It's all a matter of perspective

After going to school at SCAD for almost 4 years, the thing that still surprises me the most is how my view of the world changes with every class that I take. It's shocking to me not only how much information we are able to learn in 10 weeks, but also how much those 10 weeks get to change our perspective about all of the things we see around us.

The first time that this realization hit me was after being at SCAD for a quarter. As I went back home I started to see that every single thing that surrounded me had to be designed by someone. If I saw a product, it would have been done my an industrial designer; clothes, by a fashion designer; channel identities, by motion media designers; every single aspect of life had been designed by someone. It was fun to see now that I had entered to this world where we can be responsible for making things that people use in they daily life, even if they are not aware that a designer was involved in its creation.

Now in my fourth year, as classes get deeper and more specific the change in perspective grows even bigger after every quarter. By taking costume design classes now I don't see any item of clothing as ugly or useless, now every piece has its use in a story. A shirt that I used to think no one should wear has now become the perfect costume for a character in a play. Every item of clothing tells a story now, it reflects the truth behind the character that wears it. I became aware of how much story telling could be done by small details such as the texture of a fabric or the material of a button. Every decision that comes into a piece of clothing has a story behind it, and this story is what helps the character become more layered and helps the actor dig deeper into the role.

Set design class taught me once again that the story is in the details. I learned about the extreme power of suggestion and how it was possible to take an audience to a different location by using the bare minimal aspects of it. Ever since, as I walk around the city or watch a movie, I think about how many items would it really take on stage to communicate the idea of a location. By learning this I started to understand that a car can be set on stage by simply having an actor sit with a wheel and his arm resting in the position that he would in a car are enough to transport the audience. All of this is possible of course by the beautiful thing we call the willing suspension of disbelief.

My two final discoveries have happened this quarter by taking Lighting I, Scenic Painting and Scenographic Model-Making. After studying how different light hits the skin and the different emotions light carries with it I've, once again, realized the huge storytelling potential that lighting has. Now whenever I see a light or a scene I wonder: how could I recreate this look onstage?, what gel should I use to get the skin to look that way?, how does power look as light?. With Scenic Painting textures around me have come to life and my need to recreate them has only grown stronger. Any texture that I see now it a combination of base coat, washes, sponges, rollers, brushes; every single tool to try to bring those beautiful textures that I see into my designs onstage. Finally, with Scenographic Model-making I've started to see the plurality of uses that every object has. By looking at things in real life I start to think how they can be translated into 1/2" inch scale or 1/4" inch scale. Now a lamp is a toothbrush cap with dowel base, a chandelier is an ornate earring, lace has become masonry.

With one more year to go I can't wait to see where my next classes will take me. I'm excited about what is there next to learn and what new doors of perspective will be open to me. So with this I finish with an invitation for everyone to stay open and curious. Never assume that you know everything that there is to know about, because by staying open we welcome the glorious surprises that come with having a new set of eyes in a world we thought we knew.


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