SF Bay Area

    A Passion for Production

    Producer of many student projects in the School of Game Development, Victoria “Via” Pruitt’s communication skills help bring teams together

    Clan Helsing, Face, TeenTend, Tony DiTerlizzi’s Magic Mirror, Norman Rockwell VR Experience, Sugar Sleuths, Hazel: The Game, Foodiecats: The Game, A Thief’s Tale, Junho—these are but a few of the outstanding projects developed within the last few semesters by students in the School of Game Development at Academy of Art University. There is one student, however, who has her fingerprints on all of them: Victoria “Via” Pruitt. 

    For the listed projects, Pruitt acted as producer—the glue, the guru, the communicator and all-around calming problem-solver: “If something’s about to happen, I just reorganize things so I can say, ‘Okay, we’re going to be fine,’” she explained.

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    The Voice of a Neighborhood

    M.F.A. graduate’s AR app aims to connect Tenderloin residents with their local environment and act as an inspiration for young people


    Faranak Razavi (third from left) was awarded a $10,000 grant from Tech in the Tenderloin on Friday, June 29. Also pictured (L–R) is Farshid Ghods and Victoria “Via” Pruitt. Photo by Manasi Patel.

    Faranak Razavi’s TeenTend app started as a mere idea at the Tech in the Tenderloin (TNT) hackathon back in September of 2017, but now after being awarded a $10,000 grant from the non-profit organization, Razavi is one step closer to bringing her community app to reality. 

    “I was pretty much speechless because there were so many other great ideas presented at the hackathon,” Razavi said of being nominated for the grant. “The fact they believed in our idea and its potential outcome and how it can impact society means a lot as young developers.”

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    Challenging Ideas


    Adobe After Effects UX Designer and Academy of Art University School of Web Design & New Media alumnus Ramiz Sheikh. Photo by Bob Toy.

    Motion graphics user group SF Content Creators recently featured Academy of Art University alumnus and Adobe After Effects UX Designer Ramiz Sheikh for its monthly Meetup event at the Adobe headquarters.

    School of Web Design & New Media (WNM) Motion Graphics Lead Colin Sebestyen and Digital Anarchy CEO Jim Tierney run SF Content Creators as a forum for casual conversation, networking and discussion among motion graphic and production artists of all skill levels, with a specific emphasis on professional product breakdowns and speaker series.

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    Preparing for the Industry

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    ADV and ILL students teamed up as they worked on a collaborative project for Young & Hungry. Photo by Bob Toy.

    This past spring semester, students from Young & Hungry Creative Co-op (Y&H), Academy of Art University’s on-campus advertising agency, teamed up with the students from the School of Illustration (ILL) portfolio course for an interdepartmental collaborative project. Y&H Executive Creative Director and School of Advertising Associate Director of Art Direction & Industry Development James Wojtowicz and ILL instructor Steven Kloepfer masterminded the project. The collaboration pairs each of 18 student art directors with an illustrator to develop an advertisement for either the Sausalito Art Festival’s competition, the American Icon Art Contest or a mock advertisement for a fable or myth that will be printed in Y&H’s demobook, Stone Soup, which they have a month to complete.

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    Reimagining Automotive Brands

    IND’s Corporate Sponsored Project encourages interdisciplinary work and provides students with brand experience


    Team members (L–R) Kevin Chen, Mitchell Galik, Max Benon and Enes Olcay present their design during their IND 494 presentation. Photo by Nina Tabios.

    Every year, the School of Industrial Design (IND) at Academy of Art University organizes an IND 494 class, or a Corporate Sponsored Project, to mimic a real-world scenario for its student designers. And every year, prepping for the final presentation goes down to the wire.

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    Summer Expo Brings Online Students Together

    The annual event allowed students to meet department representatives, gain inspiration from Spring Show displays and attend panel discussions


    Academy faculty and online students at Summer Expo 2018. Photo by Bob Toy.

    This year, the 2018 Summer Expo welcomed 28 online students across multiple disciplines at Academy of Art University at 2225 Jerrold, and Director of Online Student Relations Melinda Mettler had a few new ideas up her sleeve. 

    For starters, instead of having an instructor direct the model drawing workshop, Richelle Cowan, the online leader of Drawaholics Anonymous (an Academy drawing community), took the lead.

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