Ryan Conticello ’12 Graphic Design/Digital Media
Thanks to Harvey, I hit my stride, putting out some of my strongest portfolio work and learning the programs so well that I even taught him a few things.
Why UMass Dartmouth?
I chose UMD for its nursing program. As a high school student, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I came because I knew the nursing program here was above par. At the time, I was very interested in eventually becoming an anesthesiologist. That dream has long since changed.
I failed out of the nursing program and reached a personal low in my life. I felt like a total failure with no real future. It was embarrassing and stressful — but most of all, it was motivating.
I became determined to find my calling. I went to BCC to get my GPA back up and it was there that I discovered graphic design. I never looked back.
My new goal was to return to UMD and graduate with a BFA in graphic design. I had no idea that graphic design was so well-taught at this University, but I’m glad I lucked out and fell into such a superb program.
Choosing a dual major…
Once I was back at UMD as a graphic design major, one of the required classes was Digital Media I. It was also a major that covered basically everything in the digital design world — website design, animation, 3-D modeling, motion graphics, app design, action script, HTML etc.
If it weren’t for the university’s course requirements, I would have missed out on my true calling. I found that I loved — I mean absolutely loved — animation. Even further, I loved film making.
I finished the first two digital media classes and in Digital Media III, I met Professor Harvey Goldman. Harvey and I did not get along at first. I was an arrogant but talented junior and he had no time for my antics. I quickly learned from Harvey that I needed to be taught a little time management and needed a little kick in the behind to take my work to the next level. He is probably the single most important teacher in the DM department (although, he is surrounded by several other critically talented teachers).
By the end of my junior year, I was no longer a laid back young man in college. I found that I had grown up a lot in one year. I felt like a man with a purpose. Gone were the feelings of failure and loss that came with failing out of nursing. I felt confident and ready to shock the world with my art. Thanks to Harvey, I hit my stride, putting out some of my strongest portfolio work and learning the programs so well that I even taught him a few things.
Around this time, I chose to switch from a graphic design major to a dual major in graphic design and digital media. I was a new person. I work late and wake up before my alarm. Every time I wake up, I can’t wait to start the day. I can animate anything I can imagine! In 3-D and in 2-D! How cool is that!? I’m still not over it. My whole life I wanted to be able to do this. Now, I can and people are going to pay me for it!
Ryan’s Future Plans
My plans are to get a job in motion graphics, animation or game design. I want to work around here until my girlfriend graduates. Shortly after that, we plan to move to California to get my foot in the film-making door. I want to eventually return to school and get my master’s degree in film making at UCLA.
Harvey and all the graphic design teachers have been helping us prepare our portfolios and resumes each semester. Digital Media VI is a senior level course where the sole purpose is helping us design and set up our portfolio websites. Alumni, free lancers and professionals are constantly speaking with us about job interviews and proper etiquette. They give us all the tools to get a good-paying job in the field we desire; the rest is up to us.