Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself, where did you grow up?
I was born and raised in Santa Monica, California. I have an American bulldog, Stella, and a loving, close-knit Italian family. My interest in Graphic Design began at a very young age, and grew through my love of American muscle cars. As a child and teenager I spent a vast majority of my time in garages and at racetracks. Though it was the function and technical aspect of vehicles that enthralled me the most, I caught myself becoming more and more intrigued with shape, color and design.
Q: How did you get into Design? In what way does design thinking contribute to creating a successful career?
As I said before, I dove into design through my love of cars and motorcycles. My taste in vehicles and design are very similar. Most of my work is very out of the box, but at the same time very “old school” to many people. I tend to push not only my own boundaries, but those of the clientele as well. Design is a way for me to create things the way I think they should be made while also breaking the rules.
Q: Why did you choose to study at Art Center College of Design?
I chose to study at Art Center because of its reputation and the possibilities that will be open to me after I graduate. Before Art Center, I was already working as a Graphic Designer. I chose to leave the work force temporarily in order to hone my skills and better myself as a designer through exploration. I entered Art Center with the mindset that I was entering a job. This institution prepares you for the real world—real challenges and personalities that you’re going to come across as a professional. So in the beginning I would say that I treated Art Center very seriously, just as I do today.
Q: What was the most important challenge you faced? How did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge was taking multiple studio classes because you want to focus all of your time on each course, and other classes can suffer. To overcome it, I’ve had to plan out each week in advance so I know where to apply my focus. Of course this doesn’t always work, but it helps to have a system that I can rely on when things get too busy.
Q: An important ritual at the end of each term is the final presentation for each class. Sometimes, these presentations can be exhilarating. Is there any project that stands out?
I did a recent one I did on the Sexual Revolution, which involved openly having a conversation with my peers about sex. Many people don’t feel comfortable with that. There were some giggles here and there. But overall it was it rather entertaining watching people unravel condoms off of an exhibition pamphlet.
Q: Is there a school project, that you felt particularly passionate about? Please explain why?
It would be my most recent project for Type 5 with Sean Adams: “GREY AREA – The Sexual Revolution.” I had an overall idea at the beginning of what I wanted to do. But through my research I found other interesting directions to follow. I fell deep into my findings and the research helped direct my overall look and feel of the final project. There was a lot of interesting content that surprised everyone (including myself).
Q: Do you think that the structure of the curriculum has helped you learn and master the skills needed for the real world?
I do. I can master it from having previous education in Graphic Design. And the curriculum in the beginning is a great refresher. Plus, it’s taught very differently than I have ever experienced teaching before, which has opened my perspective as a designer.
Q: On a personal level, what was for you the most important thing you’ve learned at Art Center?
I’ve learned to explore, let go, experiment and take risks!
Q: What advice would you have for a student considering applying for admission? What should they know to get the best out of the Art Center experience?
I came to Art Center with the intent to learn, but also share. Everyone has unique life experiences, skills and perspectives. That allows students to help one another and spark conversation.
Q: What are you doing now?
I have yet to graduate. I have about three terms (or one year) until I will have completed my BFA.
Q: What are your goals for the future?
I am still exploring. Coming to art center was a new chapter in my life that has changed me. I hope to create more questions and to become less hard-set on answers than alternatives.
Q: What interests you now? Is there a book, idea, quote or something cool you want to share with us?
My interests are ongoing. At the moment I am finishing up a motorcycle that I started rebuilding last term and hopefully moving on to restoring a ’65 Mustang in the coming weeks.