Get to know CAM Ambassador William Card in this Q & A!
What brought you to UC Denver, and specifically the College of Arts and Media?
I grew up in a small town in the midwest, and I was looking for a college experience that was going to change my perception of the world. The excitement of living in a city lead me to researching universities that were located in urban centers and had music business programs that were integrated with their cities. In choosing between Nashville and Denver, I decided that that the combination of the natural beauty of Colorado and the art-driven focus of CU Denver’s program would offer me the best opportunity to grow. Many music business programs across the country don’t have the emphasis on musicianship that CU Denver has, and I believed that it would give me a professional advantage later in life.
What concentration do you find yourself leaning towards the most? Why? When did you get started?
I find myself leaning on the music business track the most. It might be just out of pure geekiness, but I love talking about great music, performers, and venues from around the world as a part of my daily homework routine. I truly believe that creativity has the potential to change lives. Artists who truly have the time/resources to devote to their art are the ones who will be on the leading edge of change & innovation. These artists need a dedicated team to help make their vision a reality by giving them the tools to focus. It would make me rest easy at night knowing that I am a part making the world a better place through creative expression. My start in the music industry was a pretty typical one. I was the frontman for a really bad band back in high school called GodAwful Sound. We had the opportunity to record an EP at a local studio near our hometown, as well as a couple opportunities to preform for our peers and the community. At the time, we were one of the only bands playing rock music in the community, and I truly felt like I was blazing my own trail. During my first couple years of college, I spent a lot of time understanding the importance of my own creative process. My process has lead me to wear many different hats in the music industry, and I feel like it will continue to be that way for a long time.
What helps you get inspired?
In a very guilty pleasure kind of way – sitting in coffee shops on Saturday and Sunday mornings is one of my favorite rituals to get creative. I generally just take my laptop or a notebook to a local shop and set up on a counter that gives me a view of the entire room. Coffee shops are important to me because they symbolize a community that shares ideas. People meet here to work, laugh, converse, and share in the environment. There is nothing better for me than to be able to sit from the sidelines and soak up the energy from the room, and then channel it into my own projects.
Do you have any rituals to get yourself motivated when you work?
I am a big picture guy in the most literal sense of the phase. I am visual in the way I understand and represent ideas. To get the creative juices flowing, I will generally make an outline or diagram of the ideas onto a large sheet of paper. Once the idea is out, I usually need to take a break and let the idea simmer and develop. I then return to the drawing board multiple times until I physically feel comfortable to move forward.
Where is the best place to see art, in your opinion?
I think there is enormous beauty in juxtaposition. The ability to create art by taking common occurrences and placing it in something seemingly out of context, I think, speaks a lot to the character of the artist and the way they see the world. So in this case, I think the best place to see art really depends on what the artist is trying to say. If so, then art will appear in different places and reveal completely different emotions for different people.
Do you think traveling while representing CAM has been a fulfilling experience? Why?
CU Denver’s College of Arts and Media has to have some of the coolest sounding programs in the country. I have found that without fail, when I begin to talk about my major and learning environment, I end up being humbly reminded of how special the programs at CU Denver are. It gives a lot of people in the artistic world hope to see a new generation of learners taking the industry of art and innovation so seriously. I feel that representing CAM has allowed me to experience this appreciation from the front seat. Being an interdisciplinary program, I have felt that CAM has provided me with a diverse skill set that has made me feel valuable as a team member and leader.
What is your favorite part of being in the CAM program?
I enjoy having the freedom to say that I am studying something in school that I want to use to change the world. It makes me feel like I’m returning to some ’60s era, but I do believe that the lessons inside and outside the classroom can be used to make the world a better place. I have school work that helps me understand the current affairs of the music industry. Faculty understands the life of an artist and give me plenty of opportunities to collaborate with other students, and pursue personally fulfilling projects.
What would you say to yourself five years ago?
“Try Easy” There is little that is harder than trying something and then getting down on yourself for not doing it as well as you expected. I think it’s equally important to try as it is to be easy on yourself is the outcome is unexpected. It leaves a lot of room for exploration and for some pretty awesome unanticipated things to happen.
What is your favorite movie/film that you’ve ever seen?
I know I always pick the latest movie I’ve seen, but I absolutely loved Disney’s Zootopia. However, definitely one of my all-time favorites is Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar.
Who is your favorite non-mainstream artist and why?
I think I am going to cheat and say that I have two favorite non-mainstream artists. I love them for different reasons, so I guess it isn’t totally cheating. Paradise Fears is a band from my hometown in South Dakota. Being in a small town allowed me to watch and develop with them
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done for your art? Do you regret it?
At a summer camp I was at in high school, my group shared the cafeteria with like five different camps. It kind of felt like a zoo, and we wanted to do something that would cut through the chaos. A group of campers set up an organized flashmob of rival b-boy & b-girl gangs to execute a dance battle in the middle of the cafeteria. For a camp located in south-eastern South Dakota, and having been organized by kids from the gifted education camp – it felt like the most random thing ever. Absolutely not. Seeing groups of football players run from across the cafeteria to watch this made it absolutely worth all the planning.
Who is your biggest inspiration?
Disclaimer – this might come off as narcissistic, but I think it is really true for me. I think my inner child is a touchstone for many of the most meaningful creative projects that I do. There is something about the unadulterated innocence that I think we all have as a kid that allows us to be completely honest and sincere with the world around us. Frankly, when I listen to that part of myself, I feel that I make more effective and realistic decisions about what’s important to me. It acts as a stable balancing force to the world that seems to be changing around us each and every day.
What is your favorite location to go to in Denver?
North Denver and Sloans Lake are without a doubt my favorite places to go. It is easy to drive or bike around North Denver, and I feel like I am truly a part of a neighborhood when I am up there. Sloans Lake is one of my favorite places to show my out-of-state family and friends the beauty of Colorado.
Where is your hometown?
I grew up in a small town called Vermillion, South Dakota!
What hobbies do you enjoy?
I am an avid outdoorsy person who loves hiking, biking and walking in the mountains and around Denver. I am also a closest coffee-snob who love to lurk around different coffee shops in Denver to soak in all the ambiance. I have also jumpstarted my career to become a Pokemon master, because I enjoy taking the time to play video games. I am very lucky that DJing has allowed me to share my love of music with the people around me.