The Visual Arts program at Hazard Community and Technical College is expanding, offering a variety of classes that were not available before, including video production, InDesign, animation, and strategic concepts. Natasha Watts was named coordinator of the program in July; she is working closely with the former coordinator Jeremiah Bryant to offer a program in which graduates become marketable to the workplace.
Students enrolled in the class can expect to produce a great deal of work. “This field is all about getting your work out there and quickly. As a society we are flooded with images, videos, and general media content. Our students need to understand how to stand out in a sea of other fish. I push students hard to constantly critique their work and never stop improving what they have created. The classes we provided are loaded with content that helps them create media projects while sticking to their own style,” Mrs. Watts said.
Enrolling in the class helps prepare students for jobs because students are making portfolios and constant creating. “You must have all your work samples on hand and you have to continually make things. Employers want to see your work and know that you have skills that are up to par with current trends. This business is all about production and lots of it, and our classes keep them on track with that ideology,” noted Mrs. Watts.
Student Mike Enders Jr. said he enjoyed enrolling in classes with Mrs. Watts because she makes the courses so fun. He has already enrolled in three of her classes for the spring semester. His dream job is to work for the WWE Network, creating promotional videos. “I have some experience with Windows Movie Maker as shown by my Youtube channel, but other than that, everything I’ve learned has come from enrolling in these HCTC classes,” he said.
The program provides students the skills necessary to prepare and produce multimedia presentations, web site design, animations, audio/video productions, etc. Specifically, visual communications artists use computers and other electronic media to create animation, special effects and other visual images on video and film. They typically work in advertising, computer systems design services, motion picture and video industries.
Visual communications employment is projected to grow about as fast as average (increase 7 – 13%). Jobs will grow faster for multimedia artists and animators than other segments of the field, because of the increasing reliance on these artists to create multimedia or digital artwork. Consumers will demand more realistic imagery in video games, 3D animated movies and movie and television special effects, which will spur growth for multimedia artists and animators.
Those wanting to enroll or learn more about the program can contact Natasha Watts via email [email protected] or call HCTC (606) 436-5721.