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The Journey: Stacy Tang

January 15, 2014

This year I want to use Drawger to call attention to the work of a few former students and their early career paths. One student of who has followed an unorthodox path to artistic fulfillment is Stacy Tang.

Stacy came to CCA from Macao. Senior students at CCA do a thesis project of 10 pieces- and although we encourage personal (as opposed to commercial) thematic approaches to the thesis project, not everyone is willing to risk taking a non-commercial approach that might not "pay off" in the short run.Stacy was willing to take the leap, and In her senior year,  she decided to make her thesis project about the stages of bereavement in her struggle in coping with the recent loss of her mother.

(Note- Dugald Stermer taught Stacy's thesis class, today it is taught by Bob Ciano. Students have individual faculty advisors for thesis as well).

After graduation in 2006,  Stacy worked for a few years as a graphic designer. She did some commercial illustration projects but found that she felt more fulfilled doing more personal work. She kept doing personal paintings while working as a designer, and developing her skills as a painter.

Somewhere along the way she began to get interested in photography, and she began to make some really remarkable photos.  Eventually she had a solo show of her photographs.

Her growing interest in digital photographic process led her to become interested in digital art and eventually in matte painting for motion pictures. She quit her design job, learned Maya and Photoshop, and developed a portfolio of digital matte paintings that led to her employment as a matte artist on a number of recent feature films including Elyssium and The Lone Ranger.

The story might end there but it doesn't. Stacy continues to look for artistic fullfilment in painting outside of her commercial work. Her recent show "Dare" showed a number of paintings that the level of her personal work even further. I really liked the show. I am very proud of Stacy, who has the spirit of a real artist and the determination to keep going.

I know many students visit Drawger, and I hope that if you are a student that this story gives you a little inspiration to have faith that what is inside of you is worth something more than money. That is where fulfillment and true happieness  lies. It's worth the risk to look for your own path.