Shiloah's Journey To Cobalt Studios

THE (slightly more detailed) STORY: 

I’m still in awe every time I get to say the words: I’ve been accepted into Cobalt Studios Scenic Artists Training Program! For a lot of you that means absolutely nothing, but for me it’s a dream come true.

I first heard about Cobalt Studios the summer after my junior year of college, when I had just started to seriously consider becoming a scenic artist. Just hearing about it hit me with a jolt of delight, anticipation, exhilaration, and a lot of “wow, I would LOVE to do that”. So naturally, I disqualified myself almost immediately: I had to finish college and considering that they only accept 8 people into their program every two years I hardly had enough experience to even consider applying. I could never quite dislodge the idea from my mind though, and I carried it with me throughout the next two years.

This past April the idea shoved itself back to the forefront of my mind. I had been feeling rather defeated in my attempt to pursue scenic painting and my dad brought up idea that now would be good time to look into Cobalt again. Only four months from when the program would start, I was fairly positive that all the spots would already be full. I decided to call for an application anyways. After seeing how long the application was I decided to call again and make sure that there were any spots open at all. After being reassured that there was I elbowed my insecurities aside and dived in with all I had (or most of it all, it just so happened to fall during the same time as I was moving to Utah for a summer internship.)

Looking through the application I was very aware of one thing: God would have to move. God would really have to move. The application consisted of multiple drawing tests (when is the last time I drew something that I wasn’t going to paint over?), a written portion (ehh), a tools/processes familiarity portion (I Googled each term to make sure I was thinking of the right thing), 5 references (goodness, I hate asking people to go out of their way for me), and an overnight interview and portfolio review on location in New York (how am I supposed to find a time to leave my internship that won’t really mess up my team?!). I was beyond terrified. And excited. As much as I didn’t want to get my hopes up, with each confirmed reference, each finished drawing test, and with getting approval to take a couple days off for my interview, my expectations grew and grew. Two weeks ago I boarded a plane for New York. (Actually, I boarded the first of two flights that would take me to the airport where I would take two busses to get to where I needed to be…but that’s beside the point). At 1AM, eyes drooping but happy, I arrived at Cobalt. The next morning was spent observing a class in progress, and my interview was shortly after lunch. I knew my interview was going well when part of my essay was quoted back to me and I was told that they may start quoting me on their website. And going well it was! They let me know as soon as the interview was over that I made it in (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) There’s a high possibility that my heart exploded at the words. What an amazingly sweet start to my Journey to Cobalt!


Tuition for a year at Cobalt is $11,400. Through your support and work opportunities I've made enough to cover my first year! (Thank you so much!!) Now any money that comes in will be set aside for next year's tuition. Tuition covers my classes, all class materials, my housing, and food for the year.  (GoFundMe takes 7.9% and $0.30 from each transaction, if you are able please consider giving with Chase Quick Pay, Paypal, cash app or a check and I'll add the gift as an offline donation so it will still count towards my goal. If not, don't worry about it! Your generosity is appreciated either way!)

God has moved so much in this process and I’m excited to see how He’ll move again! Along with prayer for the provision mentioned above, I would love prayer for my transition from Utah to Illinois and then to New York. Along with that, 5 other students will join me during this training program. We’ll be learning together, living together, and generally be around each other constantly, so prayer for our individual and group relationship would be greatly appreciated!

This is a huge request and I am incredibly thankful for your thoughts, prayers, and generosity!


Why raise support instead of getting a loan?

                While Cobalt Studios is certifies as an educational institution, it's non-accredited, making it difficult to get a loan. Also, I'm in the process of paying off my undergrad loans and I would like to avoid adding to those as much as possible!

What will you gain/what doors will this open for you?
There are so many benefits! To start with, an in-depth, foundational, and comprehensive education of scenic painting tools, techniques, processes, and tricks— and the confidence to use them well and to adjust them as needed. It will also offer me a space to make connections with scenic painters across the country and an opportunity to plug into the vast network of the Cobalt staff. The ability to attach the Cobalt name and references to my resume is another big one. As many of you probably know, I graduated last May with a degree in Painting. During college I got an apprenticeship working for a theatre company and fell in love with scenic painting. Theatre combines some of my favorite parts of fine art (the act of creating, the opportunity for visual communication, and the myriad of both material and conceptual possibilities, to name a few) with a community that both works together and pushes each other to grow and develop. Though my attempt to add a theatre minor was thwarted by a class conflict, I took as many theatre classes as I could. It wasn’t until after graduation that I realized how important it is for many theatre companies to see that you have a theatre degree of some sort before they will hire you. Cobalt will help level the playing field and even raise it in my favor!. Along with the skills and network that I’ll gain, Cobalt has a track record of being a very high quality facility and has it’s own prestige just in the name (think Ivy League school status to the theatre world).

When are you leaving and how long will you be gone?
               I have to be there by September 10th, so I'll leave a couple days before hand to make the drive. Similar to a college program I'll be there until May, be off for the summer, and as it's a two year program, I'll do the same thing the next year. 

Have another questions? Let me know!

All my love,

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Shiloah Grace Frederick 
Carol Stream, IL