Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Di Masters Show at PSUSD Board

DATA Digital Imaging is pleased to announce that a master collection of student digital art is now on display in the Palm Springs Unified School District board room through the rest of the school year. A very special thank you to PSUSD Visual and Performing Arts Specialist Louisa Castrodale for this special opportunity to share CCHS student creativity with the district community.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Photographers Make the Cut

On Wednesday, Nov. 30th, fifteen Di student photographers waited up to 2 1/2 hours for an opportunity to interview for a spot to compete in the SkillsUSA Photography Regionals. Leading up to the interviews, students prepared resumes, selected their best photographs, and completed a location shoot in practice for what they might encounter at the state competitions in San Diego later this year. Individually, they presented their work and answered questions in front of a panel of judges that included Palm Springs/Laguna Beach wedding photographer Rick Nuffer, 2011 State Photography gold medal winner Spencer McQuinn, and Di instructor Mr. Cauthron. Getting feedback from a professional and contest perspective from an alumni helped to reinforce what students need to know in order to be successful as they move forward in the contest series.

Congratulations to the following students!
Senior Kimberlyn Gonzalez
Senior Jasmine Mikulak
Senior Denny Keat
Junior Crystal Zacarais
Junior Ella Ramirez
Sophomore Austyn Moreno
Sophomore Jennifer Varela
 Sophomore Aaron Jones

 Check out the DATA-SkillsUSA Photo Contest here!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

New Work from Di Grad Brian Evans

Check out the new website from 2005 DATA-Di grad and Palm Springs Art Museum Purchase Award winner, Brian Evans!

Brian is a great example of a Cathedral City student who pursued his passion for photography, earned a business degree from Cal State Fullerton, and is carving out his own niche in the creative world.  His work now goes beyond the local familiarity of Epidemic Skateboard Shop and into a wonderful collection of portraits, lifestyle, commercial landscapes, and personal studies.

While in the DATA program, Brian's work was the very first set of digital images to be purchased into the student collection for the Palm Springs Art Museum's Fine Art Creativity Awards program. This honor is still considered the highest local award earned by a Coachella Valley arts student. 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Student2Student Photography at JWMS

How do you engage 35 high school and middle school students after a long week on a Friday afternoon? Engage them in a SkillsUSA Student2Student Mentoring photography workshop!

DATA-SkillsUSA photography students kicked off their first student-lead digital arts workshops at James Workman Middle School on November 18th and had some serious fun.

High school mentors introduced JWMS mentees to the elements of composition, the Digital Arts Education Ning, the DATA program at CCHS, and a collaborative sense of learning.

"This is a beautiful opportunity for digital arts students to process their own learning by teaching others and strengthen the creative educational community of Cathedral City schools." 
-M. Cauthron

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Bloom Designs on CUE

In a post last spring, DATA Di was pleased to announce that junior Eric Bloom's designs were chosen as the new logo set for the Cahuilla CUE. In addition to recent graphic work for CCHS's Justice League, CCHS Baseball, and PSUSD's iPad Super Users Group, his creativity can now be seen this fall on the local CUE's 'Made in California' t-shirt!    
"It's awesome to know that my design will be worn by people from around the Coachella Valley and that 100% of the tee was produced here in southern California."
-Eric Bloom, Future Designer

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Comics, Graphics and Animation, Oh My! A Visit with Degaine Designs

On November 8th, 2004 DATA alum Zane DeGaine and his fiance Olivia Scheibe returned to CCHS to share their experiences as graduates of The Kubert School and as professionals artists.

Zane, a comic book artist and graphic designer, always had a passion for drawing and comic books. After entering The Kubert School, this transitioned into a love of storytelling, writing, drawing, and collaboration. While speaking to Di students he emphasized
"studying everything you see" and
"being prepared to speak about yourself and your work"
Now living and freelancing in Los Angeles, his work can be found in the online comic Mondo Atomic and on the set of The Big Bang Theory!

Olivia, a traditional animator originally from New Jersey, grew up loving drawing, sports, and band. She found her passion for animation from watching lots of behind the scenes of movies on DVD. In addition to showing some great examples and discussing her animation process for commercials, she stressed the importance of
"taking advantage of any creative jobs that you can",
"designing characters with basic shapes", and
"the importance of referencing"
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Spot Zane's work on the set of CBS' The Big Bang Theory
Find him on Deviant Art 
Read the Mondo Atomic write up on Wired Magazine
Follow him on Facebook

Monday, November 14, 2011

The 2011-12 DATA Digital Imaging Tee

Congratulations to Di Junior Crystal Zacarias for her winning design being selected by her peers as the 2011-12 DATA Digital Imaging t-shirt! The idea behind her design was to couple the new Di tagline, "Focus Your Creativity," with a DSLR camera image comprised of words she felt makes the program special.
As an added bonus, a new Di logo created by senior Brandon Lockway will be included as the back print.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Skilled and Motivated Photographers

SkillsUSA photography students kicked off the 2011-12 fundraising season with an all new approach to holiday portraits. This year, with an equipment grant from the Advertising Federation of the Desert,  students are now able to produce work of a higher quality while learning portrait skills and earning funds for competition travel.

Surrealistic Me: Our Third Global Collaboration

DATA Digital Imaging is proud to announce that our third global digital arts collaboration as the Student Creative is now live! Surrealistic Me, invites students and classrooms to come together and share surreal self-portraits which reveal something about their dreams and the world in which they live.

Selected images collected from participating schools will be assembled as a dynamic digital text for print and the iPad in April 2012.  100% of the proceeds will once again go to support the Jacaranda School for AIDS orphans in Malawi.

Check out the ongoing conversations on



Monday, October 31, 2011

SkillsUSA T-shirt Design Winner!

Congratulations to Di sophomore, Sebastian Vasquez, for his design being selected as the very first Cathedral City High School SkillsUSA t-shirt! His work will be worn by over 100 individuals.

Friday, October 28, 2011

2011-12 Teen Docent

Congratulations to Di junior Kevin Garcia for being selected for the Teen Docent Program at the Palm Springs Art Museum!

The dedicated students in this program are interviewed by Museum staff in the spring and spend the summer learning about art history and public speaking techniques. During the school year they tour classes from local elementary schools, teaching kids about the Museum's collection and exhibits. As part of the program, docents receive school credit, learn about various art genres, bond with students from other schools, and get a $250 stipend each semester they participate. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Kicking Off Student Mentoring

On October 24th, eleven SkillsUSA officers and photography members kicked off the 2011-12 Student2Student Mentoring program with their first workshop at Nellie Coffman Middle School.

For Photography Workshop 1,  high school students shared some of their own images, taught composition basics, and shared quick photo editing tips using iPhoto.  The 25 middle school students will upload their final images to the Digital Arts Education Ning for feedback.

The student lead workshops will occur each month throughout the year at both James Workman and Nellie Coffman middle schools, introducing kids in the after school clubs to digital arts basics such as photography, graphics, animation, and video. High school students will also share their Digital Arts Technology Academy experiences and creativity while emphasizing career, college, and technical pursuits. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Designing Ancient Youth

For several weeks during the month of October, local artist and 2005 Cathedral City High School grad Aaron Hansen, worked with students in the Di studio to develop the 2011-12 CCHS SkillsUSA and DATA Digital Imaging t-shirt designs.

Aaron, well known in the Coachella Valley for murals at PSUSD schools, fine art aerosol paintings, and one of a kind t-shirt designs, shared his insights with students on why "less is more" and how to find inspiration for color, light, and design from the natural world around you. Students presented designs along the way for discussion and critique with final images collected on Polldaddy.com for peer voting. For the SkillsUSA shirt, both local middle schools were included in the voting to help strengthen the connection for our new digital arts Student2Student mentoring program.

Not only was this a great experience for students to work directly with a professional screen printer and compete to have their own art worn, it was excellent practice for this year's SkillsUSA State t-shirt design competition!

Check out Aaron Hansen's work @

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Di Sophomore Shooting Fourstars

Armed with a Canon 60d, DATA Di sophomore Austyn Moreno photographed Leisure 'til You Seizure sponsored by Epidemic Skateboard Shop . The October 15th event brought Fourstar clothing company skateboarding pros into the Coachella Valley for an autograph signing at the shop in Palm Desert and a skate demo at the Palm Springs Skate Park.

And his first go at video with a Canon DSLR

Monday, October 17, 2011

DATA-SkillsUSA T-shirt Design Contest

Click the individual image for a larger view. Make your selection and click 'Vote' below.  
Voting ends Thursday, October 20th at 3pm! 
All shirts designed by DATA digital imaging students

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Photographer Wade Byars Returns

On Sept. 27th, Desert Sun photographer Wade Byars returned to the Di classroom to discuss his career and speak to students about the digital creativity in his self-published book.

Byars, who holds an MFA in fine art, has been working as a southern California photojournalist for 19 years covering events such as the 1984 Summer Olympics and the 1992 Los Angeles Riots.

Shooting events as they have occurred over the years has given him an amazing set of image resources to use for Photoshop artwork. Students enjoyed learning the intricate meanings of his creative work as well as getting a few pointers on shooting high school sports.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Preparing the Di Classroom / Studio

Many people may not realize what goes into getting the DATA digital imaging classroom ready for the first day of school. Mr. Cauthron (and a handful of willing students) came in a week early this year to prep the three studio lighting areas, run cables for the 34 seat Mac lab, and put up great examples of student creativity. Check out the following images created with the 360Panorama app for iPhone...

A very special thank you to Jose, Maggie, Lily, Melissa, Crystal, Bianca, Kimberlyn, Marion, Linda, Tami, and Lisette!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Take issuu with the Di Course Syllabus

As a means to save paper last year, the DATA Di program embedded it's syllabus here on the Di blog from a Google doc. This year the syllabus has been uploaded to issuu.com as a digital text from a .pdf and made available to students, families and the DATA community.

The entire document is reviewed with every student on the first day of school with only the first and last pages being sent home for households to read, sign, and return. At their convenience, anyone can download and print a complete paper copy of the 2011-12 Di Course Syllabus or request one from Mr. Cauthron.

or more Di digital publications on issuu.com and our Student Creative global collaboration books on Blurb.com

 ~Thanks for your support~

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Indian Wells Arts Festival Student Winners

For three days during the 2011 Spring Break, 20 plus DATA Di students braved the hot sun to shoot Where Art is Happening at the Indian Wells Arts Festival. As part of this photography challenge in collaboration with Diane Funk Enterprises, Inc., students were also given the opportunity to upload their best imagery to the IWAF website to be judged by a group of professionals. This gave students a direct look into the process of how professional artists submit their work for festival consideration. The three winners, along with a slide show of all the submissions, are being shown here on indianwellsartsfestival.com!

1st Place, Senior Jocael Suarez | 2nd Place, Junior Ruby Velasquez 
3rd Place, Junior Jasmine Mikulak
View the complete collection here!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Education Week Interviews DATA Digital Imaging

As part of a special report on the use of multimedia tools in classrooms, four DATA Di students and instructor Matt Cauthron were interviewed during May 2011 by Katie Ash, a writer for Education Week.

The article, Art and Music Learning Emphasize Interactivity, Real-World Relevance, was part of Multimedia Transformation: A Special Report on Multimedia in Schools.

This was a great opportunity for Di students to share how the digital tools they use everyday in the studio classroom connect to real-world situations and prepare them for careers in art and graphic design.

View the photo gallery: State of the Art
Students interviewed: Jocael Suarez, Melissa Flores, Caroline Parra and Jayke Stump

Friday, June 10, 2011

2011 Desert Ad Fed School Grant Awarded

On June 9th at Escena in Palm Springs, DATA SkillsUSA received the Desert AdFeds 2011 School Grant Program award for $5,000.00.

This grant was awarded to purchase mobile lighting equipment that will enable SkillsUSA photography students to raise funds shooting portraits in the Di studio and on various locations.

A big thanks to the the Desert Ad Fed
for helping to support SkillsUSA and creativity 
in the Coachella Valley!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The 2011 DATA Graduates

Congratulations to the 2011 graduating class of the Digital Arts Technology Academy!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Cahuilla CUE Logo Designed

Congratulations to Di junior Eric Bloom for his design being selected as the winning logo for the Cahuilla Computer Using Educators!

In addition to seeing his work used by the local organization, he will also receive a $50.00 iTunes gift card.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

FLOAT! is Now in the Cloud

DATA Di is very pleased to announce FLOAT!, the second global photography challenge from The Student Creative: a network of students and teachers working to promote creativity through technology, collaboration, and digital arts.

Influenced by the portrait work of Philippe Halsman and other modern professionals, students from across geos were given the task of creating a moment of magical realism while practicing high speed photography in their community. The book (above), available on Blurb.com and edited by DATA Di, compiles the work of multiple high school programs from the US and China.

Just like Paint the world with Light, 100% of the proceeds from Float! will be donated to the Jacaranda Foundation to help bring arts and technology to the Jacaranda School, an AIDS orphanage in Malawi, South Africa. 

Learn more about the Jacaranda Foundation @ 

Stay tuned for collaboration #3!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Assisting Palm Springs Photography

During the 2011 El Paseo Fashion Week, Di student Angel Torres made such a strong impression on photographer Rick Nuffer that it opened the door for him to earn a paid assistant position. Several students, including Angel, have now had the opportunity to assist photographing weddings in various Palm Springs and Laguna Beach locations.  
"Your kids have been 100% amazing! Thank you, thank you, thank you! They have truly changed the way I shoot my weddings. Initially, I just wanted some help carrying my gear and holding my lights but they have become so much more.  They are more valuable to me as 2nd photographers then kids who carry equipment. But most of all, they are courteous, respectful, smart, ambitious, creative and the clients love them!  I don't know how you do it, but keep it up. Amazing.
-Rick Nuffer
This is truly an amazing opportunity for students in the Di program that will provide ongoing work-based learning experiences through the summer and during the school year.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Visiting the University of California, Riverside

On May 23rd, 50 DATA sophmores and juniors took a day out to visit the University of California at Riverside.

Students received a general campus tour and spent time with an admissions counselor, but the special part of the day came from meeting and interacting directly with several UC professors.

Students first heard a screenwriting / play writing presentation from Stuart Krieger and Rickerby Hinds, two theatre professors with equally impressive resumes. Both emphasized the importance of story, supporting creativity and out of the box thinking, as well as taking a chance to pursue your artistic passion while you are young.

After hearing from several members of the Chicano Student Program on what to expect as a student at UCR, DATA students heard from Derek Burrill, an associate professor from the Media and Cultural Studies department. Derek stimulated the student's understanding of the cultural impacts of video gaming on our society with questions and ideas from current research.

The day ended with an after hours visit to the California Museum of Photography's Digital Studio program.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Visiting the Gnomon School of Visual FX

On May 19th, 100 incoming DATA freshmen and sophomores were treated to a special behind the scenes tour of the Gnomon School of Visual Effects in the heart of the Los Angeles film industry.

The 350 student school, known for training visual effects artists for major studios, currently occupies the Television Center. This historical L.A. building was previously the home of Technicolor from 1930-1975 and housed the color processing for films like The Wizard of OZ and Fantasia.

The tour was lead by admissions officers who are all Gnomon grads and current industry creatives. Although most students attend the school after completing post-secondary education, they are seeing an increasing amount of highly talented students being accepted directly after high school who have dynamic portfolios.

Here's some tips from Gnomon to prepare yourself now for a career as a visual effects artist later...
  1. Challenge yourself and your creativity
  2. Strengthen your ability to communicate visually through art and drawing
  3. Practice foundation skills in the arts and learn anatomy
  4. Research industry trends online 
  5. Watch behind the scenes footage about CG films
  6. Work hard and BE PASSIONATE!

Learn more about jobs in the visual effects industry @

Opening Pandora's Box

DATA Digital Imaging is very proud of it's Challenge Based Learning collaboration, Pandora's Box. Not only was the process of working together with two 3rd grade classrooms at Rio Vista Elementary towards a video and digital book exciting for all, but the project has earned some local and regional recognition.  

We are very pleased to share the following awards

Best Multi Age Collaboration

Outstanding Interpretation of the Theme: Make a Difference

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Vans Custom Culture

  CCHS Advanced Art and DATA Di aligned their creative minds once again! This time it was for the 2011 Vans Custom Culture shoe design challenge. 

Vans, which have been worn on the feet of millions since quietly entering the late 1970's skateboard scene, have locked their employee's talents on sustaining creativity in today's high school classrooms by offering their 1st annual design competition. 

The CCHS team of traditional and digital artists worked collaboratively to visually represent the Coachella Valley in the categories of Street Art, Music, Action Sports, and Fashion. Even though the team did not win the online public voting for the California region which closed April 27th, they were still one of ten schools in the state and one of fifty in the nation!

 Learn more about how Vans supports arts, creativity, and education

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Where's the Beef?

Congratulations to graduating Di senior Christian Ramirez for his animation being awarded Best Short Film at the 2011 DigiCom Student and Teacher Film Festival!

The 2:55 minute short, Where's the Beef, took about 1.5 years to make using Flash CS5 and GarageBand.

After graduating, Christian will be attending California Baptist University in Riverside focusing on graphic design and digital imaging. He plans to further his studies to pursue a career in game design at either Full Sail, the Art institute, or the Gnomon School of Visual Effects.

Shooting DigiCom

On May 2nd, Di students were proud to shoot the 2011 DigiCom Student and Teacher Film Festival. Ten students worked the event shooting the stage as well as paparazzi style portraits of winners and attendees. 

2011 SkillsUSA State Gold

On May 1st, Di student Spencer McQuinn took the gold medal for photography by a landslide at the 44th Annual State Leadership Conference and SkillsUSAChampionships in San Diego, CA.  

Students in this highly challenging contest submitted written and photographic portfolios, interviewed with professionals, took knowledge and professional development tests, and completed an on-site photography shoot which included work finalized in Photoshop. 

Spencer, will be the only student from the state of California moving forward to compete in photography at the 47th annual National Leadership and Skills Conference in Kansas City, MO from June 20th-25th. As part of the award, his conference registration was paid for by the Professional Photographers of California.

This was DATA's first year competing at the SkillsUSA California state conference with a total of 5 individuals in photography and 5 teams in video product development. We look forward to expanding next year!