I currently work as Head of Design at CreativeLive. It’s an online education start up in San Francisco, so I get to combine my love of teaching with Design. My role is content strategy for design, developing curriculum, and recruiting instructors. I also teach Visual Design at General Assembly, for their 8 week immersive program. And, I wrote a book called Playing with Type published by Rockport Press.
When I enrolled in MFAD I expressed my desire to teach, and was able to TA an undergraduate class with Richard Mehl (who is amazing!). After graduating I rolled into a full time instructor position at SVA, the opportunity of a lifetime for me! I simultaneously freelanced for a number of NYC-based clients on projects from branding to web-based.
At the end of my thesis year I applied for the Sappi ‘Ideas that Matter’ Grant, and got a big chunk of money to bring the project to life. It was amazing to see my thesis out in the world, printed and distributed, being used. My Thesis was a redesign of Recovery for addicts and alcoholics. I aligned myself with the non-profit NCADD (National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependency), and released a campaign to make recovery feel more contemporary for a younger demographic. The campaign included a series of posters and brochures, which were distributed nation-wide to their offices in major cities! My thesis became a real thing, and that was the best feeling ever.
The SVA MFA Design program gave me confidence in myself and my abilities as a designer. I learned from the best, and was challenged by classmates who were some of the most talented bunch I’ve ever met. I feel unstoppable and capable of anything I put my heart into.
Graduating from SVA MFA Design also gives you a bit of street cred. Last month I judged the Communication Arts Typography Annual Competition. When I first got the invitation email I thought ‘Who, me?’. But when I met the other judges, I realized that we’re all just people making stuff that we are passionate about. You can pimp yourself out online, put your work in all the right places, get a fancy headshot and bio, but at the end of the day we design because we can’t do anything else. That commonality is something I first felt at MFAD and now have the opportunity to constantly feel in spurts, when I’m open to it. I guess what I’m trying to say is that going to MFAD changed my life in the best way ever and I treasure the experience.
I definitely approach projects with a broad vision in terms of what I’m capable of. I’m not afraid to get my feet wet in areas that are new to me. If I don’t know how to do something I ask for help and figure it out.
My advice to current student at MFAD? Enjoy every single minute. Give it your all and it will pay off ten fold.