lot of art classes in high school. My school, unfortunately, didn't offer that many, but it was always my favorite part of the day.

3.) Why did you choose to attend an art + design school?
I thought long and hard about what I wanted to do with my life. It was a tough decision to make at 17/18 years old. So I thought about what made me the happiest and I knew that things like math and science, while I was good at them, I had no love or passion for. I wanted to be creating things so I took the leap and decided I would just do anything it took to make it happen.

4.) What made you choose CIA?
I looked around at other art schools and CIA and I just kinda clicked. I loved the atmosphere and the surrounding area. CIA has its own little community here and having Case as our neighbor really affords some great opportunities. The other schools just didn't have that.

5.) What made you choose your major?
I came to CIA thinking that I was going to go into Graphic Design, but I hadn't made my mind up completely. I thought about what kind of job I would want after school and what skills I would need to succeed there. I figured that having skills in both illustration and graphic design would open more opportunities for me so I went with the major where I thought that I could do the most improving and that was illustration. I love to draw but I wasn't amazing and design seemed to come much easier to me so that is what I based my choice on, to kind of bring both sets of skills up to the same level. So I have a major in Illustration and an emphasis in Graphic Design.

6.) Is having your own studio important to your education?
It is nice having your own space away from home to get your work done. I do my best work when I'm surrounded by people and able to talk to them and get feedback on my work. So I would say that interaction is crucial to developing as an artist or a designer.

7.) How are your relationships with CIA faculty different than your relationships with your high school teachers?
The professors at CIA are great. They are the nicest people and so willing to go that extra mile to help you out. I guess that is what's different from high school. You can approach them with anything and actually have a conversation with them. And they are so talented, it’s like please let a little rub off on me!

8.) Tell us about your internship.
I had an internship at Pulsar Products, which is a company that designs and sources material for other companies related to scrapbooking and memory keeping as well as souvenirs. It was such a great experience! I got to design a kit that went into production and was on HSN among many things. That is what I loved about it, there was always a new project and it was always something different. CIA helped in a lot of ways. Of course Amy Goldman, the Career Center director, helped me to nail the interview and have a killer portfolio and resume.

9.) What one thing about the CIA experience surprised you the most?
The one thing that actually surprised me about CIA is how hard everyone works here. Coming to art school, or college in general, friends and family were like ‘Oh it's going to be easy,’ or ‘College kids are lazy,’ but none of that is true. Every single student and faculty member is a talented hardworking individual who creates great things.

10.) How do you like Cleveland?
I love Cleveland. I'm a native Clevelander through and through. I could just talk all day about all the great things happening in this city. I remember when I was little, coming into the city to go to Tower City or a game and it was just the coolest thing ever and now to be living in the center of it is just great!

11.) What would you say to a high school student considering attending CIA?
As cheesy as it sounds, I would say to follow your heart. If you think art or design is something you will love all your life take the plunge make it happen. CIA is such a great place for it.

Above: Paige Tesmer at her internship at Pulsar Products.

A premier college of art and design.
11610 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland OH 44106 USA
800.223.4700

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