I can’t imagine my life without ArtCenter. I started in Saturday High; earned an undergraduate degree in Graphics/Packaging at ArtCenter, including one semester at ArtCenter Europe; was awarded ninth-term honors; worked in the College’s design office for four years; and taught typography to undergraduates for almost a decade.
Neither of my parents are artists. My father is a doctor and my mom sells jewelry. I have four brothers and sisters, all of whom are also creative. It was a mystery to my parents how they managed to produce four artistic children. However, my parents always supported what my brothers, sisters, and I wanted to do.
As a graphic designer, I’ve never been influenced by current trends. My goal at a fairly young age was to find people who would push me to be the best artist that I could be. I try to encourage my three boys to follow their own paths also, and not conform to that of others.
At Pasadena City College, one of my teachers was the amazing Stan Kong. Stan believed in my work and encouraged me to apply to ArtCenter. He saw something in me that I didn’t even see in myself at the time.
At ArtCenter Europe, I was lucky enough to take a class with Sharon Aki. When I showed her my final project, an identity system, a week before the due date, she said: “Congratulations. You solved it.”
Thinking I had a week off, Sharon said that she wanted to take the project further without using the color black in the next iteration (my entire first version was black on black).
Years later, I realized that Sharon was pushing me beyond what I thought my capabilities were. To my surprise, I liked my reimagined solution even more than the first one. That experience taught me that, in design, you’re never “done.” Any project can be improved upon if you’re willing to do the work.
Back at ArtCenter, Pasadena, I was also inspired by another great teacher and writer, Denise Gonzalez Crisp, who exposed me to critical discourse in graphic design. This opened up a whole new way of thinking about and looking at my practice.
Throughout my career, I have benefitted not only from instructors motivating me to explore further and go beyond, but also from their unwavering belief in my talent.
I guess we can say, “I solved it.” The truth is that I’m still working on improving my art and craft. And that’s okay. Sometimes all it takes is a little push.
BFA 95 Graphics/Packaging
FullCircle Board Member, ArtCenter