When I started CalArts I thought I was just going to make a bunch of short films and graduate and work in the animation industry. I really give credit to CalArts for being this incubator of creativity that led me onto a different path to become the independent artist that I am today.
My favorite thing about my experience at CalArts was the cross-disciplinary collaborations I was part of. While I was here, I was in Experimental Animation, Integrated Media and I was taking classes in puppetry in the School of Theater. In these programs I started a collaboration with Theater Directing student Chi-wang Yang, as well as with my friend Anna Oxygen, who was in the Music department. The three of us started making multimedia performance pieces in our first year (eventually forming the performance group Cloud Eye Control).
My advice to incoming students is to make a body of work while you’re in school. I came out with four performance pieces that helped with getting into festivals, which led to residencies and commissions. I was able to become an artist right after graduation because I had completed work at CalArts.