The biggest problem I’ve found when it comes to academia, is creating something that is meaningful to myself. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that art and deadlines are not exclusive to institutions, and making projects unique and full of life (as opposed to satisfactory) can be difficult to achieve knowing there’s a deadline. It’s hard for me to remember that what I do in school is important foundationally for when I enter the professional world. When I don’t give a project my all, I think it’s noticeable, even if it’s a good project. Something will be off about it, whether it seems rushed or it’s missing something that could make it even better.

In the same breath, though, I’d say that my strengths are my creativity. When I truly care about something I’m doing, a piece of me will be put into the work (a flag of Lithuania, a picture of my family, etc.) I’m a creative person, and when I’ve fully immersed in something, the results feel genuine and authentic.

Working with Tim Kennedy in the classroom had made me appreciate spur-of-the-moment art and photography, giving an important meaning to everyday things and life events (like street art, family life, etc.) Working with McAlister has allowed me to be more elusive with my work, by letting my work speak for itself rather than explaining every aspect of it. Being more critical of myself and accepting others’ critiques has helped me with criticism and grow. Echeverry has actually inspired me that if you put the energy out into the world that you CAN and WILL, that you can and will achieve great things. Ryan McIlvain, even though a teacher in the English department, has helped me realize how useful others’ opinions are; if somebody doesn’t understand what you’re getting at, then you need to adjust your approach. I think being in a university is the gentlest introduction to “negative” reviews, and it’s helpful.

After I graduate, I will intern for a cool company like National Geographic or Disney, and I will move up the ranks towards editing my own videos, writing scripts, and producing eventually.