As a transfer student, Sonia Vazquez is having a blast majoring in studio art at Carthage.
“[Art] is a fun and exciting path,” she says. “Always cherish your imagination, listen to your intuition, let yourself be inspired by the circumstances and things around you, be willing to play, be amused, and do not be hesitant to change.”
Sonia made the decision to transfer after hearing great things about Carthage, and has found herself in a place she is proud to call home. “Everything is accessible on campus. It’s easy to get from building to building and connect with professors.”
After Carthage, Sonia hopes to own her own fashion company, but for now, she is enjoying building relationships with individuals in the Carthage community, and getting to know herself better as an artist.
“The professors here take the time to get to know their students and build lasting relationships, which creates a level of understanding unlike any other.”
“I hope to own my own custom fashion company and be a working artist after graduating from Carthage.”
How have Carthage faculty had an impact on your life or Carthage career?
“I have had a few repeat professors throughout my time at Carthage and that has been great. The professors here take the time to get to know their students and build lasting relationships, which creates a level of understanding unlike any other. As a student, I feel comfortable going to a professor for help. One of my favorite professors, with whom I have taken many classes and who has positively impacted my time at Carthage, is Diane Levesque. She is a working artist with a captivating style. It is so great to learn from a talented artist who does not expect or encourage students to mimic her style. My skills have greatly improved in her painting and illustration classes.
“Kim Greene has also been a great help. As another working artist who is well-versed in many media, she encourages students to play and explore with familiar and unfamiliar materials. From her, I have learned to not underestimate what my hands are capable of creating, and to embrace confusion and unfamiliarity.
“Another professor who has greatly impacted my time at Carthage is Lisa Bigalke. In her fibers class, I was able to better explore surface design techniques for fabric such as embellishing and dyeing.
“Lastly, a professor outside of my major, who has had a great impact on my Carthage career, is Dave Gartner. He is such a fun and engaging professor who has taught me the value of critical thinking and analysis. Though all of my professors at Carthage have provided me with skills and knowledge that I can apply to the rest of my life, these professors have had the greatest impact on my time here.”
“It is so tough to choose a favorite class, but I would have to say that my favorite class has been Illustration with Diane Levesque. Prior to taking the class, I had never considered being an illustrator, or turning my fashion sketches into art, but because of my interest in fashion design, I thought it would be a great opportunity to work on my illustration skills in general. I had room to explore styles of illustration and get to know myself better as an artist.”
“My favorite class was also my toughest class, Illustration. We explored many styles of illustration that challenged me step out of my comfort zone. For many class projects, I found myself using my computer as an art tool, which is something I had never done before. This challenged my thought process and my creative process. Also, being able to witness fellow students who worked on their computers as their main art tool provided a different perspective, and gave me a first-hand look at how different tools can be used to achieve the same goal—unique illustrations.”
Favorite moments and memories at Carthage
“One of my favorite memories so far has been entering work, collectively as an Illustration class, to the cover contest for the Carthaginian issue highlighting Kissing Rock. It was so much fun to see how everyone interpreted the topic, and it was nice to see a fellow student chosen.”
Favorite spot on campus
“I feel at home here, but if I had to choose a favorite spot, it would be the painting studio in the JAC. No matter what I have to do, even if it is homework for another class, if the studio is free, I love being in there.”
Biggest surprise so far
“The biggest surprise for me was experiencing how accessible everything is on campus. It’s easy to get from building to building and connect with professors. I transferred, a tiny campus in Wauwatosa, and I was afraid it was going to be a shock coming to a bigger campus.”
What would your 8-year-old self think of you now?
“I think that my 8-year-old self would absolutely love my career path and studies! I have always been artistically inclined, but I did not know how much could be done with art. I never realized how many different techniques there are to express yourself, and how many different mediums there are to explore. Little me would have had a blast!”
Why should other students consider your major? What advice do you have for them?
“To anyone considering a career in art, know that it is a lot of work, but if you are willing to put in the work and time, it is a fun and exciting path. When embarking on this journey, always cherish your imagination, listen to your intuition, let yourself be inspired by the circumstances and things around you, be willing to play, be amused, do not be hesitant to change, and respect your professors’ insight. They are there to guide and help you.”