FRESHMAN FOCUS: Elinor Hilton enjoys early movie releases, creatively driven student body at Savannah College of Art and Design

(Photo used by permission of Hilton)
Elinor Hilton, ’16, models a t-shirt made by a SCAD student with some friends.

Elinor Hilton, ‘16, attends the  Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in Savannah, Georgia. She plans on majoring in fashion marketing and management, though she may switch to fashion design.

Q: What classes are you taking?

A: I am currently taking 3-D Design, CMPA (Computer Arts) and COMM (a speech class). I have already taken Drawing I and II, Survey of Western Arts, English Composition and Design I and II.

Q: How big are your classes?

A: On average my classes are about 20 students.

Q: Do you like the sizes of your classes?

A: I love the sizes of my classes; it was one of the reasons I decided to go to SCAD. You make very personal relationships with your teacher and peers (by) having such small classes.

Q: What’s your favorite?

A: Probably my color theory class (Drawing II). I thought I was going to hate it because I’m not the best at painting unless it’s watercolor, but I ended up loving the material and the teacher.

Q: Least favorite?

(Photo by Hilton)
Elinor Hilton, ’16, turned in a watercolor painting of two jellyfish for her color theory final.

A: Probably my first drawing class I took at SCAD. I had an awful teacher that just expected us to already know how to do the work without demonstrating or giving instructions. The teacher expected us to know how to properly convey perspective and successively shade in charcoal, which is what he was supposed to teach us in the class.

Q: Have you participated in any traditions?

A: (In) October we have this dance and, since I go to an art school, people get really into dressing up – it’s kind of like a contest. I dressed up and really enjoyed the dance; everyone went all out with their costumes, and the dance majors performed, which was cool.

Also, once a year, we have this thing called Career Day. It’s when hundreds of different companies come to SCAD, and you can meet with them and give them your resume for internships and jobs.

Q: Have you participated in extracurriculars?

A: Every year we have a fashion show, where all the graduating fashion designers show collections that they have been working on. I tried out to be a model, which was terrifying because I had to walk in front of Miss J. Alexander from “America’s Next Top Model.” But I was picked! So, currently, I’m doing fittings for them. It’s a paid job, which is pretty cool.

(Photo by Hilton)
Elinor Hilton, ’16, made this Italian greyhound out of wire for her 3-D Design class.

We also had The SCAD Film Fest, where we got to see movies air before they came out. I saw “La La Land” and “Arrival” about a week or two before they were released. I got to hear (actor) Miles Teller and the writer and producer of “Arrival.”

Q: What is the overall attitude of the student body?

A: Of course, there are parties here, but I would say for the most part people are very studious. Our projects take 20+ hours sometimes – for example, making an Italian greyhound out of wire for my 3-D Design class – so you have to dedicate a lot of time to your work. Also, people here are very passionate about their majors and art in general, so they really want to succeed.

Q: How do you get around?

A: I used the SCAD bus system for the first two quarters. It was okay, except sometimes the buses would be behind, and I would be late for class. So I would always get to the bus stop an hour before my class started to be safe. Now, however, I have my car, so I just drive myself. I couldn’t have it before because they were in the process of building the parking garage, and it didn’t get finished until this quarter.

(Photo used by permission of Hilton)
Elinor Hilton, ’16, (left) models a T-shirt designed by a SCAD student.

Q: What is Savannah like?

A: Right next to where my dorms are we have this street that has lots of restaurants and stores, so people love to go there and just walk around (and) shop.

We also have a ton of squares all around Savannah, so people will go there, bring a blanket (and) have a picnic.

Also, we have a beach about 30 (minutes) away. Now that it’s spring, lots of people go there on the weekends.

Q: What is your dorm like?

A: I absolutely love my dorm – it is pretty huge. We have a living room and two bedrooms with two beds per room. And then a shower, bathroom, sink – all that good stuff. The best part, though, is that there are only three of us living here, not four. I love my roommates. We get along so well. We are going to live together next year off campus in an apartment in Savannah, which will actually be a lot cheaper than staying on campus.

Q: What’s the weather like?

A: It’s all over the place. One day it’s in the 80s, and the next it’s 60 and super windy. Also it’s been randomly raining a lot. But overall the weather is nice once you get used to the humidity.

Q: What is your favorite thing about your school?

A: Everything! I love the people here and how passionate and talented they all are. I love my teachers and how willing they are to do whatever it takes to make sure we succeed.

(Photo by Hilton)
Elinor Hilton, ’16, used ink to create these three scenes in Savannah.

Also, we have companies come all the time and talk to us. Last week I listened to the writers of “Rick and Morty” and Dreamworks.  

Q: What don’t you like about your college?

A: The food. It sucks. (SCAD) pretends it’s good on days when there are college tours, but other than that, it sucks.

Q: What makes SCAD unique?

A: SCAD wants us to succeed and graduate able to get a job. Companies come to SCAD all the time for interns and to hire students because they know we are learning what the business needs right now. That’s why every teacher has to have worked in the field they are teaching, and they are constantly updating their curriculum because the industries are constantly changing.

(Photo by Hilton)
Elinor Hilton, ’16, made this optical mixing self-portrait with gouache paint.

Q: Have you made any freshman mistakes?

A: I don’t think I really have. I had an 8 a.m. (class) my first quarter, and at SCAD if you miss five classes you automatically fail. I missed four. Almost every time I missed class it was because I slept in – still got an A in the class, though!

Q: Do you have any advice for the class of 2017?

A: Stop worrying about whether your college is prestigious enough. I swear (in) my senior year, (whenever) someone got accepted, the first thing people would ask was, “What’s the acceptance rate?” That’s ridiculous. Who cares? SCDS students tend to be so obsessed with having the most APs, the best grades, the best college. Why not worry about what is the best fit for you, what is going to make you thrive to do better?

My college has a 69 percent acceptance rate, but guess what? I’ve never been happier, never tried at school more. And that’s because I’m at the best place for me, learning about things that excite me and make me want to try.

Also tell my “mom,” aka (biology teacher) Dr. (Kellie) Whited, I miss her so, so, so much!

By David Situ

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