Student Spotlight: Erich Schmidt

Student Spotlight: Erich Schmidt

My name is Erich Schmidt, and I am from Rivers, Manitoba. I’m currently in the first year of the Digital Arts and Design program at Assiniboine.

After graduating from high school, I wanted to train as a police officer. But, after spending a few years working and exploring career options, I realized I really like technology and all things digital. But it wasn’t until Assiniboine’s announcement of its new two-year diploma programs focusing on creative media and technologies that I decided to dive into this career path. It was the Digital Art and Design program that really caught my eye.

One of the main draws to the program was the more specialized and focused approach ACC takes with the courses in the creative media programs. I did a little bit of coding in high school, and I really enjoyed it; however, it’s the 3D art component of the Digital Art and Design program that interested me. The 3D art and design course has been my favourite, and I have a newfound love for everything 3D.

Creating models and being able to take a concept from a sketch to something you can rotate, texturize, and move around has been very enjoyable. It’s very satisfying seeing things come to life. I never had any experience doing this type of art before; it’s all very new to me. The courses have been very good in that regard; they teach you the fundamentals and then progress into more complex lessons.

There were a few areas that intimidated me a bit before coming into the program. I was never great at hand drawing and sketching, and I knew that was going to be one of the more difficult parts for me. So far, I’ve surprised myself; I actually enjoy doing that now. The sketch doesn’t have to be perfect. Instead, it’s more about getting your ideas across and on paper both quickly and efficiently.

A project that I’m involved in right now is designing the art decals for a few of the classroom doors in the newly opened Centre for Creative Media. It’s been a fun and challenging project. Once the designs are finished, we’ll be printing them off on a plotter and then applying the designs to the door. It’ll be cool to see something that started off as a sketch, which then turned into a digital design, and was finally printed into something I can physically touch and apply in the real world.

There’s a huge variety of talent in my class. Everyone has their own little something that they are good at. The support and ability to get feedback from both my classmates and instructors is above and beyond and really allows me to develop. It’s great to finally be back in the classroom and meet everyone face to face. We spent so much time working online together and sharing feedback that being able to now collaborate in person has been amazing.

The instructors take the time to really show you things and help you understand lessons. To be able to get their feedback while we work through projects rather than just grading them is invaluable and lets us produce the best work we can. I think that’s pretty unique. A lot of post-secondary institutions don’t have that interaction between instructors and students, and it really does make a difference.

The new facility is incredible. It’s very open and has a lot of cool spaces for us to work on projects. There’s a lot of new technologies available here that we can incorporate into our work. One of those new technologies are the 3D printers that we’ll get to use in some of our upcoming courses. I can’t wait to take some of my 3D models and turn them into something I can physically touch.

My advice for anyone else thinking of taking Digital Art and Design is to come into it with an attitude of improvement. There’s a lot of creative freedom, and it really is what you make of it. The program gives you the tools and knowledge you need, but it’s up to you to decide how you want to apply them to your ideas.

Learn more about Digital Art and Design.