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Academy Alumna Turns Fantasy Into Reality and Lands Job at CNN

Chih Fan Ting has made her childhood dream of creating her own fantasy world come true through everything she learned in the Computer Arts: New Media (CANM) MFA program at Academy of Art University. Her vast imagination paired with strong technical skills impressed a recruiter from CNN Online at the Spring Show 2007. Now, just months after graduating, Chih has landed a job as an interactive designer at CNN’s Atlanta office.
Before Chih came to the Academy, she was working at Ogilvy, Taiwan, an advertising agency. She admired the work of the art director on her team had found out that he had graduated from Academy of Art University. Chih decided to follow in his footsteps and enrolled in the Academy’s esteemed CANM program.
“New Media is the perfect field for me,” she said. “I can make everything alive on the screen like magic. I wanted to study more and make my dream come true.”
Within the major, Chih found a very supportive community of students and faculty. The Director of Computer Arts: New Media, Lourdes Livingston, as well as other faculty members inspired Chih and gave her the freedom to do what she wanted.
“Because of them, I always pushed myself to work harder and figure out what my calling in life is,” she said.
For Chih’s final thesis project, she presented 26 different monsters from Chinese mythology in the form of a fashion show. In SHOW, users can learn about their characteristics and watch them parade down a stage. 
“I love fairy tales and I do believe monsters and fairies exist. Don’t laugh at me – I’m serious!” she said. “That’s the reason I want to bring these Chinese monsters into real life."
Because of SHOW’s mobile interface design, CNN Online interviewed and then hired Chih to be an interactive designer on the spot at Spring Show. Her project not only impressed the recruiter at CNN Online, but also the judges at the Spring Show. SHOW won first place in its category.
Chih hopes to eventually travel around the world and work with different artists and designers. She sees her job at CNN Online as the first step to accomplishing this. She also loves illustration and would like to someday study it more and publish a children’s book.
“I don’t have big dreams and ambitions,” Chih said. “I know it’s a bit silly, but I want to live in fairy tales.”


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