Storyboard: Domenique Sillett Buxton

The Trailblazer

I was at a crossroads. And it was only 4th term.

Halfway through my time at ArtCenter, I began to feel the idea of becoming a traditional illustrator begin to unravel. I met with my Associate Chair of Illustration Jon Conrad for an informal portfolio review. When I expressed to Jon that I wanted to become an art director someday, he asked me if I thought Illustration was the right program for me. He wanted to know if I was completely sure that this was my path.

I knew my trajectory was changing – but where was it leading? I knew I wanted to be working with computers and with others more than just being at home working by myself. I also knew that I wanted to make use of my background in illustration in whatever I did. So becoming an art director with this kind of background seemed like the right path ahead.

Though I didn’t see it at the time, Jon was one of my earliest champions. By asking me to answer that question he elevated me to the next level in my creative journey.

As I started to spend more and more time in the computer lab at ArtCenter, I was fortunate enough to meet Lynda Weinman and be in a couple of her classes when she was at the school teaching multimedia courses. Lynda taught me Photoshop, motion graphics, and web design. Lynda was another person early in my life to champion my creative dreams.

I truly believe that champions are the unsung heroes of any creative journey. They are the ones who elevate your work, open doors for you, and allow you to see the full scope of your own potential. I learned so much from Lynda that I became one of her teaching assistants for a couple of years.

I graduated from ArtCenter in 1994. Immediately after graduation, I went head first into graphics and multimedia design. My path was set.

My journey has been anything but traditional. I’ve held a lot of different titles like Spinner of Plates, Freelancer, Illustrator, Web Designer, and yes, eventually Art Director. But never in a million years did I think I’d go beyond my initial goals and land my dream job at Salesforce, working on the learning product called Trailhead, leading an amazing creative team, and becoming a champion for others. And yet, here I am.

In some unique ways my work has contributed to having a real effect on how we operate as a company and how we look as a company. We’ve embraced our fun side on high, by wearing Trailblazer hoodies, making stuffed animals, and transforming our events into experiences inspired by our magical national forests. In addition to our products and services, we’ve found ways to “Keep it Weird,” which in turn keeps us real.

And because we look different and we feel different, we really have become a different kind of tech company. Through technology, design, and connection we have developed a platform to champion the things we want more of in the world. We champion equality and education for all. We champion women in tech and the opportunity for everyone to share their Trailblazer story.

I get to come into work and do this fun and crazy job every day, with many thanks to the champions who have helped me get here – to the place where I can help others achieve their design dreams, too.

At Salesforce, the word “Trailblazer” means something special to a whole lot of people. And that learning how to blaze your own trail, or how to walk your own path, as I walk mine now, is achievable. And it’s what makes you into a future champion.

Domenique Sillett Buxton
BFA 94 Illustration
Senior Creative Director, Trailhead at Salesforce
Former San Francisco Chapter Chair, ArtCenter

I believe that champions are the unsung heroes of any creative journey: they elevate your work, open doors for you, and allow you to see your own potential.

Domenique Sillett BuxtonBFA 94 Illustration
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