By Lana Sweeten-Shults
GCU News Bureau
David Olbert made an art out of getting to school.
The Grand Canyon University senior design student drove the 225 miles, round trip, from his home in Tucson to Phoenix just to get to class. The one semester he had classes Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday was his worst, he said, because he knew, in a few hours, he’d be burning up the Arizona asphalt again.
“I’m a little bit of an insane legend — or a myth — around here,” he said with a laugh.
The effort just shows his dedication to complete his education at GCU — an effort put forth not only by him but by the more than 55 College of Fine Arts and Production design students Tuesday evening at the 2018 GCU Design Students’ Senior Portfolio Showcase, a huge event that occupied three rooms in the College of Science, Engineering and Technology building. It’s an annual event where graduating seniors showcase their work in digital and non-digital portfolios.
Olbert, whose emphasis is in animation, featured his work on a tablet, such as a rendering of a K’Nex car, and like many of the design students, he gave away marketing swag, such as smartphone stands and stickers.
“My dream would be to model as a job — create objects or entire scenes, to do that for marketing or movies. I’d love to do that,” he said.
Alana Woods spent some of her time at GCU creating posters and other marketing materials for the Associated Students of GCU and was a graphic design intern for the Phoenix Suns/Phoenix Mercury/Sports & Entertainment Services.
Her portfolio included a logo design and other marketing material for a fictional coffee business called First Cup Cafe.
Ashlyn Zieba, whose showcase area was dappled in pink, said she would describe her design style as “really clean and simple.” She will be working in human resources after graduation but hopes to put her design skills to use in that area.
Tabitha Hamm featured one of her animation projects — of a squid — on a tablet. She loves the frame-by-frame animation technique.
“For a 10-second video it’s like 240 pictures,” said Hamm, who also showed a clip of “Portals,” which won an award at the recent GCU Film Festival. She was one of the animators who helped put the short film together.
Alicia Benson said she’s looking for graphic design jobs, though eventually she wants to work in animation. She displayed some of her animation work, including “The Clever Rabbit,” at the portfolio showcase.
With so many portfolios to look at, it was a challenge to see everything at the event. Benson said she was glad to go through the program while the design classes were small and said the program, which started with just four students in 2011, “is only getting bigger.”
You can reach GCU senior writer Lana Sweeten-Shults by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 601-639-7901.