1. What year did you graduate?
After getting an AA degree in fine art and then another one is graphic design from City College in San Diego, I worked for a few years at a couple of agencies, and then moved to Portland and got my BS degree. I finished it up in 2006.
2. Would you share any professional experiences / projectsthat you have worked on?
At my last agency position I did a lot of projects for the HP Activity Center. People can download them, print and then craft them themselves. One project in particular is the "Origami Animals." Check it out!
3. What projects are you working on currently?
Currently, I am laid off so I have had lots of time to do lots of things. One of the projects that I am working on is for an organization called The Power of the Purse. They are a non profit that raises money to help at risk teen girls. I have done it for the last couple of years and am again this year. For my hand bags I created more of a conceptual idea behind them instead of just the form. I paint a huge painting and then cut it up. I have always liked the idea of many people having a piece of a whole. It connects people on a whole different level. Up to 25 people can have a part of the painting. They don't usually know each other. That painting is participating instead of being stagnant. It is being a part of something, and someone, it has more than just a visual purpose.
Also, my friend Sean and I are doing a little side project we call Skygoat. We are both laid off so we needed something to do.(keep your eyes peeled of our website www.skygoat.com) We are just creating a bunch of projects for ourselves, stuff that we like. We are our target market. We are playing around with things that we never got to do through agency work. Little flash projects, experimental websites, and lots of illustration stuff! Really, we are just trying to have fun while the economy sucks.
4. In what ways (faculty, program, projects, classes, etc) was PSU-GD successful in preparing you for being a professional designer?
I think what was most helpful was that the teachers are all professional designers and worked at agencies, so they have a keen eye and high expectations.
5. What suggestions to have for PSU-GD to improve upon or information/content that you should have had in school but did not get?
I think what I might have needed more would have been copy writing, and business classes.
6. What recommendations do you have for any currentstudents and/or students graduating?
If you can't illustrate, learn. What if your computer blew up and you needed to get concept ideas to a client. It is hard to just be a graphic designer these days. You need to be a illustrator, copy writer, designer, production artist, project manager, art director, flash designer, web designer, know HTML, just so much stuff.
It use to be that employers really liked the idea of someone specializing in a certain area, now, because of the economy, downsizing, etc. they want people who can do everything. Also, there is so much competition these days because everyone is a designer so find an angle. What will make them want you over any other designer. Find out what makes you special and market it.
7. Any other thoughts / advice about being a designer that you would like to share (things you wish you had known or just any thing of interest to you?)
I wish I would have known more about how to prepare for a recession. No job is really secure, save your money, have a back up plan. Keep your portfolio and resume updated so that you could use them at the drop of a hat. Have a web site, printed portfolio, and crafted project samples.
8. Would you share a links to sites that inspire you and any books or ? that you go to for inspiration?
I read this one book called "How to be a designer with out losing your soul" that I thought was pretty inspiring. A lot of times when doing my own projects I try not to look at others work because I don't want it to inspire me. I try to get out and experience things for inspiration. Thoughts and concepts are my inspiration.
9. PLEASE send us links to your site and/or blog
I should have my web site up in a couple of weeks, it is www.thinkdrawdesign.com but you can check out my illustration blog for now it is thinkdrawdesign.blogspot.com