Campus Closeup: Daric Christian
Daric Christian (Art and Design) likes playing Dungeons and Dragons and listening to punk music as loud as possible. He works with his daughter, Aidan, on creative projects such as building an N-gauge railroad layout. And in the winters, Christian travels with his son, Devin, to hockey games throughout the Upper Peninsula.
Professionally, he is currently creating art pieces that he plans to send out to gallery shows. He recently finished an animated piece that depicts creatures manipulating a human hand into a fist, which he says symbolizes personal struggles and political ideas. He is also redesigning the website for the School of Art and Design.
“This will be the third version I have produced,” said Christian, who teaches digital cinema and electronic imaging. “The site is a very important recruitment tool for the school and has allowed us to familiarize prospective students with the quality of our program on a national scale. It is also a valuable resource for current students and alumni to keep informed of the school's activities.”
Though Christian teaches computer-based art classes, his degrees are in photography. He became interested in using computers to enhance photography and expanded those skills while also teaching himself video production during graduate school. Christian worked in industry for a while, but said it was worth relocating to Northern because of the philosophy of the program, its beginnings in technological influences on art processes and the opportunity to teach.
“What I love about teaching is the opportunity to really have discussions,” Christian said. “Learning from each other and motivating each other is an activity which was often lost within the time constraints of the computer industry. Keeping up to speed with the technological changes is simultaneously the most enjoyable, frustrating, and time-consuming, aspect of my field. I am teaching seven unique software programs that deal with a variety of visual media, scripting (programming) and very different construction methodologies. These constant changes also expand what is possible and accessible to both myself and the students, which is very exciting.”
When Christian is not learning software or creating new artwork, he said he enjoys road biking County Road 545 or mountain biking the Noquemanon Trail Network (NTN) South Trails near Marquette Mountain. He said, "I love when I reach that point where the only consideration is keeping my breathing and rhythm steady so I can get home. All the other stresses in my life fall away.”