In Department of Design, Events

The Department of Art and Department of Design Convocation will take place at 8 a.m. on April 27

Animation BFA student Kalee S. McCollaum will be speaking at the Department of Art and Department of Design Convocation.

From a young age, McCollaum recognized her love for art, but along the way, she discovered an appreciation for science and math. The animation major was a perfect choice for McCollaum because of its combination of technical and artistic learning. “When I took my first animation class, I was immediately hooked,” McCollaum said, “and I’ve thrown myself into learning more about animation ever since.”

As a senior in the program, McCollaum has collaborated with other students to create the annual short film produced by the seniors in the Department of Design. McCollaum is the director of this year’s film. The process involves working closely with the other 25 students and four faculty members.

“All of them are awesome, inspiring people. They made spending all that time in the lab completely worth it,” McCollaum said. “I guess I am proud of being the director, but honestly I have more pride in the other students and how much they have done to work together to make a really cool film.”

Working on short films throughout her education provided an invaluable experience that helped prepare McCollaum for the professional animation industry. One of her biggest takeaways was the importance of collaboration and hard work.

“This experience is not just great for applying to studios,” McCollaum said, “it is also an important lesson I’ve been applying in my own life as a citizen and as a member of the church.”

McCollaum plans to work in the industry and rise to be the lead character or environment artist in her department. Her long-term goal is to create an animation studio in 10 years with her friends.


What did you want to be when you grew up?

“Before I realized making art was a job you could make money at, I always wanted to be an exotic animal veterinarian.”

Where do you find inspiration?

“Inspiration can come from anything and anywhere. Most often it comes from me looking at my surroundings from a different perspective. If I am actively seeking inspiration, I like to look up works by some of my favorite artists or I will pick a subject that intrigues me and learn as much as I can on that subject. I try to get inspiration from learning.”

What was the hardest challenge you had to overcome at BYU?

“Learning to step outside of my comfort zone.”

What is your favorite snack?

“Either a Twix or a Peanut Butter Snickers, depending on how ‘hangry’ I am.”

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