Hometown: Champaign, IL
Year graduated: 2012
Currently working at: Adams Outdoor Advertising
How does it feel to be a professional designer: It feels excellent. It is a truly rewarding career.
How do you like your job: I love my job — As the art director, I get to design billboards for a variety of clients. Thinking and designing for such a large platform is very fun. I also enjoy the copywriting aspect of the job and learning about the foreign world of sales. It's also pretty cool to be driving down the street and see my work. As the only designer at Adams Outdoor in Champaign, I do miss being around other creative people, but I try to fill that gap by spending time with designer friends and being involved with CUDO, among other things.
How did you get this job: I heard that there was an opening and submitted my resume and portfolio samples. I was called in for an interview, followed by a second interview and viola! I basically put into action what I'd learned in Parkland's Portfolio Seminar course.
What was the most exciting project you've worked on since graduation: Billboards for Prairieland Feeds — I got to put my cat on one of the billboards and they were really fun people to work with. I also find designing for the digital billboards in general to be really exciting because, like designing for the web, your work can go live and be revised in a matter of minutes.
What were some of the most important things you learned while at Parkland: The design principles, how to take criticism, and how to informatively critique design. Learning an ideal design process which includes a brief, sketching, evaluating concepts, and peer review was also really instrumental. I pull this out of my pocket all the time.
What do you wish you would have done differently when you were at Parkland: I wish I would have pushed myself harder to do more and make more of projects. I didn't appreciate the wealth of time we had in school until I became familiar with real life deadlines.
Web link: www.nataliefiol.com