Student melds love of writing, graphic design

Jameson Filston, Campus Carrier Arts & Living Editor

Many students at Berry are committed to varied passions, but one sophomore is combining her different interests to create art that combines different media. Ashley Garcia uses graphic design to enhance physical art and to illustrate characters from her writing.

Garcia, a visual communications major and art minor, started graphic design recently, but has been creating art since she was in middle school. She started with graphite and pastel.

“I normally stick with sketches … when I do physical art,” Garcia said.

She stumbled into graphic design this year and has grown to love the platform. She is taking graphic design classes and learning new ways to use this art form in her other work.

One of her alternative uses for digital art is character design. She is vice president of Writers Inc., the writing interest group at Berry. She uses this platform to visually show characters and scenes from her novel in progress and get feedback from her friends. However, not every piece is perfect.

“Some of them turn out really great, and some of them slip silently into nothing,” Garcia said.

Garcia loves the network of people she has built through Writer’s Inc. and common interests with other students, including through her job as a lab assistant for Viking Fusion. She relies on this network for advice and commentary on her work, whether it be physical, digital or writing.

John King, adjunct professor of fine arts, taught her this year, and was impressed by her organization from the beginning. He said that she learned quickly and started developing her own style. She has begun to master digital art by seeking out the tools that serve her purpose instead of the obvious ones.

“She was able to develop a personal process,” King said.

The students work together a lot in class, and offer comments and suggestions to each other. King supports that behavior through a connecting students and sharing others’ work.

King was also struck by her unique decision to build off a sketch, and the preparation she showed in her work.  Garcia said she enjoys building her digital art from physical sketches because she finds it an easier and more effective way to get the colors she wants.

She draws for friends, but also draws inspiration from the world around her. She can get inspired by anything from a song to something funny outside, and incorporates these random moments into her work.

She has wanted to go into animation for some time, but is now considering graphic design as a career path. She does not know exactly where her new skill and passion will take her, but says she is excited about the possibilities. King said that graphics are a very versatile tool set, and Garcia can take that down many different paths.

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