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ATLANTA | 1080 W. Peachtree Street NW | | 404.480.8222


SIDNEY PARKS editor-in-chief

ANYA HABER fashion editor



creative director

news editor



art director

arts and entertainment editor



copy editor

illustration editor



photo editor

features editor



pr director

opinions editor

02 HOW DO YOU KEEP THE FLAME BURNING What keeps us motivated? 03 HOT WHEELS A little sneek peak at Atlanta’s best food trucks 05 STUDENT SHOWCASE Creative talents of Simone Adams and Tashasa Vaughn 08 BURNING RUBBER


All editorial content is determined by the student editors. Opinions expressed in SCAN are not

Turning failure into success


Fiery fashion

20 BURNING PASSION FOR NATURE How the natural world influences sculpture 24 FUELING THE FIRE

SCAN is the quarterly student magazine of the Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta.

An inside track for SCAD Atlanta’s cycling teams

Preventing creative burnout

26 COMICS CORNER What lights a fire under your feet

necesssarily those of the college. ©2017 SCAN Magazine. All rights reserved. No parts of this magazine may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publisher.

Cover illustration by ALEXANDRA BADIU Staff photograph by TYLER MCCLELLAND






interviewed and photographed by KIKI JOHNSON IMAN KHOURY, INTERIOR DESIGN “I get motivated when I look back to where I started and everything that has happened to me … mostly looking at the bad things that have happened and where I am now … I just think, “Oh all those times I was under the world I actually wasn’t.’ So it’s weirdly a hopeful feeling and kind of motivating like, you’ve been through that, you can get through this.” ELIZABETH KEELER


ENNIS PRICE, UNDECLARED “I want to make my family happy, it’s the most stereotypical answer I know, but my parents are entrepreneurs, and they’ve set this precedent of what a role model is in life, and I’m not sure if I can beat it, but just to get close is something I want to do. I have my own ideas, but it’s about making them back at home happy.” NINGNING GU BRYER ROSSI, INTERACTIVE DESIGN AND GAME DEVELOPMENT “I love the major I chose, so the work given to me is awesome because I get to work on stuff I love and just enjoy doing it every day.”


See all the submissions at

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Fittingly, the start of this year felt like a trial-by-fire for me. It wasn’t necessarily welcome, mind you, with the last year being such a disaster, but it was what it was.


I’m certain that many others felt the same way and with much stronger conviction,

“The people, when you see everyone around and the diversity

and possibly still feel that way today. The more I think about the hardships we all face

and sense of inclusion, so that keeps me motivated and gives

at this time, the more passionately I want to fly in the face of it — the more my own

me hope, that as a creative leader I can go and implement

conviction burns brighter.

what I’ve learned from other people.”

That’s really what I wanted to convey with this issue of SCAN — a burning theme to highlight the passion we all have about what we do and how we want to shape the world. The past year was disheartening and horribly depressing, but I’ve seen in ALEXIS MANN, FASHION

these early months of this new year people, as if risen from the ashes, passionately

“Graduating and being able to start up and own a

fighting for what they believe in, and it makes me so happy. I don’t want that burning

fashion house.”

feeling of progress and change to ever stop, especially in the face of such significant adversary. It’s a good thing this fire doesn’t show any signs of stopping. SIDNEY PARKS editor-in-chief





Blaxican: Two words — mexican soulfood. While the name has some shock value, it represents the culture of the creator and the culinary style fueling the tasty food they serve. Aside from cooking, the crew at Blaxican are passionate for serving those less fortunate and work to feed those in need around Atlanta as much as possible. Support this incredible business by grabbing a Collard Greens Quesadilla with a side of Jalepeno Mac and Cheese. Viet-Nomies: Everyone needs their fix of the ultimate Vietnamese comfort food, and Viet-Nomies brings everyone their favorite bowl of Pho and Banh Mi streetside! This is some of the best Vietnamese food in Atlanta — make sure to stalk their schedule so you can find some authentic asian food without the drive to Buford Highway. Cattywampus Grill: New to the streets of Atlanta, Cattywampus Grill brings some of the most mouth-


hat better way to explore Atlanta and simultaneously satisfy your tastebuds than to enjoy the plethora of food trucks camping out around the city? We’ve set up a list of the best delights on wheels for you to hunt down and savor between classes.

watering southern food we’ve ever tasted. They also pride themselves in making sure their food is prepared with the freshest ingredients possible. We guarantee that you won’t be able to decide which is your favorite between the Bless Your Heart (grilled cheese) or the Cluckin’ Waffle (chicken sandwich served a la waffle). The Fry Guy: In need of some french fries? The Fry Guy has you covered. Whether you’re craving a basic cone of salty fries with ketchup or a fancier serving of Poutine,

Yumbii: Yumbii has been a long-time staple in Atlanta,

this truck will serve up a hefty dose of everyone’s favorite

founded in 2010 as the city’s first and finest food truck.

guilty pleasure.

Offering a fusion of mexican and asian flavors with a street food twist, Yumbii can be found parked all over

Most food truck schedules can be found on twitter and

town or at their new storefront on Peachtree. Not sure

facebook pages, so take our lead and fill your google

what to try first? We suggest their Fish Tacos and Sesame

calendar with a list of Atlanta’s best trucks and where to

Fries, or if you’re looking for something a little more filling,

find them! You’ll balance out the freshman 15 with all the

try the Yumbii Philly.

walking between trucks you’ll be doing (ha!).




written by ALISON BOLT photographed by REBECCA GERHARD

vy Hall is an elusive name whispered around campus. It’s the place where, supposedly, writing majors attend classes, yet meeting a writing major or going to Ivy Hall seems mythical. Writing majors do exist at SCAD Atlanta. We are a close-knit group of creative writers, sitting among intelligent and published professors in a haven decorated by President Paula S. Wallace herself. One of our esteemed peers is Simone Adams, a graduate writing student and the editor of the “Ivy Hall Review.”

Upon meeting Adams, I’m greeted with a smile and a calm voice. At a school where the majority of students scramble around in a chaotic manner, this is surprising.



Despite the worries of getting home to her son, the work

journal around in her bag every day and jots down

Tent” by Anita Diamant because of its strong theme of

she must catch up on for her job, her homework, classes

creative ideas as they strike her. “Those come randomly

women’s empowerment, a theme present in her own

and the responsibility of being the editor of the “Ivy Hall

throughout my day,” she says. Finally, she ends her day

work. When asked about her plans for the future, she

Review,” Adams has a naturally peaceful personality. We

by writing in her journal. Upon hearing about her writing

references writing fiction that empowers women once

talk about our favorite writing classes and she tells me of

routine, her dedication and passion for writing

again before sitting up a little straighter in her seat and,

her upcoming thesis.

reveals itself.

with a laugh saying, “As a child, I wanted to be a hobo

Adams graduated from Kennesaw State University with an

Although she can remember growing up with a book

explains, “I wanted to take a backpack, hop trains and

undergraduate degree in communications. While on a trip

always in her hand, the memory of the exact moment

travel the world.” These aspirations have remained almost

to Savannah, she happened upon the SCAD Sidewalk Arts

Adams decided to pursue writing is long forgotten. In

unchanged over the course of her life so far, except for

Festival. She was immediately enthralled. “It reminded

high school, she created her first work of fiction titled

the fact that she now knows you can travel without being

when I grew up.” As a response to my confusion, she

me of Mary Poppins, a story I have always been inspired by,” she tells me, sweeping her hand across the air like she’s showing me the


“Dreamland.” The piece was a series of

a hobo. Adams’ future plans now include becoming a

stories based on her friends and their high

college professor, writing and publishing her fiction and

school crushes. Though she recalls these

traveling as much as possible.

while shaking her head and slightly laughing, the creation of these first stories is important. After graduating with her undergraduate

sidewalk chalk creations as if they are spread out right in

degree in communications, she found herself writing

front of us. “It was just something about the outpouring of

non-fiction constantly. Most of her writing was published

creativity and all the creative freedom these students were

for organizations or from working as a ghost writer. “All

given.” Adams immediately applied to SCAD Atlanta and

I wanted was to see ‘Written by Simone Adams’ at the

began her endeavors in creative writing.

top of something I had written,” she explains. With a more creative approach to writing, SCAD held potential

It is not uncommon for people to have trouble

for fiction and her name on a published work. “I was

determining exactly what they want to pursue in life. In

comfortable writing non-fiction, but I wanted to write

Adams’ case, writing seemed to be a natural choice from

fiction,” she says. With one brave jump out of her comfort

the very beginning. “When I was little, I would write letters

zone, she began writing fiction and quickly adjusted. Her

to my parents if I was upset with them,” she explains with

favorite part of the process was having the opportunity

a laugh. “It was easier for me to get my thoughts out by

to participate in workshop critiques, especially after

writing them down. If I tried to talk to them I would just

receiving little feedback writing for the corporate world. “I

end up crying.” The process of writing down her thoughts

don’t want to hear just, ‘it’s great’ because I know there’s

remained an important ritual throughout her life. She

something that can always be better.” With a motivated

writes in a journal every night before going to sleep. “I love writing because it combines passion and logic,” she explains. Her stories


mindset like that, she soon found “Written by Simone Adams” above multiple

are filled with emotion, yet there’s something sensible about forming all of her thoughts perfectly on the

published works, including a piece in “Chicken Soup for

page. In an equally logical way, writing in her personal

the Soul.”

journal every night helps her “download my day,” as she puts it.

Adams’ motivation in her life and writing is driven by being a mother and role model to her son. “I realized I

It is common for writers to develop a ritual. For Adams,

want to do what I want and do it the way I want,” she

she prefers to write for her classes or job in the morning

tells me. She wants her son to know that he can do

when everything is fresh on her mind. She carries a

whatever he wants in life. Her favorite book is “The Red




written by EMMA DAKIN illustrations courtesy of TASHASA VAUGHN

here’s no doubt about it — Tashasa Vaughn, a fourth-year illustration student, is a creative force to be reckoned with. Between a major in illustration, a minor in graphic design, part-time modeling and freelance work creating book covers, portraits, album art and paintings, there seems to be very little that this 22-year-old can’t do. But her biggest accomplishment is what lies ahead: graduation. From a young age, Vaughn was drawn to making art. At first it was just for fun, but when Vaughn reached high school, she started to take it more seriously. She took AP classes in art as a senior in high school, and from there she decided to pursue a degree in graphic design.



“I started as a graphic design student first, then I made

Her primary inspirations are the people around her and

Looking ahead, Vaughn has an idea of where she wants to

my way into illustration because I discovered I liked

their different lifestyles and environments. Given that she

go and what she wants for her future, but she knows that

to draw more,” said Vaughn. “Ultimately, I ended up

likes illustrating portraits, one of her major influences is

it won’t always be easy.

deciding to do both.”

Adam Cruft, a London-based illustrator.

Vaughn’s collegiate journey began at Jacksonville State

“His techniques and the way he sketches out his portraits

what I see as my biggest challenge, just getting my foot

University, though Vaughn said she had wanted to go to

have been a big impact on my life,” said Vaughn.

in the door,” said Vaughn. “In ten years, I’d like to own

“Just getting myself exposed to different opportunities is

my own business, maybe somewhere like New York or

SCAD since high school. “SCAD has always been my number-one


choice,” said Vaughn. “Financially, I couldn’t come at first, but it’s always been

As much as Vaughn has enjoyed her

California, somewhere creative. I think I eventually want to

academic experience, she admits she

get into fashion illustration for magazines or editorial work.”

struggled along the way because as any student can attest, SCAD does not come

without challenges.

From her work within SCAD Atlanta to her extracurricular work in modeling and freelancing, Vaughn already has plenty of achievements to brag about. And while for her,

my dream, so I finally made my way here.” “The biggest challenge in the program is balancing

graduation is her next big accomplishment, it’s obvious

At SCAD Atlanta, Vaughn found a sense of belonging. She

classes and work because it does get overwhelming,” said

that the creative world can expect more great things from

said that her previous school simply didn’t have the same

Vaughn. “I think if you just have good time management

her as she takes the next step towards her career.

level of events and opportunities. Her favorite memory

you can overcome it.”

from her time at SCAD has been aTVfest, though she also said she’s highly enjoyed her coursework.

Vaughn also recommended that students fully utilize all the different resources available through SCAD Atlanta.

“My favorite class was illustration self-promotion,” said Vaughn. “It’s been my favorite class because it talked

“Take advantage of every resource you possibly can.

about getting published and putting yourself out there,

You have so much access to everything here — your

preparing for the workplace, getting clients to come see

professors, the library, your peers,” said Vaughn. “Take

you, getting companies to notice you and hire you and

advantage of all of it while you’re here.”

pretty much preparing you for success in your field.” When it comes to incorporating her major in illustration and her minor in graphic design, Vaughn said it’s actually very harmonious.


“Sometimes I might have a project that’s strictly graphic design, sometimes I might have one that’s strictly

Through everything that Vaughn has accomplished, now

illustration, but for the most part they tend to go hand in

that she’s nearing the end of her time at SCAD Atlanta,

hand,” said Vaughn. She describes her style as a blend of

she’s looking forward to the reward of graduating.

modern and traditional, and that her work is a reflection of her own personality.

“I’m about to graduate and that’s the biggest accomplishment for me,” said Vaughn. “Starting off, it

“My personal style is a little quirky and bubbly, a little

was really a lot of work, but once I got over that hump,

playful — that’s the kind of person I am and it reflects in

and once I started getting into my hands-on illustration

everything I do,” said Vaughn.

classes and the things I was more passionate about, it started getting smoother. Now I’m getting to the end and graduating just feels like the biggest accomplishment ever.”






written and photographed by EMMA DAKIN


he SCAD Atlanta cycling teams may be some of the newest additions to the campus’s athletics program, but you wouldn’t know it at first glance. Both men’s and women’s Division I varsity teams have racked up an impressive number of wins, including a national championship, that’s demanded notice from other collegiate cycling teams across the country. What’s just as impressive is the close-knit bond between the team members and their shared love of the sport of cycling, along with all its challenges and rewards. Cycling at SCAD Atlanta was first given life just over a year ago when the college hired Namrita Kumar as the head cycling coach and tasked her with putting together a team. “I’m fortunate that I have a pretty big network of contacts through cycling, from racing myself and being involved with the National Interscholastic Cycling Association,” said Kumar. “I also did a lot of work trying to find schools with cycling programs and reaching out to art and design instructors at those schools to see if they had any students who would be interested in such

“Everyone was super friendly and supportive,” said Myatt.

Myatt said the key to balancing classes with athletic

“It definitely made a huge difference coming here and

commitments comes down to effective time management.

already having friends.” Hickey agreed and said everyone

“You just have to set the time aside for each thing,” said

on the teams instantly clicked with one another. “We’ve

Myatt. “It’s pretty manageable.”

just gotten to know each other really well, and we’ve gotten really close,” said Hickey. “We’ve become a family.” Beyond friendship and camaraderie, Kumar said that

managing to recruit talented athletes from around the world. For Dillon Hickey, a freshman and

efforts were instrumental in his decision to attend SCAD Atlanta. “I was already thinking about SCAD, but Namrita reaching out to me about the cycling program really sealed the deal for me,” said Hickey. For many members of the cycling teams, the program offered immediate friendship. Mackenzie Myatt, a first-year writing student, said that the presence of the

balancing school and athletics, cycling team members are in agreement that the rewards are worth the work. “It’s a really hard

sport, it takes a lot of dedication and training, but it pays

benefits for students. “Cycling is a form of endurance

off,” said Scarano. “I think it’s the most beautiful sport

exercise where there’s been research that shows how it

that I’ve ever been a part of.”

improves focus, creativity and concentration and even reduces stress,” said Kumar. “Especially at a school like

Sean Fincham, a first-year advertising student, said that

this where there’s a lot of stress, a lot of deadlines. That

he thinks a lot of people don’t understand cycling as a

sort of environment can maybe influence unhealthy

sport or its degree of difficulty. “I think it’s the hardest

behaviors like lack of sleep and poor eating habits.”

sport out there,” said Fincham. “It’s mental, it’s physical — you have to constantly be thinking, not just physically

Andy Scarano, a second-year advertising and

fit. You can win a race just by being smart, instead of

photography student, credits cycling as his motivation

being the fittest person out there.”

to stay healthy. He also said that his time spent cycling transfers over to the classroom, sometimes giving him his

Kumar encourages the SCAD Atlanta community to come

best inspiration. “A lot of ideas and creativity come to light

watch cycling events whenever possible and to learn more

while I’m on a bike, it’s a big thing in regards to creativity,”

about the sport of cycling. She also hopes to get even

said Scarano.

more people involved in the program. “SCAD encourages developing interests in lifelong sports and cycling is


graphic design student, Kumar’s

Regardless of the challenges of

cycling also offers a variety of physical and physiological

an opportunity.” Kumar was highly successful,


The cycling teams certainly have

definitely one of the sports you could do until you’re a

their days full between the heavy

hundred years old, whether it’s competitive or not,” said

demands of SCAD coursework,

Kumar. “Cycling is something very special and there’s

training and meetings and

such joy in it. It’s just about being healthy and pushing

events that often take up entire

yourself and the camaraderie of doing those things with

weekends. The teams participate

like-minded people.”

in four different kinds of cycling: mountain biking, road cycling, cyclocross and track cycling — that each

The friendship and chemistry between the members of

encompass a variety of terrain and challenges in their own

SCAD Atlanta’s cycling teams have certainly been paying

right. Events take place all over the country, sometimes

off as they continue to make a name for themselves in

requiring the teams to leave immediately following the

the athletics program and the collegiate cycling circles.

end of classes on a Thursday and not return until Sunday

With this level of success, it’s still hard to believe they’re

evening, making finding time for homework and

only in their first year, but easy to believe they’ll continue

projects challenging.

achieving excellence as they ride onwards.

teams made adjusting to SCAD Atlanta much easier.





t’s my last quarter, so I’ll leave you all with this: you will get burned here. It’s inevitable, but don’t fret. Think of searing pain and monstrous insecurity as a rite of passage into the wondrous world of art. When you get those first little singes from a tough critique, when you find that your hard drive has pulled a Houdini and all of your files have disappeared, and when you look at that one bad line on your paper and have it screaming of its, and also your, imperfections, just remind yourself that you’ve made it. All the artists you look up to went through the same things, minus the hard drive (generally speaking). When it all comes crashing down, remember that it has nowhere to go but up.



You can try to do that, anyways. You can try to adopt

there’s a way out. I promise you there is. I know from

also ablaze with anxiety. I didn’t have a solid foundation to

some silly, alliterative slogan to repeat to yourself. You can

experience. I came to SCAD in a kind of desperation. My

stand on, but I did have something that I couldn’t deny:

read a million quotes by those who came before you and

learning disability with math made it near to impossible

an urge to write. With that, I mended my foundation,

pretend that it makes you feel better. You can grin and

to pursue what was then my dream:

bare it until your face splits into a Chelsea Smile. It’s all an

astrophysics. There came a point

act. I know that on the inside, there’s a little fire burning. I

when I realized no matter how much

know it hurts. It should.

I wanted to, I just wasn’t going to be able to digest board long equations

extinguished the flames, swept


away the ashes and rebuilt myself. Now I feel ready to write more than ever. This isn’t just what I’m good at or a

That tiny little campfire that now sits deep in your belly,

and understand complex formulae about our universe.

substitution for an impossible math-oriented career. I’ve

the one that gives you indigestion and nausea when it

Something is off in my mind that will always prevent that.

realized through a nebulous and violent reworking with

turns the soda you just drank into lemon-lime magma,

What I was good at was English and writing, so I applied

fire, of myself, that writing is who I am. Getting burned is

will grow. It will become a small blaze. It will reach up and

to SCAD’s writing program a few months after I graduated

the best thing that has ever happened to me.

burn your chest, your lungs and your throat, making it

high school. This, my dear SCAD comrades, is what must happen to

hard for you to breathe or speak. Eventually, what started as a gentle fire because of a not-sogreat critique will become a


I took my first major writing class sophomore year.

you. You must get burned. You must get hurt. You will feel

Everything was going smoothly for the first half

lost. You will be scared. Everything you thought you knew,

of it. The exercises I turned in were decent and I

the things you built yourself upon, will be dissolved. Think

could dissect a story and point out the fundamental

of it as a controlled burn, like the purposeful fires set in

elements of conflict, character and arc with relative

Yellowstone that cleanse and cause seed pods to burst,

tornado of flame and it will engulf you. As you wander the

ease. Then workshop came. We all submitted stories for

bringing new life. You need that pushing, that pulling, that

halls with your head ablaze with doubts, the pieces of you

a group critique and mine was horrendous. It was full

inner turmoil, that burning to remove the impurities, false

that you held so close, that you built yourself on, will melt

of cliches and tropes and tons of errors that drew the

notions and fake foundations, that prevent the creative

and fall away in heaps onto the floor. After the burning is

attention of everyone in the room. With my entire future,

seed from blossoming into what it is truly meant to be. It’s

done, there will be nothing but ash.

I felt, riding on what would be proven by my workshop

the only way you will truly grow.

piece, I was horrified by what was going on: unanimous You will then sit and writhe in the smolder, still wincing


from the pain of melting away bit by bit. You will feel empty. You will be so nervous and unsure that it will be

After that, it felt like the floor fell out from under me. I

hilarious. You may look upon your old works, the ones

remember getting the piece back and looking at it, trying

that delivered those harsh words or bad grades and laugh

to hold back tears while the workshops went smoothly

to yourself, wondering why you ever thought you could do

for everyone else in the room. I felt like I had made the

this. You’ll then think about the loans, the scholarships

biggest mistake of my life, spending all this money and

riding on those grades or the out-of-pocket funds you’ve

going through all this work, just to be proven to not even

sunk into this. Then, you’ll want to cry.

be good at the one thing I thought I was good at. To be

shown to be a fraud amongst the real writers. I almost There will come a point where you’ll want to give up on this. You’ll want to pack up and go home and resign your art to being merely a hobby — you must never give into that temptation. Even if you are covered


in third degree burns and are so lost

left the writing program that day. My later workshops compounded that effect. I wanted to abandon writing, but it wouldn’t abandon me. It came through in all

that you can’t fathom the possibility of there being a way

of my work, even in the way that I talked. My mind was

out of this mess, you must convince yourself somehow

swarming with story and essay ideas, even though it was


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written by MIKAEL TRENCH photographs courtesy of JEFFRY LOY


ike many other arts, the sculpture industry in Atlanta has only been getting bigger and better. Advances in technology have led to endless possibilities that are allowing sculptors to do what they never thought possible. From manipulating details with laser scanners and 3-D printers, to controlling fire using music, sculptors today are living in a time where technology is helping them create whatever they put their minds to.


Some sculptors have found ways to combine the

came about originally working for undergrad at Atlanta

especially back then, was that it was a smaller school

technological world with traditional inspirations. Atlanta-

College of Art, learning all the different other processes

with a lot of personal attention and also a unique kind of

based sculptor, metalsmith and photographer Jeffry Loy

there. During that time, I apprenticed under two different

teaching style. Also, I wanted a big city. I think you do a

graduated Atlanta College of Art in 1996, before it merged

artists, Paul Frank and Chris Gundersen. Gundersen did

lot of growing and learning in a larger environment and by

with SCAD, with a B.F.A. in sculpture and photography.

more of a blacksmith-style of work. I took off from there

meeting a lot of new people.”

Loy has gone quite the distance, exhibiting his work all

because I really loved the how metal, heated up enough,

over the United States from New York to San Francisco

becomes like clay and can be manipulated into many

nature seems to be a big inspiration to your work.

and collaborating with other artists. Whether it’s fire

different forms. I love working with different materials,

why is that?

sculpture, solar sculpture or home accents, the one thing

even though primarily I work in metal. I enjoy all different

“Generally, the work I show is in an outdoor environment.

Loy certainly takes advantage of is the world around

types of materials to work in. I like to do a little wood stuff,

I’ve shown the fire sculptures in deserts, forests and

us. His biggest inspirations come from nature itself, but

too, if I’m doing some kind of furniture-related product or

in those types of settings. I like having work seen in an

he still uses the best of technology to further enhance

project, blending materials together to add to the works,

outdoor environment rather than a gallery. You’re walking

whatever he creates. This combination of old-style

but also with the fire sculptures that I make. I think that

up to something in nature and just going, ‘Woah, that is

inspirations and techniques and advanced technology

fire is a material, too. It’s a real visceral experience to

very different.’ It also just blends in with the surroundings,

has helped Loy and his work stand out over the years as a

be able to get colors and sound from some of the other

but it’s also all of a sudden. You know what you’re

force in the industry to be reckoned with.

sculptural work.”

looking at.”

what got you into this profession?

why did you choose to attend art school in atlanta?

what has been your favorite project

“Well, I always liked working with my hands, even in high

“Originally I’m from Murrells Inlet, S.C., and Atlanta was

work with so far?

school, and working in 3-D really was nice to do. It really

somewhat nearby. One thing I liked about Atlanta, ACA

“I think it’s definitely been the LED work that I’ve been

/ experience to



doing mainly because I’m working with, or used to work

for any scad students who want to pursue

with, my electrical engineer who now is in San Francisco.

metalsmithing or sculpture as a career in atlanta,

He would create all our circuit boards by hand, put our

what would you say is the biggest piece of advice you

logos on and things like that. Also I think people really

have for them?

enjoy those, that type of work, a whole lot. The fire

“One of the things is finding out who’s in town doing

sculptures — I really love those pieces and putting them

it and try to get internships. When I was in school and

out to the public. I think that’s really important for when

worked with these other different artists, I learned so

you’re creating work, figuring out just where the audience

much through them. When you’re learning in the field

is going to see it and things like that. I don’t think I have

sometimes you learn more than you can learn in a school,

a favorite piece, but every time I go back to my figurative

for practical things. Just looking at different artists here,

work, it’s a little bit more personally satisfying. It was very

looking at their work and seeing how their shops and

different work when I went to grad school at SCAD as

studio is set up, especially in Atlanta where spaces are

an older adult, specifically working on things I normally

getting more difficult to find, and to also understand

wouldn’t do in my shop. And just playing around with

that, you have to mix in your artistic endeavors with your

some old ideas and seeing how they turn out and just

business endeavors to keep everything up and going.”

focusing in on new styles and a different kind of work.” For Loy, as well as sculptors everywhere, the passion to what plans do you have for your work in the future?

breath life into his work and create memorable pieces that

“I think right now what’s kind of interesting and I’m

will stand the test of time is clearly evident. Whether he is

having fun with is the fire pieces. I have two prototypes

creating a fascinating display of LED lights or a collection

of work where the flame goes to music, so the beat of

of beautiful exterior pieces, Loy shows us how far one can

the music actually alters the flame. It’s not like I invented

go with nothing but a burning passion for their craft and a

it. It’s a scientific thing about showing sound waves, but

desire to make their mark on the industry. As best said by

with music. Oh my God, it’s amazing! Just to see what it

Loy himself, “When I’m working, I am always mindful of

can do, but also, if you put your voice on a microphone

the history and techniques of blacksmithing, while at the

and you put it through there, how it ungulates with your

same time preserving and adding to its history.”

voice, kind of like the equalizing bar on Spotify, that’s almost exactly what the flame does. So it’s really kind of interesting to see, but funnily enough, it does love Atlanta trap music, so it fits right in. But for me, I’m trying to figure out how to make this object look different, add another experience to it, so I’m working with that. Also, I’m getting back into my “American Flag” series. I’ve been staying away for a bit since completing grad school, focusing in on a couple other projects. I want to help manage other artists with their public art projects. I’d love to lecture about public art and the act of making it accessible to artists. I’ve been into art since a very young age and haven’t done much outside the art world, especially being in Atlanta for the last 26 years, seeing things change and grow, I still do find it exciting to be here and trying to be part of that change, and it’s just nice to see other people be successful.”


photographs courtesy of JEFFRY LOY

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reative burnout can hit you like a tidal wave, crashing down and engulfing you without warning until you feel like you can’t breathe. It can also be a slow burning candle, a long time coming. Finally, when the last traces of wax have evaporated and the fire is extinguished, you feel the effects of creative burnout. Artists can succumb to creative burnout both in school and on the job. This occurrence is all too common in the fashion industry. When fast fashion became the norm, the upper crust of the industry followed, giving into the constant drive to produce newer things at a more rapid rate. Take fashion week for example. It’s a month-long affair in which editors, models, buyers and designers shuffle between the four fashion capitals of the world: New York City, London, Paris and Milan. Since fashion week became a global phenomenon, the number of collections design houses are expected to produce has skyrocketed. Designers are now counted on to produce spring/summer, fall/winter, two haute couture shows and two resort collections a year. If the brand does menswear as well, the number of collections per year rises even higher. Due to this, many celebrated creative directors who succeeded in reinvigorating the brands they were hired to design for have been resigning after only a few years on the job due to the excessive workload. This could not be seen clearer than in the case of Raf Simons and Dior. Simons renewed Dior during his three and a half


years at the helm of the revered Parisian fashion house, boosting the brand’s financial value while producing fresh designs that perfectly blended the iconic Dior look with a contemporary twist. As a result, his decision to step down from one of the most coveted jobs in the fashion industry shocked many, with Simons citing personal reasons for leaving. In what was a culmination of many conversations over a period of months with famed fashion critic Cathy Horyn, Simons spoke of the difficulties of the fastpaced nature of fashion. During their last conversation, which came only days before Simon’s resignation was announced, he told Horyn, “Everything is done in three weeks, maximum five. You have no incubation time for ideas, and incubation time is very important. When you do six shows a year, there’s not enough time for the

in relation to an individual’s thought process. Two current

whole process.”

theories that relate to how one’s perception of intelligence, creativity or otherwise, affect an individual’s motivation

Creative burnout is certainly not an issue reserved solely

and ability to cope with failure are the entity theory and

for the fashion industry. In an article titled, “Does Fashion

the incremental theory. Entity theorists believe that one’s

Have a Mental Health Problem?” published on the

intelligence is a fixed genetic favor that can’t be improved

popular website Business of Fashion, Emma Mammo,

upon, while those who subscribe to incremental theory

head of workplace wellbeing at Mind, a mental health

believe that intelligence and creativity can be improved

charity, states, “The number of people saying that they

upon and learned with practice. Research has shown

have experienced mental health problems while in employment has climbed from a quarter to a third.”


that entity theorists attribute their failures to their internet lack of ability, and therefore become more depressed and powerless when faced with failure. These personality types believe that failure comes as a result of not being good enough, rather than not trying hard enough. This detrimental point of

view leads to holding oneself back because the feeling of Due to this rise in stress and depression in the workplace,

failure doesn’t come with learning moments. On the other

there has been much research on the subject of burnout

hand, incremental theorists care more about learning and


“In my opinion, creative burnout begins with initially being passionate and sensitive about one’s work, then the deep desire to be perfect, the best and better than the competition,” said Davis. “That leads to significant anxiety. I believe when students get in their own head and cannot get out they experience burnout.”

When asked whether creative burnout differs when it comes to school versus the workplace, Anne Velez said, “School is an artificial environment where we are constantly being compared with others and our work picked apart and we are striving for the ‘A’ at the end of every ten weeks. It can be difficult to be amongst so many talented individuals and not feel you fall short at times. The thing is, though, that art is subjective and your art is entirely and uniquely your own.” In reference to the workplace, Velez also said, “It’s about finding the best fit between what you have to offer and what the employer has to give. When you find a good fit, everyone wins. If you find yourself feeling burned out from work, the same things will help, but hopefully, you will learn now how to make your lifestyle such that you are taking care to keep the things in your life that keep you physically and emotionally healthy.” self-improvement. They are less afraid of failure because

“It could be something that you have done for so long,

they believe that, with enough devotion and time, they

and one day realize that you no longer want to do it,”

can become better. Incremental theorists see creative

said Morris. “What was once

intelligence as a muscle that, with enough exercise, will

fun and challenging, now feels

become bigger and stronger. However, like a muscle,

empty and pointless. Perhaps

creative intelligence must rest itself before it becomes too

the things that used to motivate

strained, leading to a metaphorical injury in the form of

or move you don’t resonate

creative burnout.

at all. This could also be one

However, there are ways to get out of the feared slump,


as well as preventative measures students, artists and human beings, in general, can take so they can avoid the paralyzing experience of creative burnout completely. Successful SCAD graduates, having

project that has taken you ages to complete, and because

experienced creative burnout and come out on the other

Kayeeshia Morris, Mycala Cherry, Caresse Davis, Anne

things didn’t turn out how you imagined it, now you

side even stronger, are excellent sources for words of

Velez and Peeper McDonald are part of the team of

are becoming frustrated, ready to give up and possibly

wisdom. Having been where we are, they understand the

professionals that form SCAD Atlanta’s Counseling and

questioning why you even started to begin with.”

pressure placed upon art students and how that creative pressure from school translates into the workplace.

Student Support Services, also known as CS3. They have seen creative burnout become a common occurrence

CS3 also cites overly-booked, hectic schedules as another

and when asked how creative burnout starts, each team

source of burnout. When people don’t schedule in time

Andrew Robinson, a 1993 SCAD graduate with a B.F.A. in

member gave their input.

for relaxation to balance out their other responsibilities,

illustration, has had an illustrious career since graduating.

even activities that initially intended to be fun become a

Robinson illustrated for the New York Time’s Best Seller

source of anxiety.

“The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story,” for which



he was nominated for an Eisner Award in 2014 for “Best

things, such as listings for real estate companies, executive

own success. And I did, in the end, find that inspiration,

Painter/Multimedia Artist.” The graphic novel itself won

biographies and copyright for advertising agencies.

but I found it in the most unlikely and unexpected place. I found it in lessons that I had learned earlier in life about

an Eisner award for “Best Reality-Based Work.” In an

how creativity can survive its own failure.”

interview with Robinson on the topic of creative burnout,

Reflecting back on this monumental career shift, Sun

he said, “I get burnt out quite a lot. As artists, we should

realized that, as uninspiring as some of the jobs were, the

have some knowledge of our limitations. Even when

decision to move to freelancing helped to free her from

She went on to describe her early career as a struggling

you’re in a good rhythm and routine, there is only so

her creative slump. “I thought it was selling out because I

writer, getting rejection after rejection letter. While she

long you can work each day. Take breaks when needed

was a journalist, but it was a good way to earn money. By

wanted to give up, she knew that she couldn’t because

and try taking a walk to clear your head. When I really

doing all this writing I thought I hated, it actually cleared

her love for writing was so consuming that it outweighed

need to push on to finish a project, but my mind is telling

out my creative burnout because doing different types of

her love for anything else. After she was catapulted into

me to stop, I entertain it by listening to new music on

writing I didn’t like renewed my love for journalism.” Sun

the limelight of fame and success with “Eat, Pray, Love,”

Spotify or escaping with shows like “Cheers,” “Frazier” or

currently works as an editor at a consulting firm while

she described feeling just as scared as the broke waitress

“The Twilight Zone” that I can listen to while I continue

freelancing on the side. She explained her return to a full-

with an endless stream of rejection letters she once was.

working. It distracts my tired mind from wanting to leave

time job was partly due to missing the sense of corporate

That’s when she realized something that never occurred

my drawing table.”

community, saying, “[When I was freelancing full-time]

to her, or most people. Society labels success as good

I missed being part of a company, collaborating with

and failure as bad, yet the raw, visceral experience of

Fei Fei Sun, a SCAD 2008 advertising graduate, is another success story whose experience has given her a wealth of knowledge on how to deal with creative burnout and not let it stand in her way.


and learning from my

emotions between the two are actually quite similar, at

coworkers and boss.”

least for Gilbert.

In the case of Fei Fei

She goes on to say, “So after the weird, disorienting

Sun, pursuing her

success that I went through with ‘Eat, Pray, Love,’ I

Sun’s impressive resume includes previous positions such

passion full-time led her down the rabbit hole and

realized that all I had to do was exactly the same thing

as editorial assistant at Vanity Fair, style editor at TIME

exhausted her to the point of creative burnout. Since

that I used to have to do all the time when I was an

Magazine and managing editor at World. Inc. Her articles

then, she’s learned that what works best for her is to

equally disoriented failure. I had to get my ass back

have also graced the pages of Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan.

follow her journalistic passion on the side as a hobby,

to work, and that’s what I did.” The follow-up book,

com, Dwell, Web MD and more.

rather than let it consume her life, trying to make every

“Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage,”

word perfect 24/7.

was disastrous in comparison to her previous. However, at that point, it didn’t matter. Gilbert just kept writing,

During a phone interview, Sun discussed the ups and downs of her career. Upon graduation, she moved to NYC

Accomplished novelist Elizabeth Gilbert, who famously

releasing another book that received much praise. Gilbert

to fulfill her passion of being a journalist. However, her

authored “Eat, Pray, Love,” brings up the catch-22 of how

honestly and eloquently explains why her failures didn’t

career path was filled with doses of reality, permeating the

to flourish creatively when the main component holding

matter, “My point is that I’m writing another one now, and

typical idealistic dream many students have upon leaving

you back is your previous successes during a 2014 Ted

I’ll write another book after that and another and another

school and entering the workforce. When touching on the

Talk entitled, “Elizabeth Gilbert: Success, failure and the

and another and many of them will fail, and some of them

subject of creative burnout, she referenced her time as

drive to keep creating.” During the talk, she described

might succeed, but I will always be safe from the random

style editor of Time Magazine.

the complexities of her situation. While she was incredibly

hurricanes of outcome as long as I never forget where I

grateful for the success the book had brought her, she

rightfully live.”

“I was writing all the time,” she said. “I started working

feared anything else she wrote would be a disappointment

there around the time the blogging industry took off, so it

to both her fans and critics. This led her to the thought

went from writing a few pieces a week for the magazine

of early retirement. However, Gilbert said, “If I had given

When broached with the topic of preventing creative

to writing a few pieces a week as well as blogging daily. It

up writing, I would have lost my beloved vocation, so I

burnout, SCAD Atlanta’s CS3 team had plenty of advice

was such a hustle.” After a period she moved to Atlanta,

knew that the task was that I had to find some way to

to give:

still working for TIME. However, six months after her move

gin up the inspiration to write the next book, regardless

she quit her job as style editor to start a less glamorous,

of its inevitable negative outcome. In other words, I had

“It is important to take care of one’s physical and mental

yet more lucrative, career in freelancing. She wrote menial

to find a way to make sure that my creativity survived its

health first and foremost,” said Velez. Diminished brain



function coupled with negative self-talk becomes a vicious

of the obligation to focus on the needs of the client or

self-fulfilling prophecy. Fearing failure, students may

company they work for. Creating solely for the benefit of

resist putting pen to paper or brush to canvas, or they

someone else can exhaust a person. Taking time to create

may refuse to try new or different approaches that might

something simply for the love of the process connects

have the potential to open up a window of creative opportunity for them. A simple rule of thumb is that we must identify


the individual to why they wanted to be an artist in the first place. Art therapy, a form of psychological treatment intended to relieve stress,

the things, people, activities that fill us up emotionally and

anxiety and other conditions through free expression,

be sure to include these as a necessary ingredient in our

uses this exact technique for therapeutic benefits.

daily lives. The creative well will always fill again. Keep a file of ideas, pictures etc. that speak to you or inspire you.” The drive for perfection and a fear of failure are the A healthy body is key to a healthy mind. Setting a regular

most common contributing factors of creative burnout.

sleep schedule, eating nutrient-rich meals and getting

However, perfection is unattainable, due to the fact that

out of your workspace into the natural environment are all

it simply does not exist. It’s an illusion. The goal ought

great suggestions that work across the board. These are

to be to get things done as well as they can be in the

not magic cures. To stave off creative burnout indefinitely,

time constraints given. Once a person lets go of the

these need to be worked into one’s way of life, indicative

idea of perfection, creative burnout will be much less

of a marathon rather than a sprint. However, these aren’t

burdensome. Failure is also an incredibly important part

always feasible. The key here is progress rather than

of success and avoiding creative burnout. Success and

perfection. Long sleepless nights are going to occur

failure can’t exist without one another. Learning how to

throughout your education and career. The important note

bounce back from failure, how to learn from failure and

is to make these nights an exception to the rule, rather

how to use that as a strength is key to living a successful

than a regular cycle due to procrastination.

life free of creative burnout. These two ideas boil down to one thing: thought process. Having a positive, healthy

“First, take some time to identify which parts of your

thought process, though difficult to obtain in today’s

wellness have been neglected,” said Cherry. “If it’s

competitive society, is at the root of everything. A healthy

physical, get in a good workout or go for a walk. If

thought process, balanced life and free time to relax. If

it’s intellectual, pick up a book - reread your favorite

you have these three things going for you, you’re already

childhood story or learn something new. If it’s social,

well on your way to a life void of creative burnout.

make some time to sit and talk with a friend or mentor. If it’s spiritual, go into nature or to your preferred religious worship center. Pray or meditate. If it’s emotional, take some time to identify the feelings you are experiencing. Then let them out. Write an angry letter and throw it away. Put on a sad playlist and have a good cry. Above all, don’t forget to breathe.” Another way to get out of a creative slump, or avoid one altogether, is to create without a purpose. That may sound counterintuitive, but for some, it provides exactly that. When artists enter the workplace, there instantly becomes less time to create what they want and love because








MASHA ZHDANOVA, Sequential Art

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Spring 2017  

The student-run magazine of the Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta.

Spring 2017  

The student-run magazine of the Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta.