ArtCenter College of Design | Pasadena, California | Learn to Create. Influence Change.

Elizabeth Levin


What was your background prior to Art Center?
I took a Graphic Design class in high school and was convinced thatís what I was meant to do. So I developed my portfolio and was accepted into Calartís Graphic Design program. (I wanted to apply to Art Center as well but I was advised by one of the advisers to wait because most students were older, and Iím glad I didÖ just thought Iíd add that) Within the first week, I knew I didnít quite belong. Students were nice; teachers were knowledgeable; and the work that was produced was beautiful. But graphic design wasnít my true passion. I realized I love making people laugh. And more so than that I found the ceaseless spectrum of human emotions incredibly interesting. advertising allowed me to explore that in depth, and I knew instantly I wanted to go Art Center.

How/ Why did you choose Art Center?
10% for the campus. 15% for the people. 25% for the teachers. And 50% because I wanted a job. Iím sure Iíd be happy even if I was a struggling artist. But because Art Center is so well connected, I have the comfort of knowing I wonít have to. Itís not easy to get a job or even get your foot in the door. But with Art Center in your back pocket youíll at least make it to the lobby. The rest depends on how hard youíre willing to work. One of my teachers once said that this business is a marathon; itís not about how fast you run, itís about how long you stay in the race. Art Center builds you up so when you go out into the real world youíre standing tall. Not a lot of schools emphasize professionalism as much as Art Center does.

Biggest creative challenge/ breakthrough youíve faced while at Art Center?
I refuse to follow the herd. If everyone goes right I want to go left. But that attitude doesnít work for communicating to the majority. There needed to be a line drawn between communication and expression in my work. I had to learn the difference between the two and that was the biggest challenge I had to face. I had to refine my work without losing my identity as a designer.

What are your most reliable and/or unlikely sources of inspiration?
I have a list of them:
Eavesdropping on other peopleís conversations
Radio static
Neon signs
Public Access Television
Human truths
YouTube videos with the least amount of views
& Love

Whatís the role of a design career in the 21st Century?
This is a big question, which I will answer shortly.

I believe the role of a design career in the 21st century is to think ahead about design of the 22nd Century. Always design for the world you want to live in. Do not be limited by the world we live in now. When it comes to advertising, be truthful and transparent with your intentions. Understand that advertising is never invited, so leave people with something. Entertain and educate. Have faith in humanity, and design accordingly. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and the future will recognize that. Individuality will be the new norm and design should represent that.†

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