Megan Phillips <3's Monty
“Animation students, along with Visual Effects, Motion Media, and Game Design students, are all well-acquainted with Montgomery Hall (or “Monty” as we all call it). We spend progressively more time here as we become upperclassmen, to the point that we really feel like we’re living here. Some grow to dislike Monty as a result, but I disagree. Every day, I feel like I love Monty more and more!
I came to SCAD from a small state university in Arizona, where the art department encompassed about ten classrooms. I found it a lonely, stifling sort of place. I wasn’t really learning. I wasn’t challenged. And I didn’t feel part of any kind of community. It was one of those art programs full of kids just wanting an easy path through college by just throwing paint or clay around. I didn’t feel a part of any of that. I didn’t feel like I was growing as an artist. I felt like I was wasting my time.
But that’s not the case here at SCAD. Monty, specifically, is such a symbol of learning and accomplishment for me. There is always an opportunity to learn something new, and not just from the classes I take here. I have learned a lot simply by sitting in an open lab next to a class in session, and listening to the professor. Or, I’ll listen to the students working around me, and maybe pick up tricks about working with Maya or Photoshop. Walking in and out of the stairwell of Monty, there are bulletin boards littered with posters, and I make a point, every day, of stopping and giving the boards a glance over. You never know what opportunities to learn might be lurking there – what student films might need help; what employers might be visiting; what workshop might teach a skill I’ll never be able to take a class about. Through that simple bulletin board, I have signed up to work on many projects, even before I knew much of anything about animation, solely so I could get some experience. Already, in my short time here, I have progressed so much as an artist and animator, thanks to Monty.
I also get so much accomplished here. I just feel sitting at a computer in Monty that I need to be getting something done – modeling in Maya for class, backgrounds or in-betweens for a senior film, checking emails, looking for internships. I don’t get that same feeling at home. Sitting at my computer at home only exudes a sense of “check facebook” and “watch youtube videos.”
Finally and most importantly, I am never lonely at Monty. This place really is a community, and I have built such a family with many of the other students here. And I’m constantly meeting and interacting people. Connecting and networking. Building friendships I hope to have the rest of my life. We collaborate on student films. We learn from one another. We give each other advice and critique each other’s work. We persevere through long working nights together, take classes together, recommend teachers to each other. It feels like we exist in our own safe little world here in Monty, where the world beyond only matters when we dream about what company we want to work for. I firmly think together, we can make it out there. But until then, why would I ever want to leave Monty?
…oh right. Sleep is important too, I guess. But really, I would rather be learning. ”
See samples of Megan’s work at http://vimeo.com/melimsah
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