Since Revision Path started in 2013, we have been committed to showcasing Black designers all over the world. As a result, a lot of students and design educators have written to us and have come to look at the website as both a resource and as a beacon for finding others like them. Student Perspectives is our new interview series where we tap into the next generation of design students at HBCUs and some of the nation’s top art and design schools. Learn about their goals and concerns and their plans for the future! Staff Writer Chris Jones kicks things off talking with Cydney Ahlberg. Enjoy! — Maurice Cherry, Editor-in-Chief
What’s your name, what year are you, and what are you majoring in?
Cydney Ahlberg, sophomore, Graphic Design (major), Photography (minor)
What made you want to attend Savannah College of Art & Design?
As a Savannah Arts Academy graduate, I chose to enroll at SCAD because I wanted to attend a college that would meet and go beyond the standards of my high school experience. SCAD possesses the qualities necessary for me to further my education on a professional level and further develop my creative and leadership skills in order to acquire a successful career. As a sophomore, I continue to return to SCAD knowing that I’m being taught by the most qualified professionals. Gaining experiences and connections that have a positive impact on my life will help me to succeed in my future endeavors.
Do you feel supported as a student by your department (or advisor)?
Ever since entering the graphic design department, I’ve always sensed a great deal of care and support in becoming a great designer. The professors have all been strong in their area of expertise, thus making it very easy for me to learn from them as they teach and critique in a professional yet caring manner.
What challenges do you face as a student at Savannah College of Art & Design?
Being that SCAD prepares you for the field, it is often a struggle to balance tasks for each class and accomplish them in a way that exceeds standards equally. Although this is a struggle, SCAD’s resources and staff prove to be very helpful in assisting me accomplish my goals and completing my assignments.
How do you think SCAD could better serve your needs?
As far as education goes, I feel like SCAD is doing a great job serving my needs as a design student. The professors are caring and often hands-on when needed.
What are your goals once you graduate?
Being a SCAD graduate gives you a level of prestige; when you go out into the world, you are held to high standards that SCAD prepares you to conquer effortlessly. After graduation, I plan on expanding my personal brand and reaching out to other artists like myself in order to help them expand their brands and create works of art that impact the world in a positive way. By expanding my brand and helping artist adapt to the diverse world of art, I hope to also help the world adapt to thinking that all types of art are intriguing and insightful in their entirety.
Have there been any differences in your experience of attending the Atlanta campus versus the Savannah campus?
Each of SCAD’s campuses have their own unique vibe. With Savannah being my hometown and SCAD being right downtown there, I found myself wanting to start fresh in a new setting with new people. Also, the size of the Savannah campus was very overwhelming to me. Once I started at SCAD Atlanta, I felt right at home. Essentially, SCAD has a place for everyone to feel comfortable; you just have to find it. I found my place in Atlanta. I have loved it ever since.
Have you had the opportunity to participate in any internships or gain any design-related work experience since you’ve been in the program? If so, where is/was your internship and what have you learned?
I have not yet been able to participate in any internships or design-related work experience since I’ve been in SCAD’s graphic design program because I am just starting. But I look forward to learning, building my portfolio, and being exposed to such opportunities.
What has been the most valuable thing you’ve learned so far in your program?
Typography can make or break a design. I’ve also learned that when designing in school, although grades are important, you should design for the portfolio and not for the grade.
What advice would you give another student of color considering SCAD for college?
As president of SCAD Atlanta’s Black Student Association, the SCAD Atlanta campus has done an excellent job in representing and accommodating their students in a way that no one feels left out. As a black student, I believe that representation matters and I see SCAD doing pretty well in representing and supporting their students of color.