The internship program at Tingalls Graphic Design has become an important part of the company. Not only is it a great resume builder for our interns but it also provides an opportunity for Tingalls to offer high-quality services to non-profit organizations at a discounted rate. It’s a win-win for all of us. With the guidance of our senior designers, each intern receives fantastic experience. It has become an amazing opportunity for newly graduated or senior graphic design students.
This summer’s intern, Samuel Carman, who came to us from Madison College’s Graphic Design and Illustration program didn’t hesitate to take full advantage of the possibilities this internship program brought. Before the summer ended, we sat down with Samuel and discussed his experience. Here’s what he had to say:
How did you get into design?
I’ve loved art for as long as I can remember. That could mean anything from doodles in the margins of my notebooks, watching cartoons on TV, or seeing trains with graffiti going by my house as a child. I always knew that I wanted to be able to create something.
Over my high-school years, I took any and every art class that I could get my hands on. In my free time, I was always drawing. But everyone I spoke to had the mindset that there “aren’t any jobs” or that people “can’t successfully make money” in the art world. With all the pressure and suggestions surrounding me, I filled my semesters with general education credits on subjects that I had no passion for. Unfortunately, without that passion, my grades dropped, and I felt an overall lack of direction.
Everything changed when I took my first graphic design course. I needed an elective credit, so I decided to go against my advisor’s recommendations and try a creative class. Once I’d started, I saw that career options existed being creative. That’s when I realized that I needed something to change. My professor explained that the graphic design program at my school had a high employment rate and that there are plenty of options past college level.
What is design to you?
I completely rearranged my college plan, changed nearly all of my courses, and decided to graduate with an associate degree in Graphic Design and Illustration. I guess what I’m saying is that design is the perfect segue between the creative world and the professional world for me. It’s a real chance to express myself and make a living doing something that I love.
How do you stay inspired or motivated to be creative with commercial design?
As someone who has enjoyed creating art and making things for a good portion of my life, I’ve gotten pretty good at motivating myself. If I have artist’s block or am feeling uninspired, I try to think of ways to break the project up into more exciting tasks. For me, thinking of a project as a bunch of puzzle pieces that will eventually fit together (and hopefully make something awesome) helps. Looking at the more lackluster parts in the process makes it more enjoyable and revs up the creative process.
Another thing that helps keep me motivated to design is the fact that the world of design is continuously changing. The technology and programming that designers use and the trends that inevitably arise in design spaces are continually evolving. As someone trying to work in the field, I have to be regularly updating my design capabilities as well. I find it pretty hard to be bored when there are new things to learn with every new project I take on!
What are some of the tools you used when you started, and how did those tools change, grow?
Since I started studying graphic design, I’ve enjoyed learning more about the Adobe Creative Suite. When you think you’ve mastered a program; you find that there are a thousand different things, you never knew how to do! Halfway through my program at Madison College, I invested in an iPad Pro, which completely changed the game for my illustrative designs. What I would usually be illustrating with a mouse and keyboard in the Adobe Suite, I was now able to sketch, paint, and upload on a stylus and tablet. I’d say learning how to incorporate different skills, and aspects of my education have been extremely beneficial, but also challenging.
What would you say to students in design like you?
To students in design, I’d recommend taking your time (if you can)! There are so many different aspects of design. Each of those has even more skills and quirks to explore. It’s easy to get caught thinking that every project is going to be a challenging test of your sick creative skills. The reality is that they might not be. I’d say try to keep your mind on what you enjoy about design. Even projects you’re not thrilled about will offer unique challenges and excitement. DO INTERNSHIPS – you already know. It’s one thing to be in a class-simulated agency environment, but another thing altogether to see a professional one in action. Get a feel for the type of job you’ll be partaking in; that way, it won’t be a surprise when you’re looking for work.
What was your favorite part of the Tingalls internship program?
My favorite part of being this summer’s intern at Tingalls was the variety of different projects I worked on. Experiencing the team working with clients and each other efficiently, while balancing work and fun was a great learning experience. One of the projects was a logo for Madison’s Pints for Polio event which raises funds for End Polio Now. The artwork has actually gone viral, being distributed as far as Australia!
What project challenged you the most?
The most challenging project I was faced with at Tingalls as a 1-page infographic highlighting the accomplishments of South Madison Rotary. Organizing the icons, text, numbers, and contact information all onto one-page was a bit difficult! I think the final piece turned out great and has been really well-received by the members of the club.
I was also challenged to recreate the Pints for Polio event flyer from InDesign to Microsoft Word so clubs around the world could create their own flyers. Designing in Word is a struggle and a lot harder than you’d think!
From here on out, I’ll be looking for a permanent job in the design field. My time at Tingalls was extremely informative, and I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to work with real clients in an impressive agency setting.