#2014Academy - First Year Experience Begins

By Camila Rocha (MFA 2015)

Hello Academy Blog readers!  As a first year student, I will be writing to you honestly about my experiences. All the affairs, fate, happiness and lovelessness of my current life, hopefully my view can give you periodically an idea of how overwhelmingly brilliant is to be a Master's of Fine Art student at the New York Academy of Art.

First let me introduce myself, my name is Camila Rocha.  I am from Brazil and before the Academy had a very successful, 13-year-career as an International recognized Tattoo Artist. Following my dream of becoming a fine artist, I came to the USA and right after my undergrad school in Los Angeles I decided to step up for the Master’s Program at the Academy.

On my arrival I was overtaken by love for New York City. As a tattoo artist, I have traveled to many different places but what one can find in this place is definitely something else. The first impression was incredible! I was amused by the art, the personality and the multicultural aspects that enrich the great New Yorker character. At any corner, in the subway, on people’s attitudes, there is a vital energy that stimulates your senses. I've never been in a place that, as you walk, you feel so connected to art everywhere; it’s the perfect atmosphere for an ambitious art student.

Old Masters Gallery at The Met
The search for an apartment is fascinating, chaotic and overwhelming.  Useful tip: if you are a promising candidate student, give yourself at least two weeks prior to your moving date to find something. The students and the Director of Student Affairs (the nice and helpful Elvin), can help you find roommates in case you want to share a space. Remember, don't leave it for the last minute and follow the school's advices to avoid scams, such as never do any money transaction before checking the place in person and read many blogs/online material about the subject. The volume of people arriving and leaving this town is so frenetic, there are many great neighborhoods and you want to visit them personally to choose the one you will feel more comfortable to start your journey as a student.

Greenpoint, Brooklyn art installation
As an international school, such as the Academy, I have met brilliant artists with a variety of backgrounds coming from all over the States and the Globe at the first students meeting. My class was definitely precious to have such a talented group, from freshmen to veterans. Tears came to my eyes while listening to the President of the Academy, David Kratz’s, first speech at orientation. The excitement was all over the place and shared so sublimely for all the students present, by this point I came to the realization that my "big dream", that was so long desired had begun, but if I looked around I could absolve the same feeling coming from all the faces in the room, we were living "the time of our lives." Nothing could make it better after a few days of pretty amusement in this magnificent concrete jungle and then we had the fantastic show of the 2013 Fellows opening, this one I can't describe. Being able to talk to Aleah Chapin's real 'Aunties' in person and get to know the process they went through to create and compose those pieces was priceless. I'm very thankful for being in here!

Please stay with me and I promise to tell you all the greatness of this process, in a very informal and entertaining way!


Camila Rocha (MFA 2015) will be blogging here throughout the year about her first year at the Academy and moving to New York City.  Check the label "First Year Experience" or "Camila Rocha" for more posts about her first year at the Academy.  If you have any questions for Camila, please leave them in the comments section of the blog. 

All photographs taken by Camila Rocha.