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DESIGN APPRENTICES: FALL 2023

Learn a bit about our fall design apprentices! They have spent the last four months getting hands-on experience on graphic design projects, meeting industry pros, and building their portfolios with access to industry-standard software like Illustrator, Photoshop, After Effects, and Procreate.

Click a name to jump to a particular student’s Q&A:


JAY STUCKI

WHEN DID YOU KNOW THAT YOU WANTED TO DESIGN THINGS?
I knew that I wanted to do art when I watched the show Gravity Falls in like third grade. It was an experience, and it set off a passion for animation, unlike any other thing I’ve ever seen.

WHAT EXPERIENCE DO YOU HAVE WITH GRAPHIC DESIGN OR GAME DESIGN PRINCIPLES? WHAT CHALLENGES HAVE YOU FACED AS A YOUNG DESIGNER?
I put a lot of effort and time into learning the basics, and I’ve gone through design principles about a million times. (Not literally, of course.) A pretty big challenge has been where I live. There are very few opportunities around where I live for design.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF DESIGNING? HOW DO YOU COME UP WITH YOUR IDEAS?
I love being creative and just being able to put ideas down on paper or on a png. There are so many stories to tell, just one drawing can tell the complete story of someone. It’s amazing. A lot of the time, I just get bursts of ideas that last for a few seconds and fade quickly, so I have to just get them on paper before I forget. Lots of ideas that I get are based on media I consume as well, or inspired by them.

HOW DO YOU PLAN AND EXECUTE YOUR DESIGNS?
So so much drawing. Designing and redesigning, iteration after iteration. One character could have like ten different appearances in a week of drawing them. I try to be more organized, but I tend to not do that.

WHAT KIND OF TOOLS AND SOFTWARE DO YOU USE TO CREATE YOUR DESIGNS?
On my iPad, I use Procreate and Ibis Paint, Clip Studio, and even just the notes app sometimes. on my computer, I use Clip Studio and Photoshop and Toon Boom Harmony and Adobe Animate and Storyboarder and stuff. I also use a whole lot of paper and pens, just doodling with a pen is one of my favorite things to do. I’m proficient in all of these softwares and am always trying to learn new ones. I’ve been doing digital art for a few years, and the complexity of programs I used has gone up.

HOW DO YOU GET FEEDBACK ON YOUR DESIGNS AND IMPROVE THEM?
I show them to people! They’re usually pretty nice, but I love it when they just totally tear into it and tell me exactly what I can improve upon.

HOW DO YOU PLAN TO MAKE A LIVING AS A GRAPHIC OR GAME DESIGNER?
It’s not for everyone but I would love to get an industry job, especially in animation.

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EDDIE MEMMOTT

WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE ARTIST?
My favorite designer or artist is definitely Jhonen Vazquez, I’ve always loved Invader Zim even before I watched it. I just loved the idea. One day, an art teacher of mine said that my art reminded him of Vasquez’s art style so I went into his other work. I LOVE jthm and squee!!! It makes me want to follow a similar career path if possible. working on horror comics and also animation.

WHAT IS ONE OF YOUR GREATEST STRENGTHS AS A DESIGNER? GREATEST CHALLENGE?
My strength is having so many ideas and strong ideas that I can make into a whole concept. I struggle with finishing the execution. I will make my way into a project but not finish it.

WHAT TOOLS OR PROGRAMS DO YOU USE WHEN YOU CREATE ART?
When I make art digitally I default to procreate on an iPad, but with physical art, I’m more flexible. Any flat surface is a canvas. My favorite painting I’ve ever done was painted on sheet rock! I also like involving mixed media in every single one of my pieces; it feels boring otherwise.

WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST GOAL AS AN ARTIST?
My goal is to create media that feature people like me, and the others around me. I’ve never seen a little punk queer east Asian kid really into horror and fashion in anything ever, and I want that to change.

WHAT IS YOUR ARTISTIC PROCESS LIKE?
For the projects I do finish, I don’t have a set plan. I start with the first step, and when that’s finished, I think about what needs to be done next. Take it one step at a time.

WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE PLANS AS AN ARTIST/DESIGNER?
I hope to make a living as a designer by working with a company I respect. I don’t want to handle the financial stress of running my own project yet. I would also be happy to host a project if we were being funded by a producer who I knew. My plan for building a network is a combination of going to school for at least a little and working hard to connect with professors and students and holding those connections. I also am always on the lookout for art/game designer meetups.

My game plan for my career is to always have my focus on continuing. Look for every opportunity I can and do my best when I get my opportunities. I want to have a lot of fun and adventure along the way too, so I don’t have a detailed plan on how to climb the ladder. We will see if that bites me in the butt later!

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TYRA KEYES

HOW DO YOU COME UP WITH YOUR IDEAS?
I like to go back and read poems, stories, and listen to music I think would have lines in them that I could build a story off of and go from there.

ANY FAVORITE DESIGNERS OR DESIGN PROJECTS?
Tony Demencia and team cherry are definitely my favorite designers, the way Tony structured his game to follow along with the story he was making was a big inspiration to a lot of the things. And I just like hollow knight character designs, not to mention the fact that the entire game was only made by 3 people.

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JAIMIE JUI

WHEN DID YOU KNOW YOU WANTED TO GO INTO ART?
I’ve been in arts of some kind for nearly my whole life, and I’ve enjoyed it throughout, but I think the true leap was when I joined YTC at the U, Even though it’s performance arts, having that commitment made me realize how much I love making and showing my art and voice.

HOW DO YOU PLAN ON BUILDING YOUR PROFESSIONAL NETWORK?
I actually know a lot of organizations, people, and groups that work in arts that I’m acquainted with, so my main plan is to work with those people and build my network through such.

HOW DO YOU GET FEEDBACK ON YOUR DESIGNS AND IMPROVE ON THEM?
Honestly, I usually just ask: Do you like this? Does this work for you? Anything you’d like to change or add? And for the improving part, I’ll usually first consider what they want and look at where, when, and how that’d be added. Then, if it’s something I know how to do, I’ll do it, and if it isn’t, I’ll study what I’m doing using references, guides, etc.

WHO INSPIRES YOU, AND WHY?
There’s a lot of things and people that inspire me; in terms of my art, I think it’d have to be a few games and movies I love, as well as the people behind them and people that do art around me or with me. Works like Hollow Knight, the Nightmare Before Christmas, and Team Fortress 2, I really respect the time and effort put into them and making them so unique from their contemporaries. For people there’s my theatre director as well as a ton of people in the theatre department, as well as my peers who, by seeing the awesome work they put out, inspire me to do art.

WHAT EXPERIENCES DO YOU HAVE WITH GRAPHIC DESIGN PRINCIPLES?
The majority of my experience is just that, experience. I haven’t had a ton of professional training but I’ve worked with graphic design for a long time and made many projects and works. Of course, I’ve taken several art classes, but I don’t think those specifically deal with design principles.

WHAT KIND OF ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO ANOTHER ASPIRING DESIGNER?
I think my biggest thing is to just go for it. Almost whenever I’m making art I try to remember that there is no pressure. Art has to be bad sometimes that’s just the nature of things, so if you get the crap out of your system, you’ll have more room for the work you want to do. Jump into it. There’s no one watching you, even if there is any pressure, every project starts somewhere; start creating and work with the process, not against it.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE ASPECTS OF DESIGN?
There are a few things that I really love about design. I love the feel of putting pieces of a project together into a finished project and getting to step back and appreciate that I worked with these tools, these materials, whatever it be. I also love the community of design, art isn’t about out-arting the competition, it’s about learning from each other to improve as a whole.

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JESTER CREIGHTON

WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE ARTISTS? WHAT INSPIRES YOUR DESIGNS?
I like tenhundred. What my dad randomly doodles – he does weird, creepily realistic things.

WHAT PROJECT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?
My favorite project was a thank you thing for someone that donated to Spy Hop. I got to draw silly animals and I like how it turned out.

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ELLA MOBERLY

WHAT IS A THING YOU HAVE LEARNED IN THIS CLASS THAT YOU WILL USE IN YOUR ARTISTRY OR IN YOUR LIFE IN THE FUTURE?
There are many types of artists and many more jobs for artists.

WHAT WAS YOUR REASON FOR SIGNING UP FOR THIS CLASS?
I adore art. I thought that it would look good on my resume. I wanted to meet new people. My friend Eddie recommended it.

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EIDO THAI

WHAT WAS YOUR REASON FOR SIGNING UP FOR THIS CLASS
Art. I like doing art.

WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE ARTISTS? WHAT INSPIRES YOUR DESIGNS?
Movies. I like Spider-man.

WHAT IS A THING YOU HAVE LEARNED IN THIS CLASS THAT YOU WILL USE IN YOUR ARTISTRY OR IN YOUR LIFE IN THE FUTURE?
Design. Procreate.

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TASHA SUTHERLAND

WHAT KIND OF EXPERIENCE DO YOU HAVE WITH DESIGN WITH PROTOTYPING AND TESTING?
I have quite a bit of experience with prototyping and testing. Because, when designing anything, you have to do a lot of prototyping unless you have an exact plan on how to do something, which is almost never. Whenever I am doing something that is more than a stand alone design, I usually set up a list of requirements I want it to meet or achieve. Sometimes I’ll finish an idea and end up completely scraping it. I still keep it because it could be a source of inspiration later on. This part of the process, although sometimes tedious, is sometimes the most fun to do because there’s less weighing on whether it will come out how you want.

HOW DO YOU PLAN TO BUILD YOUR PROFESSIONAL NETWORK?
At the moment my plan is to build up my network through commissions and art competitions. And later on through professors and other students. Keeping an eye out for special events searching for artists/designers.

HOW DO YOU COME UP WITH IDEAS FOR YOUR GRAPHIC OR GAME DESIGNS?
A lot of my ideas come from real life from architecture, people gossiping random lines out of context. And some dreams, sometimes it’s just feelings, feelings that I don’t quite know how to describe verbally I show it through an experience.

HOW DO YOU PLAN AND EXECUTE YOUR DESIGNS?
A lot of my planning is closer to rough drafts, choosing one, creating it, and then realizing: “oh I can change this, this would look better, or that would work better done a different way.” And sometimes I like that better than planning everything out from the very beginning. I fail and I try again learning, from the process all over again. However, the times I do plan something out, I tend to make it very detailed so as not to lose myself and forget or add something that I didn’t mean to. So generally my planning and execution are vaguely outlined in some way that makes sense to me.

WHAT KIND OF ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE OTHER GRAPHIC DESIGNERS?
The advice I would give is rest give yourself time you don’t have to have all the answers or be perfect the first time. Fail. Fail. And fail again It’s going to suck and sometimes; it really hurts, but it’s rewarding and it gives you perspective. Sometimes it’s fun to fail because you are challenging yourself to try again. But you just have to have trust in your capabilities and follow that.

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