Art School Reviews

Kayla MacAulay DP

Kayla MacAulay

Digital Photography

My favorite part about the photography is how it allows me to be myself, and be creative. There are many photographers in today’s society and we all have a different spin on how we present our work and ourselves.

When I was researching the different schools within the Halifax area that offered a Photography program, the Centre for Arts and Technology caught my eye because it was different then all the other programs. I liked the fact that it was more up to date with technology

Throughout the year there were many events that went on and allowed us to learn and gain new outlooks and experience that would later on help us in our chosen career path. If I could pick one thing that I loved about the program; it would be the different photographers from the area who came in and spoke to our class each week. It allowed us to see that we are not the only people that are going through the current situation with trying to make ourselves known and build a clientele because these photographers went through it as well and it all just takes time and effort.

Over the course of the last two years I have had the privilege of building my clientele as a photographer; as well I have had the opportunity to work with Life Touch Canada as a school photographer. Currently, I am traveling every weekend to my hometown (Pugwash, NS) for client shoots. I have also decided to make the move to Alberta and expand my ever-growing clientele and to take on a new adventure.

Kayla MacAulay, Digital Photography Alumni

Patrick Horan

Patrick Horan

Animation for Game, Film & Visual Effects

“I chose the 3D Game Animation program from hearing about it while at work from 2 former students. After taking a tour of the school I realized it was where I wanted to go.

My favorite part of the program was the hands on approach from the teachers, working after hours and doing night classes to make us the best that we can be.

My career path started when I was accepted into the Gagetown internship program, not wanted to move away just yet I applied to studios in Halifax. The main reason I got into DHX media was from a meet and greet that was held with members from DHX at the school. The impression I made that night got me in the door when I applied. Currently I am an Animator at DHX media.

The program prepared me for my current job in that I learned how to do everything within the pipeline of an animation production, I know a bit of everything and would feel confident helping out in any position in the studio. The most important thing I learned was how to self teach and self motivate myself to work and improve my skill set.

What I like about the industry is I come to work everyday, dressed how ever I want, sit down at my desk which is covered in toys and posters, take my shoes off and get to be creative all day. As well, I work with an amazing team where everyone is passionate about what they love to do, its a very positive environment and easily the best work environment I’ve ever experienced.

The one thing I would tell future students is, it comes down to how much you put in. You get out what you put into it, working hard, making connections with your teachers and graduates is what will get you into the industry. Technical skills are important, but no one wants to be around someone who’s hard to work with, attitude goes the extra distance that your work (being new to the industry) does not.

Patrick Horan, 3D Animation Alumni

3D Animation Alumni Devin James Watterston Headshot

Devin James Watterston

Animation grad

“After I graduated, I didn’t really stop and take a break. Sure, 2 years of my life were spent doing long, stressful things and making a HUGELY overwhelming demo reel/short film, but they were 2 of my best years and I had some of the most fun in my life so far. Beyond that, I kept talking with potential employers. I started by going to SIGGRAPH; attempting to make an impression that would remain with the studios that were there. Aside from that, PDP [Professional Development Program] 500 gave me enough confidence in myself and the knowledge/skills I obtained throughout the class; which in turn prepared me for public presentation in front of some huge contacts in the industry. From that experience, I connected with two people from Bardel Entertainment Inc. They kept me on their radar and I constantly followed up with them regarding contracts and work for me. Another year later, and I got my current contract as a Junior 3D Animator.

The 3D Animation courses gave me the tools and place to develop my skills and hone my creativity. Beyond that, PDP was actually my most valued course I can think of. The last year of my program also gave a strong feeling of what a real studio environment would function as, which I very much liked and put me at an advantage.

I love the animation industry! The studio environment, the technology that is utilized to create the work and deliverables, and the people. SO much creativity is pumped into this industry and the amount of work needed to bring it to life is staggering. I love the dedication people have, and the amount of fun I have while doing it myself makes me excited to work in my field.

My advice to future students: everyone and everything you connect with at the school and in your program are your best resources to ensure you make the most out of your passion and talent. From the students to the instructors, they are critical to your growth and learning. Also, find a medium that you love the most and choose one thing to focus on; a generalist isn’t valued as much as someone who is very good at one discipline. “

Devin James Watterston, 3D Animation Alumni

Dave H

Dave Haggblad

Graphic Design & Web Development grad

“As a mature student, I had a fair bit of experience with websites and creating print pieces, but I knew there were some large holes in my skill set. When I reviewed Centre for Arts and Technology’s program, it offered a solid core of the technical skills I wanted to learn, but also touch on areas like photography, video, audio, law, and otherwise, that are complimentary skills that I can now offer to my graphic design clients.

My favourite part of the program – and that which you can’t get by just learning design programs on your own – was the interaction with other like-minded students. The school attracts such a wide variety of people with different skills and interested, and it was amazingly powerful to interact with my classmates on projects. Getting opinions, providing feedback, and working together allowed me to create projects that were greater than the sum of the techniques used to create them.

Since graduating, I have been freelancing under my own company, Digital Ink Media. I initially thought I would like to work at a larger agency, but the program helped me decide that freelancing was the way to go for me. I always listened carefully to the industry advice given by my instructors, including growing my network and getting involved in community projects. This has allowed me to build my business straight out of school and has really paid off!

Dave Haggblad, Graphic Design & Web Development Alumni

Attila Kovarcsik

Attila Kovarcsik

Digital Filmmaking grad

“The best part of the Digital Filmmaking program at Centre for Arts and Technology was getting to learn from real film industry professionals. It helped me in every way to see what mistakes I should not make in real life in the industry.

I didn’t get jobs immediately after graduation, but I continued to build my portfolio, and took contracts that started to lead to jobs. I’ve since started my own production company, “One Thyme Pictures.” We produce professional videos including light comedies and documentary pieces, some of which have been broadcast around the world. We also offer event cinematography, corporate video production, video editing services, promotional videos, music videos, green screen services and more.

Your path depends not only on the school. Centre for Arts and Technology will help you in every aspect to achieve your goal. But for career success, you need to work hard! You need to take your school projects and assignments seriously and as professional as possible, as if they were your real life contract projects! “

Attila Kovarcsik, Digital Filmmaking Alumni

Trevor Snow

Trevor Snow

Audio Engineering Grad

“Centre for Arts and Technology provided the facilities and instruction I needed to acquire a job in the ever changing world of audio/video. The instructors went “over and above” helping me gain the skills I needed to succeed and here I am a month before graduation with a full-time job in my field….”

Trevor Snow, Audio Engineering & Production

Graphic Design and Web Development Alumni Alanna O'Brien Headshot

Alanna O’Brien

“My overall experience at CATO was amazing. Everything from my peers to the curriculum to the teachers made my year and a half there an unforgettable experience. CATO offered me such a variety of skills that my resume stood out from other graphic designers. Never settle for just “good enough” and keep learning.”

Alanna O’Brien, Graphic Design & Web Development Alumni

Interior Design Alumni Nada Almessery Headshot

Nada Almessery

“Centre for Arts and Technology is the one place where you will actually get one-on-one time with your instructors. It’s the only place where everyone is there to help and make this the best experience possible. If I were to go back in time, I would totally do it all over again. CAT is one big happy family and it was my pleasure to be a part of it!”

Nada Almessery, Interior Design Alumni

2D Animation Alumni Paul Moser Headshot

Paul Moser

“Choosing CATO for 2D Animation was one of the best decisions of my life. CATO motivated me and pushed my potential as an artist through fun but challenging assignments using all the latest software. I met all my best friends there, some incredibly gifted artists, and teachers I now call colleagues and friends. CATO also gave me the tools and opportunity to land a job in a world class animation studio, Yeti Farm, by developing my professional skills along with my technical skills and putting me in contact with big names in the industry. Most importantly it let me realize the dream: building a successful career and life doing what I love.”

Paul Moser, 2D Animation & Digital Art Alumni

Digital Filmmaking Alumni Thomas Bowerbank Headshot

Thomas Bowerbank

“Surround yourself with like minded people, lose the unnecessary distractions and be proactive, don’t wait for opportunities, make them. It won’t be easy and if it is it won’t last so work hard, it will pay off. Also don’t be scared to take a job or work on a film that isn’t your dream project. Take it as a challenge to make a dull thing amazing. I like to use the analogy of taking someone like Steven Spielberg and getting them to make an infomercial. You can bet that would be the most bad ass infomercial you’ve ever seen! If you are passionate and do good work people will notice.”

– Thomas Bowerbank, Digital Filmmaking Alumni