Kathryn Manning

Bozeman, MT | 

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What made you want to become a graphic designer?

“I can't really trace my graphic design interests back to any specific piece of work or event. Growing up, I loved to sit down at my old computer and bust out totally random flyers or posters to hang on my friends' lockers or walls. Occasionally I'd make practical pieces like invitations or cards. I'm moved by visual two-dimensional work, and I'm drawn to having a creative outlet.”

What are your favorite aspects of being a designer?

“Graphic design affects people more than they realize: you sort of subconsciously take it in. It can definitely be used for capitalist means, but I think that it can be used for good. That's something to keep in mind, too: using our powers for the betterment of the world.”

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

“I think the design program at MSU is pretty solid. I’ve been inspired to do well, but I guess the program could be more in-depth: we get basic design principles, but I think there's a lot of teaching yourself if you want to do anything beyond that.”

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

“I do a lot of thinking and not working at first, and then a lot of research and inspiration-gathering, I guess. Eventually, after I’ve procrastinated enough by researching, then I start my project. But I'll start over at least four times before I like a project; usually I have to try it a few times, and then it’s like, ‘Alright, I think this is heading in a good direction,’ then I pretty much roll with it that way.”

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

“I could definitely see myself sticking with design if I found a position or firm that fits well with my interests and goals.”

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 guess it’d be nice to find a way to bridge the gap between print and digital. As far as illustration goes, I’m sure there’ll always be books, but interactive media that kind of combines the two, like seeing digital illustrators who work with pen and pencil.”

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

Melissa Sweet-- she's a children's book illustrator-- and Jessica Hische: I like their styles and mediums.

What are your plans for the future?

"I may end up being too picky about finding a good firm, so I have definitely thought of going to grad school. I've also wanted to find a post-baccalaureate teaching program, and become an elementary teacher: I like kids and am pretty passionate about early education. Also, my art degree would still come in handy when it comes to arts and crafts with the kids.”

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