Associate of Arts
Photography classes weren’t offered at my high school. As I wrote about in this post, I kept my creative urges busy on Yearbook Staff. 🙂
So, when I started attending Southwestern Illinois College (SWIC) to work on my Associate of Arts, I was beyond excited for all of the new art opportunities. I signed up for Design, Drawing, and Photography classes!
The year was 2001, and my life was changed forever.
I purchased a film camera, learned the basics of shooting manually, and embraced the darkroom.
After all of those pencil drawings I had created in high school, black and white film didn’t feel very foreign to me.
When I started learning how to shoot and develop black and white film, I pushed my limits on contrast. I always wrote and drew with a heavy hand, and my drawings reflected that too. I loved the looked of nearly-black darks and bright whites, blowing them out most of the time.
I was learning to look at the world in black and white. I photographed our family pets, micro compositions from my surroundings, and some friends and family during small gatherings.
When I look at some of my hastily-made contact sheets from my first rolls of black and white film, I can see already see how I was starting to use elements of art and design and incorporating principles of design. 😀
While I was learning photography, I was also working at my very first job. A shelver at the O’Fallon Public Library.
While I was working there, a special exhibit was held that incorporated mannequins. Mannequins whose hands I discovered hanging out in a staff area behind the front desk.
I had fun photographing them around the library. 🙂
I even framed a few of them together and entered the piece into the SWIC Student Art Show. It was actually accepted and displayed in the brand new Schmidt Art Center!
After I became Assistant Editor to my Editor-in-Chief boyfriend (now husband Nick), I began photographing for SWIC’s school newspaper Eye of the Storm too.
We were Yearbook nerds in high school together and shared a joint love for journalism, so it was an easy fit.
The photojournalism I honed while working on the Eye of the Storm created a nice balance against the fine art photography of my classes. 🙂
After I received my Associate of Arts, I moved on to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville to work on my Bachelor of Fine Arts. But that’s a tale for another time!