Claire Bischoff

Murphysboro, IL  | 

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What made you want to become a graphic designer?

“I have been drawing and painting since I was little, and knew from an early age that art would be a huge part of my life. I found out about graphic design in high school, and it seemed like a great alternative to the whole 'starving artist' idea. By the time I was a senior in high school, I was positive that graphic design was the path I wanted to pursue.”

What are your favorite aspects of being a designer?

“Being able to express myself visually, solving problems, and the feeling of seeing a project come to life and evolve. I think it’s very different from just visual art, with painting and drawing, which is what I was used to. With graphic design we’re kind of pulled back to a more structured way of thinking: even if you do tend to be kooky, you’re kind of kept grounded by the clients.”

Do you think school has helped prepare you for entering the real world?

“I think it’s helped a lot. I’ve been working as a graphic designer in some capacity since high school, but I’ve experienced the 'real world', too. I've learned a ton, and although you can jump out there, and find work, and do alright, going to school and learning the details of stuff is important. Everybody can always get better on their own, but it’s important to get an education.”

How would you describe your process when working on a project?

“I’m usually pretty good at time management. Usually, I try to start on a project right away, then I can leave it and come back to it later, because the first few ideas don’t work out too easily. If I have the time to walk away and come back, and do that a couple times, it turns out better than waiting until the last minute. As far as thesis goes, I haven’t been amazing at managing my time: this long of a project scope is a new experience and it's interesting thing to deal with.”

Would you say that you have a personal design "style" in your work?

“I think thesis has helped me realize what I’m interested in. I have a really strong drawing and painting background, and that’s something I really enjoy, so it’d be awesome to include it in my work in the future. With thesis, I found a way to include my drawings within my graphic design, but I kept a cleaner, kind of simple look.”

For designers, do you believe it's more important to work on projects you're passionate about or take whatever work is available?

“I think as we’re just starting out, we don’t have as much opportunity to be picky. I feel like in the first few years, that’s just part of life: you’re gonna have projects that aren’t really your thing, but it will most likely be a good learning experience. You never know, though, it might help you get a job in the future to have something like that in your portfolio.”

The graphic design industry is doing more digitally-based work these days: are you excited about the evolution of design, or do you like more traditional mediums?

“No, I don’t like it. Web design really interests me-- I’ve taken a ton of classes and designed a few websites-- but it doesn’t come easy to me, thats for sure. I mean, I’m going to keep up on it and try to get better, but web design isn’t my thing. I think what I like most is identity design: logos and business cards, posters, branding, and stuff like that.”

Do you have any favorite designers, artists, or resources you like to get inspiration from?

“I usually Stumble in the graphic design category. I like to mix it up, so I guess it depends on what I’m working on; I focus on research.”

What are your plans for the future?

“I definitely plan to stick with graphic design. I'm not exactly sure what area I want to go into, but I'm excited for the possibilities.”

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