When I accepted the position of Web Services Developer at George Mason University School of Law in October 2011, I took on the technical challenges such as server administration, content management system support and database maintenance. What attracted me the most to the job, however, was the opportunity to design the school’s web site. In my twelve years of experience in web-related fields, design has always played a major role in my career path.
My passion for design started in my sophomore year at La Salle University where I received my undergraduate degree in Digital Arts and Multimedia Design. Even though I wanted to do creative work, I had no clue about design. When I turned in my first web page for a class in digital art, the professor shook her head in disbelief. The page had six different typefaces, a bunch of uncoordinated colors and a handful of animated graphics. The expression I saw on the professor’s face, which I still remember today, gave me a hint that I didn’t do something right. We had a talk and she suggested that I start from the basics.
I took her advice to heart, and began learning color, typography and white space. Working with these three basic visual elements, I developed an appreciation for simplicity. When designing web pages, the minimalist approach allowed me to concentrate on the content and message. My style came together when I landed my first professional job as a web designer at Vassar College. In addition to creating design work for the school, I was surrounded by a group of talented individuals including graphic designers, illustrators and typographers. I have learned so much from this group simply by our daily interaction. By taking each other’s constructive criticisms and insightful suggestions, we grew together as a team.
After Vassar, I took on a new position as a web developer at the George Washington University School of Business. Although my main role was to maintain the school’s web pages in accordance with the University’s unified web presence, I always sought out creative opportunities like creating banners, book covers, print ads and web promotional materials. In addition, when not working at my fulltime job, I took on freelance web design projects to keep my creativity flowing.
Over the years, design has stayed with me no matter what career I embark upon. Pursuing a Master of Art in Graphic Design would not only strengthen my professional career, but also channel and broaden my passion for design. I am looking forward to studying the theory of graphic design as well as advanced topics including typography, brand identity design and web design. One of my goals in the future is to share my knowledge for design, and the Master of Arts program at George Mason University School of Art will qualify me to do so.
(Written for Master of Arts in Graphic Design George Mason University Admission)