Featured Design Student Gillian Levine

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First year design student Gillian Levine has already begun to make a name for herself. What started as a homework assignment turned into the back cover of the nationally recognized publication, Resist! during the Women’s March in January. We talk to her about her design process and the emotional connection to her work.

 

You’re in your first year at Seattle Central Creative Academy. What brought you here?

 

Although I’ve always enjoyed making things, I never considered a career as an artist. I grew up surrounded by a lot of creativity (my mom is an illustrator and my dad is a printmaker), but fine arts never really resonated with me. I worked as an administrative assistant for many years, and I finally reached a point where I knew I needed a change. My colleagues at my last job were very supportive of my art, and they pushed me to pursue a new career in design. Thanks in part to their encouragement, I found this program and applied. I looked at several schools, and Seattle Central Creative Academy seemed like the right place for me.

 

How has graphic design school been so far?

 

It’s been the best experience of my life. My classmates are so supportive and talented and inspiring, and I feel like I’ve already found kindred spirits. The teachers have been incredibly knowledgeable and encouraging, and I’m amazed by how much I’ve learned in the first quarter. I always thought of myself as an underachiever, but now I realize that I just wasn’t doing what I loved. It’s the most amazing feeling to love what you do, and to get positive feedback on hard work. If I didn’t have to sleep, I would probably be making art 24 hours a day!

 

 

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Your poster for the Women’s march is phenomenal. How did you come up with the concept? What was your process? 

 

I was assaulted by a man in my early 20s, and for many years I struggled with feelings of anger, resentment, and fear. I have also experienced sexism and misogyny in the workplace and in my personal life. I feel very passionately about women’s rights. When Donald Trump won the election, I was devastated. I felt like every man who had ever disrespected me was being validated. I began hearing stories of women all over the country being harassed by emboldened Trump supporters, and my devastation turned to anger. I created this poster for my Intro to Design class, and I wanted to used my frustration and anger to make something positive. I wanted to create an image that was bold, empowering, and playful. I believe that women will grab back our rights, our bodies, and our country. The image itself is a paper cutout. I actually did 5 iterations before settling on this final image. The process was really satisfying, and creating this image was something of a catharsis for me.

 

How did you feel throughout the steps of submitting to the publication? What did you learn from the process? 

 

The submission process was pretty straightforward. I submitted my poster to the Resist! Publication after getting a head’s up from someone else in the program. When I learned that my image would be used for the back cover, I was totally shocked! It was really cool to communicate with the editors of the publication to ensure that the image was exactly to their specifications.

 

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front and back covers of the Resist! publication

 

Now that you’ve got your first publication under your belt, how do you feel about the results and do you have any future graphic design projects you’re excited about?

 

Aside from the fact that I wish I never had to create this image in the first place, I am really happy with the results. I have three main career goals as an artist: to delight people, to make them feel something or think about something in a new or deeper way, and to use art as a means to help the planet and all of its decent creatures (human or otherwise). My career hasn’t even officially begun yet, and I’m already on the path to achieving these goals. I’ve found my dream career, and I’m so excited to continue to use graphic design to make the world more beautiful.

 

See more of what Gillian is up to on her website: gillianlevine.com

or on Instagram: @professional.baby

 

Amazon Devices: Sarita Schaffer

Sarita Schaffer - Interaction Designer, Amazon Digital Products

Sarita Schaffer – Interaction Designer, Amazon Digital Products

 

Sarita Schaffer (Design ’15 alumni) currently works as a Senior UX Designer at Amazon in their Elexa enabled devices division. Recently, she was featured on the Inside Amazon series. They explore her story as the founder and director of Viva Farms to her current role as a UX designer. This story highlights the interdisciplinary nature of design and how her experience as a social entrepreneur informed Sarita’s understanding of meaningful user experiences. Her experiences also showcase the diverse backgrounds of SCCA students and how their design education can launch them to a meaningful career in design.

 

Check out her Inside Amazon full video interview.

Featured Design Alumni: Form°

Featured SCCA Graphic Design alumni (c/o 2014) Alice Wicks & Gabriel López of the design company Form°

Featured SCCA Graphic Design alumni (c/o 2014) Alice Wicks & Gabriel López of the design company Form°

 

Form° is a Seattle based design company founded by SCCA graphic design alumni Alice Wicks & Gabriel López (c/o 2014). From print to illustration to branding and web, they have worked with a variety of local businesses in Seattle and around the world. We caught up with Alice and Gabriel to get a glimpse of the work they do, what they would focus on if they were back in design school, and what they hope for their future.

 

Describe the work you do at Form°.
At Form° we take pride in focusing and building timeless brands with graphic design and illustration. Not only do we focus on our customers’ clients, but we also create brands that grow along with their business.

 

Pint designs for Frankie & Jo’s, a plant-based ice cream shop in the neighborhood of Capitol Hill.

Pint designs for Frankie & Jo’s, a plant-based ice cream shop in the neighborhood of Capitol Hill.

Frankie & Jo’s website reflects the idea of making mindful ice cream that uses tasty and unique fruits, vegetables, plants, and trees.

Frankie & Jo’s website reflects the idea of making mindful ice cream that uses tasty and unique fruits, vegetables, plants, and trees.

How did each of you find your way to studying design at SCCA?

Gabriel — The creative arts have been a major part of me through most of my life. However when it came time to trot off to college, I was encouraged to study the sciences. And so I did. After working a few years as a clinical microbiologist, I decided to go back to the arts. I’d visit the 5th floor on a weekly basis to get inspired to the point that I finally applied.
Alice — Growing up the arts were always a sacred past time activity for me. However, in college, I was encouraged to study business. In between my statistics and economics classes, I would sneak off to the design department at Western where I first started to learn about and fall in love with this new art form. A year after graduating, I realized I needed to go back to school for design to follow my true passion. From there, all my research and the people I spoke with pointed me towards SCCA.

 

What’s your creative process/workflow like as a team? What work environment(s) work best for you?

We thoroughly enjoy face to face meetings with clients and thus begin all projects in that manner. We feel that it is the best way to extract their vision for their business and it helps build good rapport between them and us.

As a team, we then discuss possible directions for the client. And we always begin by asking ourselves one question:
Do these ideas work for both our client and his/her customers? If the answer is no, then we haven’t thought about the project completely and we begin anew.

Upon agreement with possible directions, we design, critique and revise. When we feel we are in a good place, we invite the client back for presentation of our executions.

 

Website for Jennifer Ament evokes sensations that are fluid and meditative but edged with intensity.

Website for Jennifer Ament evokes sensations that are fluid and meditative but edged with intensity.

Business cards for Jennifer Ament, an artist and print maker that strives to create paintings that are immersive experiences.

Website for Jennifer Ament evokes sensations that are fluid and meditative but edged with intensity.

What’s fascinating to you these days?

Perhaps what is most fascinating to us is that nothing is constant, the design world is forever changing at a high speed. We find change alluring because it keeps us on our toes. Change encourages everyone to keep learning, encourages everyone to progress and never stop. Knowledge allows us to keep pushing boundaries. To those who read this, we encourage you to never remain static.

 

If you were a student at SCCA right now, what would you be excited to focus on?
Our minds would be focused on motion/animation. During our time at SCCA, we had no true dedicated time for it. We feel it would bring more dynamic elements to the projects we have worked on and could possibly work on. Motion design opens the doors to unlimited possibilities.

 

Album artwork for Postcard from the Badlands, a four member new music ensemble.

Album artwork for Postcard from the Badlands, a four member new music ensemble.

The website design for Postcard from the Badlands utilizes the idea of an audio tale filled with conflict, hope and resolution

The website design for Postcard from the Badlands utilizes the idea of an audio tale filled with conflict, hope and resolution

What type of design projects do you enjoy the most and why?

Branding is our first love. The thrill of beginning with a blank canvas is unparalleled. The joy we bring to people when they see their business come to life via a brand makes our hearts sing.

We love illustration as well. It’s a breather from rigid design work. It allows us to flex our brains in a different manner.

 

What blog(s) or website(s) do you recommend for design students?

We honestly have none to recommend. We instead recommend thinking for yourselves before hopping on a computer. Create your own world, not mimic those that have been created by others.

 

What’s next for you and what do you still hope to accomplish?

In the future, we would love to have an international reach. Perhaps open an office in Barcelona. We are allowed to dream, right? Yes we are, of course we are.

 

See more of the great work of Form° at formmade.com

Artist of the Week, Megan K. Harris

SCCA Design alum and artist, Megan Harris, is Artist of the Week for Seattle Refined. Her work will also be in September’s Capitol Hill Art WalkMegan is currently a Senior User Experience (UX) Designer and manages her website, Miss PNW. Her feature with Seattle Refined dives into her creative process and the challenge of her choice of medium. The interview gives a nice glimpse into the visual life of this Creative Academy alum. The interview also explores how she spends her time focusing on art and adventure outside of her day-to-day role as a UX Designer.

Designer and Artist, Megan Harris

Megan K. Harris, Seattle Central Creative Academy Design ’14

Check out the full Seattle Refined interview.

Artwork by Designer and Artist, Megan Harris:

 

Original Watercolor & India Ink Painting, The Stag The Shadows, by Designer and Artist Megan Harris

Original Watercolor & India Ink Painting, The Stag & The Shadows

Original Watercolor & India Ink Painting, The Mountains The Moments, by Designer and Artist Megan Harris

Original Watercolor & India Ink Painting, The Mountains & The Moments

Be sure to check out Megan Harris’ artwork in September at the Capitol Hill Art Walk at Saint John’s Bar & Eatery. Her website, Miss PNW, is full of original artwork. To see more and keep up with Megan’s adventures around the Pacific Northwest, follow her on Instagram: @mk_harris.