SCAD Year One

Reading Time:
January 3, 2023 9:03 PM
Special guest written by
Jon Rodz


It's a new season and we still breathing. Coming from San Antonio, TX which is South of Texas, going to Georgia was a big leap! SCAD has an amazing culture, everyone's extremely friendly and I've learned so much as designer.

The first big difference I felt at my first week of SCAD was the culture change. If we're looking at cultures in the United States, this map basically sums it up. I'm from South Texas, San Antonio, home of the Alamo, one of the first cities in Texas. Everything is Spanish influenced, the Hispanic culture and values dominate. This is something that I didn't realize until being at SCAD. I realized that Breakfast Tacos are non-existent, and when I say Breakfast Tacos people actually think of normal tacos I eat for breakfast. In South Texas we have the best Mexican food in the United States! So coming to the East Coast I am ashamed to say every Mexican Restaurant in Savannah is no good. Foods will always be a culture shock.

Going to art school is fun though! If you're ever wondering how SCAD Culture is, these 2 Instagram pages sums it up. First is an Instagram page of the YikYaks at SCAD and the other is parking at SCAD. However, the best of SCAD is the clubs and the opportunities! Like SCADpro (A class where students act as an agency helping big companies) and SCAD StartUp (A week long event ran by FLUX that every student is apart of), also SCADamp, a class where speaking coaches help upi were giving presentations and speaking.

I felt so confident going into SCAD though! I've been in schooling such as SAY Si and CAST Tech and dominated there, I felt like I understood the Creative Culture and I've worked with businesses before plus I've had Design Projects, I've done internships, I had Adobe's Support through funds and mentorship, it felt really great! 

Quarter 1 Fall

During the first few weeks I felt homesick, I felt like I didn't belong, I felt lonely, I felt a lot of bad feelings, and I felt like I was retreating back into the quiet kid I used to be, the kid I thought I defeated over the past 4 years at CAST and SAY Si.

SCAD goes in quarters of 10 weeks, which means each class is a quick, nonstop, no kidding you won't stop until the last day. You take 3 classes, each class 2 times a week and each class is 2 and a half hours long. Yes they are long! 

For my first quarter I had an 8 PM class, which, at the time I thought was cool, in retrospect, never do it! I would get out at 10:30 PM tired! And I would get tired in class, ideal times for classes is 11 AM, 2 PM, 5 PM. Those times I highly recommend.

Anyway Quarter 1 was great!

For Color Theory I learned to never work in color first, always work in value first. I really understood the importance of black and white. Value is key especially in great design. I also learned how to paint, and mix paint!

For Computer Aided-Product Design, well that one deserves a whole article here.

And for History class (Visual Culture in Context: Making Modernities), that was fun, lots about the renaissance!

First quarter was awkward because it's only 10 weeks then you're home in November for 7 weeks. It's an awkward time.


I had 2 dope Suitemates, Owen Merit Walker and Tony Raymond Michalski both are rising hit Filmmakers! Lots of laughs, weird memory's, and times that I think no one else could've experienced. These Filmmakers are on the path to make dope things. These guys are friends for life and future collaborators!

Tony has a YouTube channel Syonide, and well he's on a mission to go from underrated to just rated. According to Syonide, he makes music, memes and his parents moderately proud. His content is high quality and funny and it's even funnier when you know the YouTuber! And has garnered as of this writing up to 6k subscribers in less than 2 years.

Owen Walker has made plenty of films, though, he has a skill of being a great, funny, good energy person. When you get Owen, me and Tony in a room sometimes the conversations don't stop until 4 AM.

Quarter 2 Winter

I had 3 classes again,

For Rapid Prototyping, I learned everything about the woodshop! And that is a tough class, really tough, I am someone who's all digital so doing something that required lots of time with my hands was challenging but well worth it for industrial designers! 

For Core Principles: Programming, I learned the basics of programming math, and it was interesting! I love math, and the rules of math so this class was fun.

For Drawing 2: Composition and Media it was great, learned a lot about how to draw, it was simple, this class was at 5 PM so coming out at 7:30 PM was not really fun, the day felt short.

Of course, SXSW, that happened in March, was something that I've never experienced! Got to meet my Design Mentor Khoi Vinh, who I've been meeting regularly with, and I also got to go up on stage and share my story, Starting From the Bottom and now at an art school! This quarter I really felt homesick! So being in Austin was really great.

Quarter 3 Spring

The future is FLUX! The next quarter which happened right after the 2nd was great. The feelings of not belonging went away as I joined FLUX, the club of my major (UX). I got to create and be apart of events that created a culture. I've had practice at SAY Si and CAST, so I knew exactly what to do in terms of creating spaces and I found a tribe of people, FLUX!

Excited for what next year will bring.

Jon Rodz
As a young professional designer, Jon Rodz studies UX design at SCAD. He works on products and services thoughtfully across industries. In an industry where Latinos are underrepresented, Jon believes he will make a difference in driving design innovation and systems inclusive of his culture.

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