A colorful goal shared by five dreamers

HAILEY KLINE Lifestyles Editor

Five graphic design majors hosted their senior art show in Ritz Gallery March 31.

Lauren DeBates, Chelsea Rosenau, Jordan Hanson, Kelsey Thornton and Akasha Winker presented their artwork to a room full of family, friends and students. The show was titled “Hitlist.”

Their perceptions are unique to South Dakota State in terms of design, but the group collectively displayed a similar theme of professionally chic and modernly creative design.

These artists have a sense of direction when it comes to their futures. However, a few did not realize graphic design was their calling when their college journeys began. 

“Before I got into school, I wanted to be a tattoo artist,” Hanson said.

Hanson changed her major from art education to graphic design halfway through her first semester. Winker also had a similar experience. 

“I actually started at SDSU as a bio/pre-med student and soon realized chemistry wasn’t for me,” Winker said. 

Winker said she hasn’t looked back since her switch to graphic design. 

Now that Winker is not questioning her major, she said she wonders where the correct place for her artistry is. 

“I am not sure where my future will lead me,” Winker mentioned. “I hope to end up on the West Coast in northern California working for an interactive design company, designing webpages and apps.” 

While some seniors are still skeptical about what the future holds,  Hanson has specific goals in mind. 

“I want to start my own clothing brand, and I hope it will be successful, and I can design for that for a long time,” Hanson said. “I hope my future follows a path that is completely fueled by passion.”

Along with Hanson’s sure-fire feelings are Rosenau’s predictions. 

“For me, I enjoy interactivity and understanding how users complete different tasks,” Rosenau said. “This is a very apparent in web design, so that is where I see myself in the future.” 

Thornton’s said her first graphic design class has prepared her the most for life after college, along with her professor.

“Tony Carton pushed us to work our absolute hardest to see what we could create,” she said. “It opened my senses to create my own inspiration and search for it in my daily life.”

DeBates also agreed that many instructors on campus have helped formulate her decision into her future plans. 

“I think that all of the professors have been a huge influence in preparing for life after college,” DeBates claimed. 

DeBates mentioned specific professors who have helped her to become the artist she is today. 

“Mariam Melkumyan has taught me that there is always room to grow, never stop learning and you can always make something better,” DeBates said. 

DeBates said Diana Behl and Peter Reichardt have been major influences on her artistry as well. 

In the midst of all the struggle and hard work, the seniors offer advice to those just beginning the process of attaining a graphic design major. Winker said self-expression is important. 

“My advice for younger graphic design majors is to not be afraid of trying new things or going beyond what the professor wants,” Winker said. 

DeBates said everything will pay off in the end, but there are also rules. 

“To break the rules and be different, you must learn the rules first,” she said.

Thornton said that the most important factor to keep in mind while transitioning to life after college is gratitude.

“Never forget to thank your professors for all the hard work they’ve put into you,” she said. 

She also explained that keeping a constant passion is vital.

 “Don’t give up on the stuff that makes your head throb.”