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At age seven, I spent hours in front of my computer screen adjusting fonts, mixing colors, and creating graphics to design a new issue of Fashion Forward, my cutting edge fashion “magazine.” Granted, hot pink, size seventy-two, Curlz MT font surrounded by comical stars was not the most visually appealing design that I have created, but I had a hungry audience of fashion conscious, lip-gloss-donning second grade girls. These miniature fashionistas ate up my articles on the hottest new ways to spruce up your Girl Scout uniform and the chicest new tops at Limited Too.
Fashion Forward came to an abrupt halt after the sixth issue when summer vacation ended, but my passion for design, fashion and communication lived on. Just as I spent hours manipulating text and graphics that came courtesy of Google Images for my fashion magazine in second grade, I now use the same eye for visual detail in my artistic expressions. I channeled my interests into taking advanced-level art classes, laying out the school newspaper, launching a fashion blog, spending my summers taking classes at Parsons The New School of Design, Drexel University, and Savannah College of Art and Design, shooting portraiture photographs in conceptual situations, and serving as both vice president and historian of my school’s National Art Honors Society. Somewhere, in that combination of communicating to an audience and utilizing my creative talents at age seven, I found a happy medium between my love of writing and art.
My love of art and design stems from my deeper understanding of the control they hold over the human psyche. Aesthetics is something that many people don’t notice on a conscious level. As an artist I can see clearly that what is represented visually is much more than meets the eye.
I am aware of how design controls us and, thus, I utilize it for my advantage. Once I chose hot pink text for Fashion Forward’s cover design because I correlated it with femininity and positivity; today I create monochromatic pastel portraits in colors and tones that match the emotion I intend to convey. Just as I once copy-and-pasted photographs of women in long dresses, today I take my own fashion and portraiture photography with my Nikon D3100 and my Pentax SLR. I contribute to my school by laying out the school newspaper, keeping in mind what photographs and page design would be the most visually appealing, and I make flyers and advertisements for my extracurricular activities and jobs, persuading viewers to attend meetings or purchase a product.
Visual design is an emotion that resonates with the viewer. Visual design is the blending of a material to capture a shadow or texture. Visual design is the way light trickles from a window into a photograph, illuminating its subject. Visual design is what makes a person choose what blouse to purchase, what poster to hang up in his or her room, what frozen television TV dinner to dine on that evening.
Studying communication design would be the perfect marriage of my creative abilities and eye for visual aesthetics. My understanding and interpretation of design is what drives me to create my best work. Utilizing my own artwork and graphics, picking and choosing between different fonts, colors and opacities, and creating a printed publication for others to appreciate is something I’ve known that I’ve wanted to do since age seven. And who knows? Perhaps a few years down the line, the next issue of a heavily revamped Fashion Forward will be on a newsstand near you.
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