A First-Year from Seattle: Meet Tania Butterworth

Hello from Seattle! I'm up north this week meeting with awesome prospective CCA students and the high school art teachers who love them. It's only fitting that I post this great interview with Tania Butterworth, a first-year student from the Emerald City.

You've only just moved here! First impressions of CCA and the Bay?
I actually did CCA's Pre-College Program during the summer of 2009, so coming here for college felt like returning home in a way. I love the bay; the fog is beautiful, the architecture is REALLY beautiful, and there's so much great music everywhere it's kind of overwhelming. Coming here to study art is great. Everywhere you look there's something to be inspired by.

What kind of work did you make in high school? Are you switching gears?
I did a lot of computer-based graphic design in high school, and I was accepted to CCA as a graphic design major. But once I got here, I found myself itching to try new things. I ended up switching into Sculpture because it seemed interesting. I've never made a sculpture before. I guess what I'm trying to say here is that I really want to distance myself from the work I did in high school – in that way, I suppose it is an influence.

What are you most looking forward to here?
Seeing what I can do with my hands! I've spent so long doing graphic design on the computer, and I'm excited to be doing things that involve smelly chemicals and get my jeans dirty and require half an hour of cleanup. So far, it's been awesome. It's so satisfying.

Any advice for high school seniors?
Trust your intuition, it's always right. And try things that scare you (as long as they excite you too). Also, if you're moving from home, really savor your last year there. You'll miss it a lot more than you think you will.

Where/when do you get inspiration for your best ideas?
My best ideas come from nowhere. But I've found that if I just start writing down ideas, no matter how bad they are, they'll typically evolve into something worth making.

If you were asked to design something for the playfully bizarre Skymall catalog, what would it be?
When I was eight years old I thought of this idea for a lunchbox shaped like a food pyramid. It would have labeled compartments for all the food groups, which would force a nutritious lunch. I still think it's a good idea.

Do you prefer grand beauty (like mountains) or miniature beauty (like shells)?
I'm from Seattle, and the mountains and trees and lakes in the Pacific Northwest never cease to amaze me. I suppose all of those things fall under the “grand beauty” category, but I don't think you can have grand beauty without miniature beauty. Trees would be nothing without their leaves, after all.

What do you think is the next big dessert trend? Think frozen yogurt, cupcakes...
Homemade baked goods are makin' a comeback. Especially when you can't afford to buy frozen yogurt.