Featured CVCC and Polis Alumna Artist– Melissa Bienkowski
These are supposed to be difficult economic times, even more so for recent college graduates. What with their lack of real world exposure and untested ability in the job market, it would seem an inopportune time indeed. Not so though for at least for one recent graduate of CVCC’s Communication Design program. Melissa Bienkowski finished her studies at CVCC in the Spring of 2008. Since graduation she has been kept busy with many interesting projects. It seems there is a place for talented young artists after all. And most recently she has shown that a portfolio of work created while a student at CVCC can get you places. Melissa was recently hired as a full time graphics artist at Lynchburg’s News and Advance. “They looked at my portfolio and asked me a few questions about what I had been doing since graduation. Then I participated in a couple of mock production scenarios” said Melissa. “They offered me the job the next day”.
Like a lot of artists, Melissa discovered early on that using the graphic arts - painting, drawing, photography - as a means of expression was something that she enjoyed. So when she graduated from high school, she knew that she wanted to be in a creative field that offered her the chance to use her talents and enjoy her work. “That's when I looked into the Communication Design program at CVCC. What I enjoyed most about the CVCC program were the teachers and opportunities. I felt that the teachers taught me everything that I needed to know to be successful in the real world outside of school. The program also gave me opportunities to showcase my work and grow as a designer.”
When asked about advice for design students who are just starting in the field, Melissa offered the following: “Don't under value your work. Learn as much as you can from your teachers and classes. Ask lots of questions. Don't be afraid to make mistakes because I've learned a lot from them as well as the mistakes others made. Seek criticism, not praise. I would encourage students to always keep learning. Watch tutorials online, read magazines and books. And most important keep practicing.” -John Lofaso
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