Photo courtesy of Grace Kruse
Junior Grace Kruse, founder of Pepperdine’s first Digital Arts Club, said she wants to provide a creative space for inter-disciplinary collaboration between students from all majors.
“By mixing art with media production, engineering, computer science, etc., there’s an endless possibility of the creative products that can be made,” she said.
As a student worker at Pepperdine’s newest digital workshop, Genesis Lab, Kruse said she saw a future for digital arts at Pepperdine.
“With the opening of Genesis Lab, many digital art tools are now available to students,” she said. “I want to utilize them to help artists reach their full potential.”
Kruse said she believes learning 3D modeling is a great way to start practicing digital art.
“Right now, students are mostly using the 3D printers to create knickknacks with pre-made patterns,” she said. “But through the club, I want to teach people how to make their own products and patterns rather than copying someone else’s work.”
Kruse said she found out about Genesis Lab during her first visit to the newly renovated library.
“I was excited to see the new library and stumbled upon Genesis Lab,” she said. “I was interested to see what they’re planning on doing since I had a little experience in 3D printing so I signed up for an interview, and the rest is history.”
Kruse also said she encourages students to visit the maker space at any time to explore.
“We have some exciting events and projects going on so we would love to have students come and try out our equipment and share their passions with us,” she said.
Currently, the club holds a general meeting every week on Friday afternoon in the Cultural Arts Center.
“We learn about different programs and software,” Kruse said. “Then we break into brain storm sessions where people collaborate on different projects. I’m really hoping to hold a showcase next semester to present everyone’s work.”
As a traditional ballet dancer, Kruse said she’s still very new to the digital art field.
“I’ve been doing ballet since I was four years old,” she said. “I wanted to try something new, and that’s why I decided to jump out to this field to try and apply everything I know to a different form of art.”
She said she believes dance taught her to pay attention to details.
“It’s helped me tremendously with my transition to digital art,” she said. “I am very willing to find inspiration and incorporate concepts outside of art, and I love the thought of something digital with something very physical to create work that hasn’t been see before.”
Kruse said her inspiration comes from people around her.
“I’m always in awe of how talented everyone is,” she said, “For example, my graphic design professor Jane Mi challenges me to see art in a whole new way. She combines traditional art and science in a way that I’ve never seen before.”
Kruse said she also credits her family for her interest in art and technology.
“My mom always encouraged me to play around with art, and I think she planted the earliest seed for my love for art,” she said. “Both of my brothers work in the Silicon Valley and they helped expose me to a lot of the newest digital advancements.”
Kruse offered some advice for students interested in digital arts.
“Be willing to try new things and mess up,” she said. “You just have to keep going, experiment and eventually you will find your own style.”
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