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Art

Spotlight

Jake Lunde / Graphic Design 2014

During school, I worked at the CWU publicity center making posters, and getting a feel for what agency life could look like. This helped me tremendously to gain experience and confidence in design, but also interpersonal relationships and communication (which is honestly a good portion of working at an agency). With that confidence, I took some extra initiative in my projects for class—an assignment that required us to create a typeface? I went ahead and made it a functional TTF file that I gave away for free online, bringing lots of recruiters and exposure to my design work. Just last month I licensed that very same font to Penguin Books for use on their cover artwork.

After graduation I got connected to a recruiting agency for design work. There are many of these in Seattle and elsewhere—Creative Circle, The Creative Group to name a couple. These meta-agencies connect talent to employers of all types. You can work on contract or look for full time work as well. I was looking exclusively for the latter as I’d want a steady gig for the foreseeable future. The time it took after interviewing at Creative Circle to my first day at Zum Communications was a little less than two weeks. I got a job! Working remotely on PowerPoint presentations (“decks” as they call them) for Microsoft Executives. Not glamorous work, but it paid the bills and allowed me to work on my design skills and learn how to communicate and work a 9-5 in a corporate setting. I worked on PowerPoints for about a year, all the while honing my chops in the growing field of User Interface / User Experience Design. I wanted to work on screens, apps, websites, but more importantly I wanted to solve problems. “Why does that work so poorly?” “Why isn’t this easier?” were common phrases that pushed me forward. Using Creative Circle once more, I got connected with Fresh Consulting, an agency in Bellevue with lots of software developers and a few designers doing UI/UX work, who let me learn UI/UX on the job. That’s what I needed, and they helped me get real experience in the field for my portfolio. After a while I grew tired of the commute, and some of my closest colleagues left for greener pastures. I stuck it out for a few more months, learning as much as I could as quickly as I could. It wasn’t fun, but it was work. I gritted my teeth and pushed through over the one-year mark again. All the while I gained experience working with Microsoft, CBRE, and other larger brands. I began interviewing, using Creative Circle once more, and landed at Pilot Lab- an envisioning lab for more conceptual design as well as UI/UX. Here I worked on the latest version of Skype exclusively for 9 months.

This next move taught me more intricacies and nuances of user experience design, and helped to expand my creativity in solving all sorts of problems. This time I made it back into Seattle—South Lake Union. I could ride my bike to work, my hours were flexible, and I started to really enjoy myself. The only thing that loomed over this job was the fact that it was contract based. I look for security in all of my career moves, and this one was pretty volatile, and not getting any more stable. While working on Skype I met my current boss, Ron Morris, who was the head of another agency called BLAMO (a combination of the principals last names Blanchard and Morris). Ron mentored me while I was at Pilot, more so than anyone at Pilot did. He offered me a position and I started in February. I now work in a beautiful office on Capitol Hill with some of the best people and designers I’ve ever known. Since I’ve been here I’ve gotten the chance to work on projects for KEXP, Vans, and Footlocker, done branding work for startups, and most recently working on a political card game that will be released on Kickstarter very soon. I’ve never been happier. That hip Capitol Hill agency by which I was initially rejected has since closed. I know that I was never meant to work there, but rather do things the right way so I could be prepared to do the work that I do now.

 

Ryan Moffat / Graphic Design 2017

Ryan Moffat graduated in the the spring of 2017with his BFA degree in graphic design. Having a growing interest in the area of User Experience/User Interface Design, prior to graduation Ryan inquired with Professor David Bieloh about possible connections he might have in the User Experience field. Mr. Bieloh put Ryan in contact with a former student from Denver who worked for IHS Markit in Boulder, to discuss the possiblility of doing an internship at Markit after graduation. Ryan made the initial contact and set up the interview for the internship, which was competitive. He was selected as the intern for Markit and relocated immediately following graduation. Ryan spent 9 weeks working as an intern and was then offered a full-time position as an Associate Designer for the company.

Ryan said, "These past nine weeks have been an amazing experience and I've learned so much about not only design, but also the financial industry since that ties into the type of work I'm doing now. I'm so excited to continue working at IHS Markit and further my work and experience in the graphic design world." 

“Since beginning my career at IHS Markit, I have been creating multiple products. Immersing myself into the financial world has allowed me to understand my approach as a designer. As I develop here, I will be able to apply my design knowledge to every project."

Congratulations Ryan! 

 

Ross Quesnell / Art Education 2013

Ross Quesnell graduated in the spring of 2013 with a BA in Visual Art Education and minors in Museum Studies and Studio Art. Thanks to Heather Horn Johnson’s recommendation to consider the Museum Studies Minor at CWU, Ross quickly developed an interest in museum work. Shortly after graduating he contacted the Yakima Valley Museum to arrange an internship with its Exhibitions Department. After a highly informative summer with the museum’s Curator, Andrew Granitto, Ross decided to try his luck on the east coast when he had an opportunity to move to Orlando, FL. In Orlando, Ross began work at the Ronald Blocker Educational Leadership Center, where he worked in administrative support to the Arts Director for Orange County Public Schools. During this time he also interned at Orlando Museum of Art.


Fast forward to 2014, and Ross was hired as the Associate Curator of Education & Outreach at the Orlando Museum of Art. In this position he managed over 100 museum programs per year, from sessions for communities with special needs, to large public lecture series. Ross personally provided public and private gallery talks at the OMA, as well as outreach lectures and professional development workshops to groups at University of Central Florida and Orange County Public Schools. In addition to the valuable programming and public speaking skills he acquired, Ross was very fortunate to have met and worked with artists like Maya Lin, Will Cotton, numerous National Geographic photographers, and many others.


Inspired by the art he was in contact with, and by all his past studio professors at CWU, Ross decided to pursue his MFA in 2016. He now attends Arizona State University as an MFA Candidate while working as a Graduate TA, and an Online Sales Assistant at Bentley Gallery. In his past year at ASU, Ross has received multiple scholarships, as well as a travel grant to study at UC, Berkeley’s Museum of Vertebrate Zoology. Looking back, Ross fondly remembers his time in Ellensburg as the major the source of his professional persistence. His time at CWU taught him how to network, seek out opportunities, and build lasting friendships.

 

Kirk Dietrich / Graphic Design 1975

Kirk graduated from Central Washington University in 1975 with a BA in Art and followed with graduate studies with a concentration on graphic design. Kirk is the President and Creative Director of Blind Renaissance Design in Wenatchee. With more than 30 years of experience in both the fine art and marketing fields, Kirk brings a wealth of options to his clients and staff. Kirk instructed Art for K-12 classes for the Eastmont School District in his early career. He also taught painting, photo processes, and printmaking at Wenatchee Valley College, where he helped found the school's Graphic Design program. Kirk has collaborated with and provided creative direction to the Blind Rensaissance design team since the company's birth in 1972. He has also hired interns and graduates from the graphic design program here at CWU.

Kirk currently serves on the CWU College of Arts and Humanities Advisory Board where he assists in providing fundraising, promotion of the college, and tailoring the CWU curriculum for today's workplace.

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