Cleveland Institute of Art Top Questions

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?


Stop putting off your applications and giving your parents attitude, because even though they may be nagging and annoying you, they have a point: being aggressive and responsive about your education is crucial. You might think you're just going to be drawing and having fun doing what you love (which is true to a point) but you will be trained to work hard and effeciently, which is no joke. Make friends, be social and don't be afraid; everyone here is as weirded out as you are, so just express that, because the people you meet here will be long-lasting bonds and potential professional relationships. Don't sell yourself short: be aware of your skills and make sure othere of aware of them as well. Lastly and most importantly: your first few critiques are going to suck, but that's ok. Suck it up, because you need to learn to accept criticism with a grain of salt and push yourself to make your work phenomenal. It's better if people have something to say about your work than nothing at all.


Look both ways before crossing the road. I would tell myself this because there were so many opportunities surrounding me but i was completely unaware of them. Research should have been done to seek and understand these valuable opportunities such as post-secondary class while in highschool, immense amounts of available scholarships, and focus on what you know youre good at which is art. Art is something i was good at and also felt good about because it made me feel like i was in control. Coupling that talent with an industry of interest early on would have saved me three years of time focusing on an uninspired major. Art was not just something done to pass the time. It was a genetic gift passed from my father. After focusing my priorities in life, taking advantage of my gift and making it applicable to the current world is the best thing i can do for myself. By doing so, happiness is surely to follow.


Even though I'm only half way through the foundation year at The C.I.A., I have already discovered so much about myself in such a short amount of time. The foundations department here really focuses on building strength in areas that all students at the school will need to succeed, but the intimate and small classroom structure really helps each individual grow and improve in their own way. I for sure though I was going to apply to Biomedical Illustration, but through the elective classes that they make available to freshman and the projects that the foundations classes have, I've discovered new interests and passions. Now I love design, and making three-dimensional objects, when I hadn't had much experience with that before I started foundations here at The C.I.A. Also, the specificity of the majors at the school keep the individual surrounded by those who are also passionate about art, which is vital: a big part of visual art is the social experience, and without other people, you can't grasp that important part.