Logan Ward '22: Finding support

Senior illustration major in the College of Visual and Performing Arts

Logan Ward '22, senior illustration major
Logan Ward is a senior illustration major from Williston, Vermont.

Can you describe UMass Dartmouth in one word?

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When did you know you made the right choice coming to UMassD?

There were many moments when I was looking for support or assistance, and I found that the professors on this campus were more than willing to give their time and energy into helping me find solutions. During the pandemic, there were many moments when I was struggling to stay engaged with the material, and my professors helped me during many office hour visits and long conversations. I have always felt more connected to my learning when I knew that the person teaching me was passionate about what they taught. Most of the professors at UMass Dartmouth are teaching for this exact reason, and it made classes so much more engaging, even when classes are virtual.

How has UMass Dartmouth prepared you for life after graduation?

I feel ready to meet with potential clients, advocate for myself, and deliver a message through my visual style. When going into the creative field, there is a lot of uncertainty. Every artist takes a different path and they all usually end up at different destinations. I feel ready for the curveballs that may be thrown my way because of the many opportunities UMass Dartmouth has given me to meet with CVPA alumni and other artists who have taken unconventional paths who still end up thriving. I know what steps I need to take and what opportunities I need to look for if I ever get stuck.

Do you have a job lined up after you graduate?

I am currently a freelance cartoonist at Secondcell Bio, a biotechnology company that is improving the process of developing safer and more effective precision drugs with fewer side effects. The owner of the company, Dr. Kambiz Shekdar, believes in collaboration between the arts and sciences. We believe funny biology cartoons are a good way to have some fun and capture the imagination of researchers with similar goals! I feel that I am watching history in the making working for this company, and I cannot wait to see where it leads. Check out my cartoons as they come out on LinkedIn.

What drew you to your major?

I have been an artist since I could hold a pencil, always drawing and painting, recreating scenarios that I found hilarious, or trying to find the perfect color palette. I have many memories of my dad reading the newspaper over his scrambled eggs and passing me the cartoon section, pointing out his favorite ones before he stuck his nose into an article. One cartoonist that I still love today is Charles Addams, who was very clever about his use of visual humor. This is also why I love The New Yorker cartoons, as they take it a step further and mention social subjects within their jokes. I have always loved the game of looking for the deeper meaning within an art piece. In the fall of 2021, when I decided to fully dedicate myself to my passion for illustration, I decided that I would work to create and submit as many cartoons in the style of The New Yorker as I could. This led to a full-fledged obsession. I’m talking hundreds of cartoons cut out of ‘New Yorkers’ that professors had been leaving on my desk, connected by red string and all with identifying titles. If you ever went up to the illustration room in fall 2021, you would think detectives solving a crime took over my carrel. My goal was to understand The New Yorker cartoons so completely that I could begin thinking in comedic formulas and soon come up with my own ideas. This process was so fun and so informative, and it led to 20 finished cartoons, which have been submitted to the magazine in two separate ‘batches of ten.’ Since my sophomore year at UMassD, I knew I wanted to work in Editorial Illustration, but it wasn’t until I began making cartoons that I realized how much easier it was to explain my viewpoint of the world when approaching subjects from a light-hearted angle. I tend to try and make a joke out of everything in my day-to-day life, as it keeps me optimistic. I would love to continue to explore social subjects and philosophical thought within my illustrations.

What advice would you give to younger UMassD students?

Don’t be afraid to take a risk and try something new. In the course of my time at UMass Dartmouth, I changed minors twice, first a Spanish minor and then an English minor, but ended up leaving them both behind so that I could put my full attention into illustration. I learned so much from taking classes for both of those minors, and that knowledge definitely still comes into my work today. However, looking back, I'm glad I decided to drop them. I have made the most improvements to my portfolio and developed a much stronger style through simply putting in the time to draw. Malcolm Gladwell was right, you have to put in the hours of practice if you want to see any results. I haven’t counted my hours up yet but I have a feeling I’ll surpass 10,000 without blinking twice. The privilege of working a job that I love will always be a dream come true, and I wouldn’t have figured out what that was if I wasn’t willing to make adjustments to my schedule and try out new things along the way.

Do you have any other experiences you’d like to share?

I enrolled at UMass Dartmouth in 2018 under a different name and using different pronouns. Today, I go by Logan and use he/him pronouns. I didn’t come out to my professors and classmates until the fall of 2020, when I was sure that the quarantine would allow me enough privacy to begin transition. Throughout my time at UMass Dartmouth, my family, friends, professors, and peers have all filled me with a confidence that helped me to realize that I would survive honesty. I now know that I have complete control of my life just by being true to myself.

 

Visit Logan's personal websiteLinkedIn, or Instagram. To read about other graduating Corsairs' stories, visit umassd.edu/commencement/spotlights. For all things Commencement, visit umassd.edu/commencement.


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