Steven Vander Meer
Steven Vander Meer
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Bachelor of Fine Arts in Media Arts
1985
Self-Employed Artist

In a couple sentences, describe what you do for work.

I commute to my studio every morning, it's a two-minute walk. There I am a self-employed artist. I make short animated films, life drawings, rubber stamps, and whatever else I need.

How did you choose your major? Was it the right choice?

When I started at MCAD there were only two majors, I tried one (fine art) and then the other (design). Then media arts was added, so I switched to that because my main interest was photography. It was absolutely the right choice because it introduced me to film.

Did MCAD prepare you for life after graduation?

Nothing can prepare you for real life.

What inspires you?

Nature, the human figure, science, and other people's art. Also necessity, because I like to invent things.

“Learn as many different things about art as you can . . . a little bit of every experience, no matter how small or trivial, stays with you and can come back in unexpected ways.”

Current obsession?

Homebrew and zoetropes.

How do you network yourself and your art?

I taught myself HMTL and maintain my own website. I attend film festivals. I Instagram. I send email newsletters.

What advice do you have for current MCAD students?

You don't have to follow the conventional path and graduate in exactly four years, you can stretch it out and make it last a little longer if you want to.

Has your work evolved since leaving MCAD?

Yes, my work has evolved a lot, I think when you're a student you tend to experiment with a lot of different techniques, and that can eat up all of your creative energy.  As I've become more comfortable with the technical side of making art, I've been able to put a lot more thought into the work.  Ironically, I did very little in the way of drawing while  at MCAD–I even remember a drawing instructor, during a one-on-one critique of my sketchbook, saying to me, “Uh, drawing is not your forte, is it?”  But now, drawing is the main thing that I do. Each of my short films is made of thousands of individual drawings on paper.

Name your one biggest takeaway from MCAD?

Learn as many different things about art as you can, even if you never plan to use them and forget them the next day, because a little bit of every experience, no matter how small or trivial, stays with you and can come back in unexpected ways.