We recently caught up with Maria, a 2015 Graphic Design alum, to discuss her Woodbury experience and find out where life has taken her post-graduation. Read on to learn how she leveraged her journey to land a dream job at Hollywood-based Trailer Park, an award-winning global entertainment marketing agency — and what plans she has in store for her promising future.
I was born in Armenia, Yerevan. My family and I moved to the USA when I was about 10 years old, and sunny L.A. has been my home ever since. I first heard about Woodbury from a friend who was studying graphic design there. At the time, I was a student at Glendale Community College, taking all the preliminary art and design courses.
After a few years, my family and I moved closer to Burbank, and Woodbury came up again in conversations. By that time, I was already majoring in graphic design at GCC, and Woodbury was my number one choice. I was pretty set on my decision, and after a bit of research, I decided to transfer there.
I’ve always had a passion for art and art history. I loved drawing and sketching and painting ever since I was a little girl. As I grew older, I found that graphic design can be an extension of fine art. It is a creative process, yet it is also a service. I believed that the combination of those two aspects would allow me to do what I love and help others at the same time. I pursued graphic design at the college level because I wanted to be exposed to all facets of it. I wanted to study in parallel with other people who were also interested in the field, and have access to professors that would inspire me and help me grow. Additionally, I wanted to receive a Bachelor’s degree, and I found that Woodbury would be perfect. I got my BFA!
During my last year at Woodbury, we were required to complete 120 hours of work outside of school. I was lucky to find an internship at a small agency in Hollywood. This was my first exposure to the “real world” of graphic design. I did a little bit of everything there.
I currently work as an Art Director at Art Machine, a division of Trailer Park Group, Hollywood. I got this job right when I graduated from Woodbury. My current boss reviewed my portfolio in 2015, and he was really impressed. He invited me to visit the company about 2 weeks after graduation to see if I’d like to try working here. I started off by freelancing for about 3 months and was then fully hired. The rest is history. I’ve been here ever since.
I started off doing some production work in the beginning. After that, I transferred to the Brand team, where I designed for Universal Studios, Clippers, RAMS, Yogurtland, Lemonade, The General, and many other brands. Then, I was fully transferred to the Product Originals team. This is where we design original art for streaming platforms. I’m currently designing key art for Netflix, Disney+, TUBI, VIX, and Peacock. From time to time, I also help the theatrical side of Art Machine, designing printed posters and billboards.
Yeah! I think every project has its unique aspects. I’ve been in photo shoots; I’ve worked with 3D artists that helped render certain parts of a design that I had created. Throughout the years, I taught myself to create GIFs in Photoshop. I’ve built entire campaigns for Yogurtland, with hundreds of pieces, and so much more.
There are many aspects that make the work even more meaningful and elevate it to another level. One of them is when your internal team is happy about your designs and excited to see your ideas come to life. It’s always fun to impress someone and watch their reactions!
The second part of this is the actual creative process and all the effort it takes to breathe life into an idea that was once a thought and a sketch. After this, it is satisfying to know that the client was happy with the delivery. I must add, it’s also fun to see your own work floating around on different platforms.
I always try to advance my skills and learn as much as possible. My general approach is to continually become better at what I do, and I would one day like to lead a team of designers.
Wise, inspiring, and creative people motivate me. Knowledge. Curiosity. Self-mastery. Growth.
My favorite part about the program was the small/intimate class setting. This allowed me to become close to the students as well as my professors, forming great friendships and memories through the years. Looking back at it, I think there was always a warm family vibe sprinkled throughout the school, and it made things very personal and close to heart. I valued the fact that I could interact with my professors and get to know them and even spend time with them outside of school.
My advice for incoming students would be to grasp and absorb everything Woodbury has to offer, apply yourself, and always give 100% to everything you do — and enjoy the process along the way.
Overall, I had a really valuable and fun experience at Woodbury. I met some really amazing people there.
Last Updated on January 7, 2023