Katy Englert

Billings, MT | 

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What made you want to become a graphic designer?

“I liked marketing, but hated business classes, so I switched to the art side of the spectrum-- accounting wasn’t for me. Graphic design seems like a more viable idea than fine arts-- it will actually produce money.”

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

“It would have been nice in previous semesters to have had more experience with time management to prepare for thesis. I find myself writing out a daily schedule to keep myself on track. The communication aspect of thesis presentations has really helped, just for making the contacts and everything. I feel like networking comes with being in the field: the longer you’re in it, the more contacts you can make. I don’t really know how the program could have prepared us for that aspect of the industry”

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

“I’m definitely having to learn a lot about networking. Getting involved with the community, making contacts, finding people that know them so that I can get ahold of them, getting permission-- I feel like that’s the hardest part, to use those skills. I have my sketchbook 24/7 for when I have an idea: if I see something I really like, I can start sketching stuff out.”

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

“I really like all the Bauhaus work: I find myself referencing back to a lot of that. Also, a lot of graffiti and street art.”

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 it all depends on the company that you get yourself into. After the senior class trip to Portland, seeing the large, corporate side of the industry kind of turned me off-- sitting in a cubicle didn’t seem appealing at all. The small, independent firms seemed a lot more fun: the less people, the more you can get to know them more intimately. I think to a degree it’s something you’re gonna have to do to get your work out there and get known, unless you’re OK with being poor. After you’ve built up a reputation, it becomes a lot easier to choose the work you want to do. I at least would like to find a company that matches up with my personality.”

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?

“I definitely wish it would move back to print, because I haven’t been working on screen that much: I like to see and be able to hold work in my hands. Having a web design course last semester doesn’t make me that excited to try and learn it. I definitely plan on sitting down and going through tutorials and figuring out the programs because eventually it’ll be nice to know. But I know you can design for the web without having to know how to code everything, which is nice.”

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

“I've been checking out Banksy's website pretty often lately; guerilla and street art. He’s really good about getting that wild factor without pissing off people to an extreme.”

What are your plans for the future?

“I want to travel before I settle down and find a job. But I would like to find a job in the graphic field: preferably in a relatively small studio, possibly working on political or environmental projects. I'd like my work to have at least some kind of meaning.”

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