“I originally chose to start taking courses at RISD CE because I wanted to learn more about visual effects and motion graphics. Although I moved forward on a certificate program immediately, I had wrestled with the idea of taking a course here for years, always battling the misnomer that YouTube could do it just as well. Although the internet can help to a certain degree, you can’t always get the type of feedback you need there, nor will you always find properly vetted perspectives from professionals who have been there before.

Having recently purchased a home with my wife, we’ve set about transforming a room into a studio/office environment. While the rest of the home observes a formal “log cabin” feel, our office is replete with framed artwork, action figures, and a newly acquired 3D printer. Walking in is like an inspirational jolt to the brain.

In this new space, my entire final project changed overnight—what began as an exploration of composite photography quickly became a thematic journey through COVID-19, with each photo representing a different feeling or mood brought about by the pandemic. Not only did it teach me new techniques, it totally revolutionized how I approach large-scale projects.

I decided I wanted to go from hobbyist to professional. I must have shaved years off my development time thanks to RISD CE. There is no substitute. The teaching faculty is simply phenomenal—down-to-earth, skilled, and most importantly, passionate. If you want to level up, it starts here.”

—Gordon Riley, 2020 RISD CE Photography certificate graduate

Would you like to be featured by #risdceSPOTLIGHT or know someone who would? Fill out this Google Form or email cemedia@risd.edu to learn how.