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Charlie Beam
Excellence Award Winner
Digital Art and Design
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Digital Art and Design creates cutting-edge experiences with animation, video, 3D art, interaction design, visual development, and sound design delivered through web, VR, and AR as well as digital and physical games.

My creative practice is meant to draw to the surface my own creative philosophies, and tell my story. Be authentic, do what is difficult, the intention decides the medium, learn all that you can, the best ideas come when a prompt completely stumps you. I'm a forgetful person by nature, my work tells my story where I cannot. My relationship with creation is rooted in the philosophy of leaving your mark in the world and the quality of your mark matters. And finally, either make or make better.

What is your most memorable

experience at KCAD?

I hold my time with my classmates and colleagues to my highest regard. The best times I have had at Kendall have been the moments between classes, quickly catching up or resting alongside my friends.


My most memorable experience at KCAD was a critique that completely blindsided me. I was presented an assignment on a Thursday, and was given the weekend to complete it. After many hours of work, under the assumption that this was a practice assignment meant to familiarize myself with wood block printmaking, I created a large self portrait wood block print of myself eating a cob of corn in a folding chair. It was a tongue in cheek portrait of a genuinely happy moment, nothing more, nothing less. As I arrived the next class day, I soon learned that the practice assignment was actually the final assignment. My professor came up to me, looked at my work, and with a smile said, "Oh, I love it, I'm so interested to find out how it fits the prompt: Journey." I panicked. I was blindsided by the fact that the assignment was meant to follow a prompt at all, let alone "Journey". Within the next two minutes I had to come up with a rationale of how my etherial corn munching self portrait represented my own personal journey. I stumbled through the strictly visual explanation of the subject matter with as much blind confidence as I could muster. I got through it and my ruse of truly having no idea what I was doing had not dawned on my professor or classmates. After giving almost no explanation of the "meaning", I turned the attention to my classmates, "What do you think it means?" What followed was one of the most philosophically rich discussions I have ever been a part of. We talked about the darkness surrounding the subject, solitude, despair (I had too big of a plate and simply drew my figure a workable size). We talked about the juxtaposition of the crushing darkness and the humor of the simple pleasure of the corn (I was just eating corn). We even went as far as to talk about the facial expression, the apathy in his eyes, looking away from the center of the composition. I came out of the discussion with a completely new meaning to my work: the crushing suffering of reality and consciousness and the simple and meaningful pleasures of creature comforts. In the end, I created six prints. At the bottom of each print reads the now appropriate title: "Journey"

What are your most

notable accomplishments?

My most notable accomplishments are also my favorite aspects of Kendall:

  • Exploring mediums and creating meaningful work. I personally tend to stick to what I know and my time at Kendall has proven to me that exploration is what creates good work. Going into Kendall, I was worried that my creativity would run out and it did, often. Having no immediate, easy solution to a prompt is what has helped me create my best work.

  • The push of bridging the gap between an unfamiliar material or process and an equally difficult prompt or design limitation is, without fail, added to my list of accomplishments. I think back to my time in design drawing where we had to create a fantastic device. I racked my brain for an idea for days and finally out of nowhere I came up with a helmet that allows you to see in darkness by using a bat's sonar.. what? Projects like these are why I thank Kendall for the work that they put into their programs.

  • I'm not afraid to do what is difficult or what is unknown and I thank Kendall for that.

  • My accomplishments are Kendall's accomplishments.

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