Life After High School: Vi Viray Bautista

What is your name?
Vi Viray Bautista

What year did you graduate? 
I graduated in 2013.

Where are you now? 
Chicago, Illinois. Currently in my Sophomore year at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, or more commonly known as SAIC, in league with the AIC museum—not the chain of Art Institutes or Academy of Arts trade schools—I feel like I have to clarify that, since most people tend to confuse them.

What do you enjoy? 
Hard question. I enjoy exploring, experimenting, and gaining knowledge that I find interesting, especially outside the art & design context. With that in mind, what I also truly enjoy is spending time with people who have that outlook too.

What did you do in high school?
In retrospect, I didn’t do much in high school. I didn’t participate in any extracurricular activities like sports. I was part of the Art Club and Publicationsfor two years, eventually becoming the Editor-in-Chief in Publications during Senior year, although I believe I wasn’t very good at it. Aside from school related activities, Michelle Ragsac (’13), Talia Gurevich(’13), Jean Fan(’13), and I were part of…I guess you’d call it a collective…called “Nofocapoint.” that casually took on projects and kind of did apparel design on the side. It lasted from Freshman year to Junior year. The experience I had with Nofocapoint and Publications geared me to incorporate collaboration within my art/design practice, so I’m grateful I had these experiences.

What are you doing now? 
Right now I’m trying to figure out what I want to do and what I can contribute to the art & design field, so I guess I’m just exploring and finding my place in all of it. In regards to that, I’m currently in a self-designed interdisciplinary curriculum within the Art & Technology Studies (think programming, 3D printing, and rigging arduino boards) and Visual Communication Design (all aspects of graphic design) departments. I’m also threading in Film/Video/New Media waters when a Designed Objects student, a Print Media/Illustration student, and I decided to initiate a multidisciplinary collective called KAIRE in Freshman year; happy to say we’re still going strong with the collective and our works have since been shown in exhibitions, festivals, and film competitions. Outside of Chicago, I’m a contributor for Toronto-based publication, Heights Magazine.

What surprised you about life after high school? 
Acknowledging the obvious dichotomy between high school and college, and how fast you grow up because of it. I don’t mean to sound cliche but it’s incredibly true. When you’re put outside your comfort zone, in my case living and studying across the country and being exposed to a myriad of different possibilities and personalities without anyone you know, you are compelled to grow up. I also underestimated how much autonomy I got after high school and even now, I’m figuring out how to be responsible with it.

Any words of wisdom? 
Aside from setting goals to attend the college of your dreams, really establish what you want to get out of it besides a degree and a job. I’m not admonishing students to avoid college, but if you feel like the college educational system isn’t really engaging you to learn and grow, find ways that will. Also, have fun while you’re still in high school. Appreciate the good and the bad experiences in it and find a balance between work and play.

For more Bearcat News, visit our Journalism website at: http://www.thebearcat.net/

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