Columbus College of Art and Design, better known as CCAD, occupies several quiet blocks behind the city art museum in downtown Columbus, Ohio.
Jeanette and I pulled up in Trusty Rusty, right beneath the famous “ART” arch.
The school offers four-year major programs in many art and design fields, but we visited mainly with people from the illustration department.
The school has a world-famous faculty. Chris (C. F.) Payne, who heads the illustration department is one of America’s most celebrated contemporary illustrators, known for his gentle humor and dead-on characterization.
He recently painted the portrait of Barack Obama for Time Magazine’s Person of the Year issue.
He posed while I did a quick portrait demo in water-soluble colored pencils.
Mark Hazelrig teaches three dimensional illustration. He showed us his latex bust of a female satyr, which he described as a cross between Uma Thurman, LeAnne Rimes, and a sheep. She has cast resin horns, glass eyes, and a light beard, applied one hair at a time.
If male satyrs knew about her, they would never have bothered with nymphs!
CCAD has all the classes you’d expect on color theory, figure drawing, composition, digital techniques and concepts in illustration. Some courses allow them to draw from costumed models, sketch at the zoo, and design comics.
Mark Sullivan (second from right below) is a multitalented alumnus of CCAD and visiting lecturer. He is an Oscar-nominated matte painter for Lucasfilm and Imagemovers who made the transition from his traditionally painted mattes (Bugsy) to digital work on Polar Express and the upcoming Christmas Carol.
He also has a love for traditional stop motion effects. He is in the process of creating this Dimetrodon model out of foam-rubber over a jointed metal armature.
Stewart McKissick (at right in the photo above) also teaches illustration. He’s constantly updating the curriculum to make it relevant to the changing market, and to reflect the growing interest in CG animation, visual effects, character design, and conceptual design for movies and video games.
“Kids want to swim in the pop culture soup they grew up in,” he said.
What struck me about CCAD was that the whole school seems serious about keeping up with the evolving art world as well as staying rooted in the basic skills of drawing and painting—all the while having fun doing it.
Home Website for CCAD, link.
Thanks, Stewart for a bunch of those photos, since my camera died!