Hometown: Villa Grove
Year graduated from Parkland: 2016 (Print Production Certificate)
Year graduated from U of I: 2014 (B.S. in Advertising)
Currently working at: Thunderstruck Design (Champaign IL)
How does it feel to be a professional designer: It feels great! It's crazy to think that I actually get to utilize my creativity and imagination everyday... and get paid to do so. Kid Abby would be very pleased with Adult Abby.
How do you like your job: I really enjoy my job. Sure there are little, annoying projects that obviously no one wants to do but every job has those. Just being able to work with awesome people like I do and doing something that is fun and interesting for work everyday is a great feeling. I feel pretty lucky to have the job that I do.
How did you get this job: I actually met everyone on the Thunderstruck team because I was a client of theirs. My job at the time had decided it was time to redo their website. As the Marketing Director, I was in charge of this project. Before we decided on Thunderstruck, we interviewed a couple of different companies. So technically, I interviewed Rod (the owner of Thunderstruck), before he ever interviewed me for a job. Obviously, we decided to go with Thunderstruck. Having worked with the team already, I guess they figured I could fit in well, so they hired me as an intern. Really, after that, I just kind of never left.
What was the most exciting project you've worked on since graduation: The most exciting project I've worked on was creating office graphics for Campus Property Management. It was exciting for a couple of different reasons. First off, I was still an intern and had only been working there a few months when this project fell into my lap. At that point, I really hadn't done too many projects from start to end, mostly just editing work that had already been designed. Not only that, but the client really didn't have a ton of input on what they wanted, they just knew that customers were getting lost trying to find their office entrance. So basically I had full creative control and just started sketching and then creating visual mock-ups of my ideas. In the end, the client loved the ideas and decided to go ahead with project. So, not only was it my first huge design project, but I was able to really go in whatever direction I wanted.
What do you wish you would have done differently when you were at Parkland: I wish I would have pushed myself and my ideas further. I think because projects were "assignments," I didn't take the time to push myself far enough because I just wanted to get them done since the due date was coming up.
What were some of the most important things you learned while at Parkland: I think the biggest thing was just the overall process of going from ideas to actual designs. It really helped going through all the steps (sketching, creating, critiquing, editing, prepping files & printing) in class, because it better prepares you for what will actually be happening when in the workplace.
Who is your favorite designer and why: I just recently have become super intrigued by calligraphy and I think Ste Bradbury's work is ah-maze-ing! I wish I could do the things he does with lettering. Check it out, you won't be sorry!
What is your favorite typeface and why: Bebas Neue because it is such a simple, clean, modern font that works well for so many things.
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