|Lauren Hector, Ohio Northern University|
How have you grown as an artist since coming to college?
Since coming to college, I have grown as an artist in that I am generally more confident in my work and my abilities. Throughout high school, and my underclassman years honestly, I never thought my work was good enough or would ever amount to much. It wasn’t until my junior year in college that I really started gaining confidence and believing in my abilities. I think this is in direct relationship to how much I knew. When I was just starting out in my design career, I didn’t know very much about the software or design rules or anything like that. Over the years I have gained more knowledge and experience. I feel like because of that, I have grown in confidence as well. People really aren’t kidding when they say knowledge is power. Learning and growing is one of the most empowering things you can do for yourself.
What type of art do you look to for inspiration?
This is an easy question… Everything! In my opinion, any type of art is fair game for inspiration. Learning how to steal like an artist is vital in this field. I pull inspiration from anywhere and everywhere. Even the art I don’t necessarily like inspires me. It shapes my own personal voice. It is a very important skill to be able to look at a piece of art and decipher what exactly it is you like or dislike about it. Being able to differentiate those characteristics will impact your own style in some way or another. Either by absorbing it and putting your own filter on it, or by rejecting it and avoiding it, you are shaping and inspiring your own unique style.
What is your favorite piece within the portfolio you submitted to AICUO and why?
My Urban Forest Project is my favorite piece in my AICUO portfolio. I enjoyed this project because the subject matter really resonated with me. I love being outdoors and exploring, so preserving the environment is something that is really important to me. The whole premise of the project captivated me from the beginning. I am also really pleased with how my project came out in the end. Being a bit of a grammar nerd and a pun-loving type of person, I had a lot of fun coming up with the body copy for the banners. Overall, I just really got into this project and had a good time creating the design work for it. It’s one of my favorite projects of all time.
How has participating in this competition helped you develop as a professional artist?
Participating in the AICUO competition has helped me develop as a professional artist by helping me get my portfolio fine-tuned. I have been working on my portfolio since my freshman year of college, and the AICUO competition was a great incentive to solidify the pieces included in it, as well as develop written copy for each project. A portfolio, of course, is never finished. But the AICUO competition has helped me create one that is cohesive and intuitive, and therefore allows me to keep its theme in mind while working on new projects. It has, in a way, helped me find a professional voice and tone for my work.
What are your plans after graduation with the arts?
My plans post-graduation include securing a job in the graphic design field, preferably somewhere in the Columbus area. In my free time, I plan to continue working on my fine art skills, including printmaking, book arts, hand lettering, and watercolor. I have no plans set in stone yet, but I am ready for wherever life takes me.