Senior Zoe Dym attended the Pre-College program at California College of the Arts in Oakland from June 22-July 17.

Q: How did you find out about this camp?

A: There was this senior, Marisa Kindsvater, ’13, who was a senior when I was a freshman. She went to CCA. I found out about the Pre-College program online, so I decided to join.

Dym and her classmates created characters, a plot and a setting for a project based on storytelling in her illustration class. This piece Dym created was the poster for the story.

(Photo courtesy of Dym)
Dym and her classmates created characters, a plot and a setting for a project based on storytelling in her illustration class. This piece Dym created was the poster for the story.

Q: What courses did you attend?

A: There was a bunch of selections, and I chose the illustration and drawing classes. In the morning I would go to my illustration class for three hours, and then in the afternoon I would go to my drawing class for three hours.

Q: How many people attended the camp?

A: I think there was about 200 people total. There were 17 people in my drawing and illustration class.

Q: What was an average day like?

A: So I would wake up, get dressed and get ready in my dorm room. Then I would go to the school’s cafe to eat breakfast.

Then from 9 a.m. to noon, I had my illustration class. Then I had lunch at the cafe again.

Then from 1-4 p.m. I would go to drawing class, and then after classes were done, it was just complete free time. We could go to the city or wherever, but we just had to come back before the 10 p.m. curfew.

Q: Did you ever get tired of going to that same cafe?

A: No. They had a pretty wide selection of foods. They didn’t provide dinner though. There was a kitchen on each dorm floor, so we had to cook our own food for dinner or just eat cereal.

Q: Did you have homework?

A: We had homework every day. Wednesdays were called homework night, and studios would be open till nine. Everyone had a lot of homework to do on Wednesdays. (I had to) create three rough drafts for a CD album based off of an Aesop fable.

Dym's illustration teacher was the man who designed this cover of "Lord of the Flies."

(Photo courtesy of Dym)
Dym’s illustration teacher designed this cover of “Lord of the Flies.”

Q: What were your teachers like?

A: My illustration teacher was actually like a big person in the illustration world. He did the cover of “Lord of the Flies.” (His) name was Barron Storey. He even has his own Wikipedia page.

(My drawing teacher was a) small friendly Asian lady. (She gave) good advice while critiquing.

Q: What type of artwork did you do?

A: (There’s one that’s) a watercolor of a nude model that came into our drawing class. I finished early and got bored, so I made her look like an angel.

(I did) an acrylic piece for my illustration class. The project was based on storytelling. We created characters and a plot and a setting.

Q: Were you homesick?
A: No. My sophomore year I went to Japan for half a year so I wouldn’t get homesick for just four weeks.

Q: Where did you stay?

A: In a dorm on campus.

Q: Did you have any roommates?

A: I had one roommate. But we had a bathroom that we shared with two other girls. My actual roommate and I weren’t really close. I was closer with my bathroom roommates. One was from Turkey, and the other was from Costa Rica.

Q: What was your impression of the campus?

A: The Oakland campus didn’t seem like a typical college, but I loved it.

Q: Did you stay at CCA the whole time?

A: No. The school had a couple of events they took us to. We went to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk, and there were, like, five parades that I went to. One of the parades was the SF Pride.

On weekends I would go out with my friends to the city.

Dym painted a watercolor of a model who posed nude for her drawing class. Dym finished early and got bored, she said, so she made the nudist look like an angel.

(Photo courtesy of Dym)
Dym painted a watercolor of a model who posed nude for her drawing class. Dym finished early and got bored, she said, so she made the nudist look like an angel.

Q: Did anything disappoint you?

A: I don’t think so. I liked everything about it.

Q: Did you earn any college credit?

A: I think I earned three college credits.

Q: Are you thinking of applying to CCA?

A: Yeah, I’m probably going to apply.

Q: What did you gain from attending this camp?

A: I was able to complete a lot of artwork that I’m planning on submitting to AP and to art colleges that I’m (going to) apply to. I also learned a bunch of new techniques. (I learned that), by using this thing called matte medium, you can add lots and lots of layers on a piece.

Q: What was your favorite part?

A: I think it was being able to meet new people that I could get close with. Everyone loved art, and I loved art.

—By Annya Dahmani

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