“I took my first RISD CE class back in 2013 when I was an au pair in Mystic, CT. My visa required me to attend a formal educational setting and my host family recommended RISD (as I have a bachelor’s degree in advertising design in Mexico). I Googled RISD to see what they were talking about and I absolutely fell in love with everything—I saw names like Tina Weymouth, Shepard Fairey, and Gus Van Sant among the “Notable Alumni” and that was it, I knew I wanted to take the opportunity and include RISD to my list of once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

I used to drive the I-95 to get to Providence and attend the Digital Design for the Screen course with Bryan Rodrigues and that was an amazing experience that I will always cherish.

I decided to pursue a career working with children so I became a youth activities counselor aboard a cruise ship—that’s right, I lived and worked aboard a vessel! During my first break in 2017, I decided to visit New England and attend a workshop with Suzette Cozzens called Starting a Sketchbook. It was so inspiring that I promised myself to always find the way to come back to RISD CE.

When COVID-19 appeared it had a huge impact in the cruising industry, forcing the repatriation of a lot of crew members, including me. So… What have I been doing now that I’m in Mexico? RISD CE online courses, of course! During summer I took Children’s Book Illustration with Carol Schwartz and during the fall I challenged myself by taking an Interactive Art with Processing course with Bruce Campbell.

In general, these instructors made me feel confident, which is something I REALLY APPRECIATE as I have, you know, my little artist insecurities.

I LOVE RISD CE and will hopefully enroll in a certificate program one day.”

—Susana Montañez, RISD CE student

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