“I began my creative journey with drawing and painting pictures of my cats,” she recalls. “Which, come to think of it, I still do. Art and design have changed my life for the better. I have a much deeper appreciation for the amount of time and effort it takes for designers to create even the seemingly simplest of solutions.”
For Angelica, now a senior, that exploration began before she arrived at Woodbury; she credits a design class at Glendale Community College for inspiring the transition from 2D fine artist to graphic designer. “I knew almost nothing about graphic design at the time because I was initially a painter, but my professor encouraged me to practice and pursue it and it grabbed me immediately,” she says. Her first project involved creating a logo using the negative space from one letter of the alphabet. In retrospect, “having to be creative yet effective in design is what appealed to me.”
She interned with Burbank Water and Power for the better part of a year, tackling advertisements, magazine layouts and brochure designs, and collaborating on projects from multiple departments “to allow for everyone’s opinion to be heard.”
“In addition to creating designs for the community, my co-workers were immensely supportive in allowing me to gain real world experience,” Angelica says. “That helped tremendously with gaining a different perspective on school projects. Seeing my work out there in the community was exhilarating.”
And that, in turn, helped her secure a second internship -– this one with Disney, in Corporate Communications.
In the process, Angelica has become a student of some of the leading lights in the field, counting among her influences Massimo Vignelli, Saul Bass, Paula Scher and Paul Rand. “It’s amazing to see Paula Scher’s identity branding work,” she says. “She was originally a painter then transitioned to design, which I relate to and it’s inspired me to continue learning about design every day. Massimo Vignelli has such a timeless, elegant and simple style — when I was just starting in my first design class, I wanted to be like him. I thought less was more, and he knew exactly what needed to be said in order to relay the message.”
And as for the medium? Today, she’s partial to motion: “I really want to learn everything I can about it. I’m open to change so I can constantly grow and experience new things.” Down the road, one of those new things may be an MFA in Graphic Design.
For Angelica, one of the big takeaways from Woodbury’s Graphic Design program: “the friendships that I’ve been fortunate to have — these people have become my best friends.”
“You’re never going to get your degree on your own — people will always be helping you along the way,” she says. “Learn as much as you can and be kind to everyone.”
Check out more of Angelica’s work at www.angelicaalatorre.com