Kristina Sykes

Billings, MT  | 

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What made you want to become a graphic designer?

“I took a design class in high school that inspired me to become a graphic designer. All throughout high school and college, my art has been described as 'graphic'. I've always loved poster design, package design, layouts, etc., and then I realized someone designed that stuff for their job-- that I wanted to do that for a career.”

What are your favorite aspects of being a designer?

“Being able to visually communicate ideas.”

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

“For the most part, I think it has. I’ve learned so much over the years from different teachers, student feedback, and critiques. I like how we mix things up; all the projects we’ve done have been a little bit of everything. For me, I feel like we jumped right into thesis-- this was the first project where we had to manage our own time. I wish they did more of that in previous semesters. Honestly, I didn’t think it would be that difficult to make due dates, but it totally is-- i feel like I need more practice with that aspect, otherwise the real world is gonna be really stressful. I think school gives us almost too much freedom.”

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

“I try to make a timeline at the beginning of the project, then I work at my own pace and try to figure out what I need to get done. My process has pretty much stayed the same: sketches, going on the internet, and researching.”

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

“I’d say modern and playful. I’ve never thought about how to describe my style; It’s still evolving. I feel like that’s probably why I can’t describe it: it's constantly changing. I feel like once I do more real stuff instead of just student projects, I’ll know.”

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

“I feel like in the beginning you can’t be too picky, because you need as many portfolio pieces as you can get. Once I get some experience, I can say ‘I want to do this’ or focus on that, but I think any experience is good experience. You can learn so many things you don’t care about.”

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 wish it was more print-based, because I don’t really care for web design; it’s definitely not my strong point. The design aspect I can do, but the whole CSS coding-- I was really stressed out during the web class-- that would be something I’m not looking for in a job. I’m OK with the design aspect, just not a big fan of the programming.”

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

“I really enjoy Kandinsky and Paul Klee. I just use the internet to find cool websites, books, or magazines most of the time.”

What are your plans for the future?

“I want to design logos or something with advertising in design. Hopefully I'll move to Portland or Seattle, or somewhere else for a while after graduation.”

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