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StoriesAdam Holguin ’18

Continuing His Journey As a Storyteller

Adam Holguin, who graduated with a double major in digital filmmaking and creative writing, is pursuing an MFA.

Adam Holguin

As a child, Adam Holguin was drawn to characters like Batman, Luke Skywalker, Optimus Prime, and Aragorn. Figures that stood for something more than themselves. Watching these mythic heroes, he realized that he, too, wanted to stand for something more, and make the world a little bit better.

When he got a little older, Adam was into things most of his peers weren't. Fascinated by how things worked, he loved analyzing the structure of the world around him. He read obsessively—philosophy, psychology, world religions, and writing—which informed his passion for creating stories that articulated his own curiosities about life.

He often wondered if it was necessary to accept the world the way it was. And he saw the world as decidedly “not mythic." When it came time to look at colleges, he knew he wanted to move far from his Los Angeles home so he could immerse himself in a culture and climate—both physically and politically— he hadn't yet experienced.

He believed Lesley University's colorful, community-based Cambridge aesthetic would provide the tools to help him become the storyteller he wanted to be. Our College of Art and Design, associated with the former Art Institute of Boston (AIB), offered an animation major, which fit into his plans of producing stories for young people. But as the animation industry in Hollywood shifted, he found his plans shifting, too.

When AIB merged with Lesley in 2014 and became the Lesley University College of Art & Design, Adam talked with his advisor and changed his focus, pursuing a double major—a BFA in digital filmmaking from the art school and a creative writing major in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. 

This was no small endeavor, and Adam found himself dealing with uncertainties. He struggled with homesickness and the mountain of work he had in front of him. He’d definitely chosen a challenging path. But he never lost sight of his childhood goals, and within these programs, his creativity exploded. He wrote original scripts, created hand-drawn animations, wrote musical compositions, and made 3 short films. Adam’s work and vision is incredibly unique, diverse, and pretty amazing. Check it out here.

Looking back on how he did it, Adam remembers, "to pull it off, I had to be exceptional, devoted, and a maverick, knowing when to be flexible, when to sacrifice, and when to stand up for myself when the odds seemed against me. As someone who was walking a path I was making for myself, I had to be confident, trust in those around me, and maintain accountability," he says.

A few of the people around him, like Aaron Smith, head of the undergraduate creative writing program, Ron Lamothe, an award-winning documentary filmmaker and historian, and film professor Ziad Hamzeh, were the ones that really helped push Adam hard to find his voice.

Today, Adam’s all about what’s next. In the fall, he'll begin his residency at Loyola Marymount University for his MFA in TV and Film Production, saying, "I aim to continue to learn how to make stories that touch people’s hearts, minds, and incite change.”

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