Digital arts student at Selkirk College Mao Kitaoka works on stop animation.

Digital arts student at Selkirk College Mao Kitaoka works on stop animation.

Giving students the tools

Digital arts and new media instructor Daryl Jolly shares what Selkirk offers students to give them an edge in an uncertain job market.

It has been 20 years since Selkirk College instructor in digital arts and new media Daryl Jolly entered the industry.

It was an interest in film, art, design and what he calls “a little bit of luck along the way,” that drew him to the field.

“I’ve been involved in film and television, commercial design and education for 20 years,” said Jolly. “There wasn’t much training available when I started in the industry. Digital art was just beginning to emerge as a profession. I, like others in this field in the early ‘90s were largely self taught, and also learned from each other.”

Now Jolly, along with other instructors in the department, helps teach students a variety of skills from the creative to the technological so that they are better equipped to apply and get jobs after graduation.

“I would say that uncertainty is by far the biggest challenge facing grads,” said Jolly. “Uncertainty about finding a job in their chosen field after graduation; uncertainty about their abilities. What they need to realize is that all the information that you and I consume (web, iPad apps, video, animation) has to be created by someone. By the time they graduate, they will have a broad skill set that will make them desirable employees.”

Jolly said knowing that students are facing uncertainty, instructors help their classes maximize on the skills they have.

“In this field, talent and efficiency are key,” he said. “Our role as instructors is to ensure that the student’s technical abilities match their creative talents. We work with students one-on-one, offering feedback and support. We demand a lot from our students, because we want them to succeed.”

Unlike bigger schools in Calgary and Vancouver, Jolly feels that the small class sizes offer an advantage to Selkirk students.

“Because of small class sizes, we are able to work with students individually and focus on their strengths and goals,” he said. “We get to know our students well, and are personally invested in their success. Lower tuition fees are a big benefit as well.”

Digital arts students will be showcasing the work they’ve done at their year end show titled Geekshow on Friday, April 13 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Mary Hall.