Portrait of an Artist

Drake   Harrison

Class of 2020 • Severna Park, Maryland
Computer Science and Studio Art—not a traditional duo, but the perfect pair of majors for artistic, yet technology-focused Drake Harrison ‘20. Coming in to Washington College as an avid illustrator, primarily pen and ink drawings, he was encouraged by the Art Department to branch out and consider new ways of making art.


“They really encouraged me to get out of my comfort zone and go in a new direction,” Drake reflects, “thinking critically about the kind of art that I was creating.” 

In his senior year, Drake blended both art and computer science in his Senior Capstone Experience, using artificial intelligence to generate artwork. In its early stages, he anticipated that the final display will use computer generated images (CGI) in an installation piece—perhaps, incorporating virtual reality or other innovative technology.

If he’s not in the art studio, there’s a good chance Harrison is behind a computer, developing computer programs and software. After a year-long nomination and application process, he was selected for the National Security Scholarship Program, a phenomenal opportunity to jump into the homeland security and computer science industry. Harrison joined Raytheon, a leader in technology and innovation in the cybersecurity industry, as an intern. Following his initial internship during the summer after his sophomore year, Harrison returned the following winter break and next summer, as well.

While primarily interested in cutting-edge design and 21st century technology, Drake does not shy away from a new challenge. Participating in Chestertown’s annual cardboard boat race for two years was one of his fondest memories on the Eastern Shore. The process of designing and constructing a boat with a team of your best friends is an experience like none other, even if you happen to sink both times.

 After graduating, Drake hopes to land a position in the cybersecurity sector, while maintaining his art practice.


Drake's Four Year Plan

Year 1

Favorite Class GRW: Cultivating a Maker’s Mindset

Washington College’s IDEAWORKS makerspace is a digital design studio with remarkable 3D printing, laser etching, and electronics prototyping capabilities. Having these tools at your disposable as a freshman is an experience like none other. In Cultivating a Maker’s Mindset, Drake and fellow classmates learned how to use these resources and their own inner creativity to build cardboard boats and electronic speakers with laser-cut wood.

Year 2

Learning by Doing Toll Apprenticeship, Computer Science

Working side-by-side with Prof. Kyle Wilson in the Department of Computer Science, Drake helped design a computer program that would recognize hand gestures to manipulate 3D models. Using advanced technology and special sensors, they had developed a complete program by the end of the summer that could read hand signals.

Year 3

Most Memorable Experience National Security Scholars Program

After receiving the initial nomination, the process of getting into the National Security Scholars Program (NSSP) was a year-long process, starting in the fall of junior year. Fortunately, Drake was offered an internship with Raytheon, a leader in technology and innovation. After working for just one summer, Drake felt at home in the computer science industry  - coming back as an intern the following winter break and summer.

Year 4

Looking Forward To Gettng a Job and Making Art

 Getting a job in the security industry is at the top of Drake’s post-graduation plans, but he plans to continue his art practice as well, focusing primarily on mixed media and sculpture works. As an art and computer science double major, he hopes his passions will collide. With technology and cutting-edge 21st century design principles, like 3D printing, at his disposal, his artwork is certain to follow suit.