Mid-Sem Hump Day: You Got This! Inspired Tips From Academy Alumni

We all need reminders. This short blog and video is to remind you to hang in there.

You got this! There’s a reason you chose the path that you did and it’s your job now to stay on track in order to get the most out of your journey here in art school.

You’ve made it this far, and through the victories and some hardships, you’ve probably grown more than you think. Take the lessons you learned from the first half of the semester and apply them to the remainder of this semester.

Keep Moving Forward

To keep you moving forward, we’ve put together some inspiration from those who have been in your shoes—Academy alumni.

“I was really worried for a while. Am I even doing the right thing? Is this what I’m supposed to be doing? All I’ve been doing is homework all the time. I need something real. Then, in my first collaborative class, some of my work made it into an actual game prototype. I was blown away. It’s so much better when you create it and then you see it in the game working. At that moment I was like, ‘oh my gosh, this is totally fine. I’m doing okay. This is what I want.’”


—Crysta Frost, BFA Game Development, 2017 Valedictorian Academy of Art University. Technical Artist at Visual Concepts

“I’m grateful the Academy pushed me to my absolute maximum. In my experience, they are teaching a toolset that will allow people to go out into the world and use those tools to craft their legacy, whether it’s on canvas or with products.”


—Beau Oyler, BFAID, Industrial Design, 2005. CEO/ECD Enlisted Design

“You need to learn the craft inside and out. You can’t hope for any gifts. Animation is all about hard work. Just do the work, and greatness will come. No matter who you are, you have to put in the time. Find what excites you, and champion those things.”


Jan Philip Cramer, BA Animation & VFX, 2004. Head of Animation at Digital Domain

“The most important thing about being a student here is that you have to be dedicated and passionate about what you’re doing. I’ve developed so much since enrolling. If you were to ask me a year or two ago if I was ready to go out into the real world, I would have said no. But now, I feel like I’m ready to take that next step and start putting the skills I’ve learned to use so I can make a living doing what I love.”


— Austin Esposito, BFA Cinematography, Film/Video Production, 2018. In 2016, Esposito won the grand prize during Red Bull’s Out of Bounds collegiate drone photography competition for originality, visual impact, and storytelling in all three categories.

“It was almost like a little confirmation that I had made the right decision to stay in fashion. I had been discouraged at not progressing in the last few competitions, so this time I decided to focus on having a good time and designing something that I enjoyed designing. I was over the moon.”


—Alyssa Watson, BFA Fashion Design 2017, on winning first place and being featured in an exhibition of student work in conjunction with The Metropolitan Museum’s “Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology’’ exhibit. 

“Academy of Art University was influential in fostering my career and helping me to understand the language of commercial advertising. It gave me the right skill set. I was challenged to push myself and do things I didn’t necessarily know I was capable of.”


—Jason Sperling, MFA Advertising, 1997. SVP, Chief Creative Development @ RPA, AdWeek Top 30 Creative Director

“Trust yourself, and know there are no overnight successes.”


Stephanie Thomas, MA Fashion Journalism. Disability fashion expert, speaker, consultant. Founder of disability fashion lifestyle website, Cur8able, that empowers those with disabilities to present themselves to the world as they want to.

Remember, you are not alone. Find a passion, find your purpose, find what pays, and find what you love. Good luck. Have fun. Enjoy every second.

And keep your eyes on this prize: