Kathy Smith

Photo by: Steve Cohn Photography
Photo by: Steve Cohn Photography

USC School of Cinematic Arts

When I came here as an artist in residence in 1998 I initially found it very difficult to practice art in such a busy lab environment at Hench-DADA. I was used to being locked away in my private studio never having to interact much with anyone. That changed rapidly in my first semester here at USC and looking back I treasure the years I spent working one on one in the studio environment with the graduate students. It is truly an interactive experience of creating and developing research projects while sharing knowledge, achievements and challenges through teaching.

Mentoring is probably the most important aspect of our program within our roles as artists and professors at SCA; to expand and share your ideas and encourage fellow animation artists to explore their passion, to not be afraid to take risks, or to experiment has proved to be the most liberating experience I have had in my teaching and art career. There is so much truth in the adage that sharing knowledge empowers all and over the past 15 years at USC -first as Artist in Residence/Adjunct Faculty, then as Associate Professor and Chair I have never lost sight of the fact that engaging one on one is the most valuable teaching experience for both student and faculty. All of our students have taught me equally as much as I have shared with them, and I am grateful for the honor.