My favorite part of design changes every time someone asks me. I never know what to say so I end up blurting out the first thing that comes to mind. Today, my favorite part of design is storytelling. I like to create connections and extend our understanding to reach further than it did before. My second favorite part of design is making it fun for the user. If something is effective but not fun, it doesn’t improve quality of life as much as it could. So my goal when designing anything is make sure that it’s enjoyable. Outside of class, I like to write and illustrate mini graphic novels. My dream is to publish my own graphic novel. Overall, I’m a pretty carefree person and I love to make people laugh. If there was a counter in my house that read Days Since Coral Made a Bad Joke it would always be at zero because it’s the Wild West of humor and I’m constantly shootin’ from the hip, partner.
CHECK OUT MY WORK
I worked at TYRO during the summer of 2020. During that time, I worked with two different companies. I created a video that was played on social media sites for the Northwest Innovation Resource Center (NWIRC) advertising their Amazon Catalyst Competition. I worked closely with Lara as we decided what sort of content she wanted to be advertised in the video. NWIRC works with small entrepreneurs to help them develop their dream into a reality by connecting them with designers, lawyers, and other businesses. The other client I worked with was my father. I created a new logo for his online arms store. His business is a passion project and only consists of one employee: himself. It was nice to be able to use my strengths and create something useful for my dad. During the fall quarter I am working with PLOT Creative, an independent brand strategy and design studio based in Seattle, WA. Kari is a super talented designer who works with clients to create branding, website development, and UX design.
My favorite part was working with the other students at TYRO. We worked together to brainstorm and critique our designs. It was nice to know that we were all doing our best together. We met every day for two weeks and would discuss our projects and process. I loved seeing how diverse our assignments were. At times we would also have meetings with clients and the rest of us would shadow it. Even if only one student was working directly with the client, we all learned something from the experience.
Working one-on-one with Kari from PLOT Creative this Fall quarter has been invaluable in developing my branding strategies. She has been walking me through her method of starting from a brand’s keywords to developing mood boards, typography, color palettes, photography, layouts, and eventually creating a brand guide document to present to a client. It’s so satisfying to see how far I am able to push a simple mood board into a fully developed brand system.
I met you only two quarters before I started my BFA year. I remember in one of our classes, near the beginning of the quarter, you asked us all to stand up, pair off with another student, and tell them what our strongest asset in design was. I was paralyzed. I had always told myself that my strengths weren’t design-y enough. Over the course of that class, you helped me realize that our strengths aren’t inherently design or not design — it’s how we apply those strengths that makes them successful.
I told you one morning before class started how grateful I was to you. You helped me find a path I didn’t realize existed. I remember afterwards I began to panic because I worried it might have seemed like I was trying to shower you in praise right before you judged my BFA portfolio. I hope you know it was nothing but heartfelt.
I started my BFA year full of unstable energy. My outlook was constantly shifting from “I skirted into this program by the skin of my teeth.” to “I work so hard, I deserve to be here.” and then back to “The only reason I’m here is because I can’t shut up, but people seem to enjoy the ridiculousness that escapes my mouth.” I was experiencing emotional whiplash every other day. That being said, the most prevalent thought that filled my noggin was that I didn’t want you to regret letting me into the program.I remember during a one-on-one meeting I let my deepest thought slip — I don’t want to disappoint you. You just laughed and said “That’s not possible.” I was so caught up in my head thinking that I didn’t belong that I was working overtime to prove that I wasn’t a mistake. I realized my value in the program isn’t directly related to how “good” I am, and it definitely doesn’t affect my relationship with my professors or peers.
Paula, you have helped me so much over the past year. I have become more confident and assured in my abilities as a designer and as a person. You put so much care into everything you do. My time at TYRO was such a fun learning experience because you worked so hard to make sure we had the best experience possible. Thank you.