Nicolas Ching

1. Tell us about your experience in our Digital Illustration classes!

Having a tight-knit community of artists like the one in the Digital Illustration classroom was both fun and interesting. The students are a great bunch of people, allowing for conversations that are insightful, entertaining, or what have you. Simply looking over to the work of the person next to me, and seeing it develop alongside mine, made it feel like we were soldiers who shared the hardships and have bonded over the experience (though, that's a slight exaggeration). Class critiques were also a favorite of mine since it allowed everyone to see work and ideas of their fellow peers. During that time, you'd receive valuable feedback from your instructor and classmates, who had fresh eyes to evaluate your work from all angles and notice things you didn't.The fact that the classroom is an environment meant for art-making also allowed us to focus on the project, with the occasional fun side tracks here and there.

2. Which class did you enjoy the most (from DI1 - 5), and why?

Out of the five, I'd say the Digital Illustration 3 class experience was my favorite. The content covered in it was fairly new to me, which always leads to a learning opportunity one way or another. In the same vein, the class required me to be adaptive to a new set of challenges and be efficient with tackling them, as I was handling multiple bite-sized illustrations at once. By doing so, I was taught what works in my process and what doesn't (which seemed to be more than what did work), which in and of itself is extremely valuable.

3. What is your favorite digital art piece that you made, and why?

Related to the previous question, my favorite piece was also done in the Digital Illustration 3 class. While not technically amazing, it's presentation was certainly different from what I was used to, so I learned a lot from it. The piece also involves something more than just a pretty picture: it aims to tell a story. I don't know how well I accomplished that, but having that (seemingly) simple goal in mind had driven the decisions behind each panel. Unlike my previous works, the story influenced my approach and ultimately the end result. If there's anything I would take away from the class, it would definitely be the importance of the story element in my artwork.

4. Can you tell us why you chose to learn digital illustration at NYSA? Tell us how the instructor has helped your development!

NYSA was an art school that was in our general area, and at the same time a Digital Illustration class was being offered there. Because I'd learned a decent bit of digital painting, I thought this would be a good opportunity to further my skill set. I, along with my parents, thought, "Why not give it a try?" and I don't believe I regret my decision. Already, you can tell just from walking through the doors that the place is meant for art. Artists enter and leave the building all the time for the resources NYSA has to offer, including the supplies and mentors. Meanwhile in the classroom, Ms. Tory, our Digital Illustration instructor, has been truly helpful to each of us, directing and providing input on how we can further improve our artwork, while also being encouraging and down-to-earth while she does. For me, Ms. Tory was able to accurately point out the issues she saw in my work and suggests a solution, idea, etc. In that way, it was like a mini-critique but in a more involved manner that could be immediately implemented in the piece. I was glad to have my instructor and peers along the journey; they contributed to not just my artistic development but the way I learn and grow as a person, as well.