Graphic Design

The art displayed below is part of the Senior Show Fall 2020. Artists Include: Rachel Bunger, Mariah Cook, Hollis Glick, Hayley Koteff, Kristin Mancuso, Sarah Michelle, Ola Piasecki, Rebecca Smith, Jalyn Tolliver, Delaney Wiggins and Noah Young.

Rachel Bunger | Rebirth

The major arcana is made up of 22 cards that all have different meanings. The Major Arcana Tarot cards represent the life lessons, karmic influences and the big archetypal themes that are influencing your life and your soul’s journey to enlightenment. In Rebirth, I wanted to focus on the delicate balance between life and death. The plants emerging from the body show life growing even in the midst of death. The cards have a greyscale color scheme with a pop of red, the color of extremes. The color red is an intense color that is packed with emotion. Red can have various meanings ranging from passionate, intense love to anger and violence. It is a prime example of excitement and energy. Each card has a draping, greyscale border that holds the center illustration. The cards have a handcrafted, empathetic style that can suite anyone from a spiritual novice to a soul mage.

Mariah Cook

Intrinsically, I have always had a deep-rooted love for art. The romance began when I was a wee one; scribbling my name and other doodles on any and every surface I could get to. To no surprise, this love followed me through my early school days, constantly being chastised for not taking notes or doing my assignments, and instead drawing all over my classwork. Thankfully in high school my talents flourished. I took every art class I could, painted the walls with murals and was a designer for the school’s newspaper. When graduation came and I was to decide what the heck I was supposed to do with my life, thankfully my sweet journalism teacher Mrs. Earhart enlightened me on the world of graphic design. The last 5 years of learning and developing my skills as a graphic designer has me feeling so proud of the smaller version of myself, who once felt so misunderstood. I am so thankful I chose to stick to my passion of art and cannot wait to see what my future holds.

For my BFA project, I really wanted to get in touch with my roots and create a love child of everything I’ve gathered the past 5 years about design and my lifelong relationship with art in general. Showcasing my talents in design and painting and illustration. Truly; I wanted to do whatever I want, but I aspired to go a little deeper. Since the pandemic, I found myself desiring to be more in touch with my inner-self and face uncomfortable feelings humans deal with like anxiety, trauma and vulnerability. I have always used my dreams as inspiration, but for this piece, I am using them as the main focus. Deeper showcases many motifs and themes from my dreams. I often write down visions I’ve seen and look up their meanings and have showcased this within the perimeter of this curvy wood panel. As a human being I feel it is our responsibility to heal our own wounds, for this life is a gift. I hope this piece causes reflection within the viewer and inspire them to look deeper within themselves and find resolution and purpose. 

Hollis Glick

Xi You Ji is Chinese for The Journey to the West which is a very popular four volume book in China. It tells the story of a monk who travels westward to seek enlightenment from the ancient scrolls of Buddhism. On his journey he is accompanied by an extraordinary monkey, a monkey who has achieved immortality and god-like powers through his own adventures. The Monkey King or Sun Wukong, in Chinese, is a legend in china and is very prominent in their culture. He appears in videos games, comics, and even the famous Japanese anime Dragon Ball was inspired by the tale. A tale of adventure that includes mystical beings, dragons, Gods and demons, and lots of fighting. The book is allegorical so many of the characters can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, there are plenty of life lessons that can be learned from the book. My family celebrates the Chinese New Year along with many Chinese traditions with my grandmother being part Chinese. I decided to read The Journey to the West in order to understand a little more about Chinese history and gain a deeper understanding of their culture. My project Xi You Ji is a hand drawn pen and ink poster that sheds light on my favorite character, and indirectly the main character of the story, Sun Wukong. I started with a detailed sketch on a 20 by 11 inch piece of paper to layout the composition so I didn’t have to think about it while drawing the final piece which is doubled in height and width. Once I finished the sketch I started transferring it to the larger format rendering on a 40 by 23.5 inch drawing board. Even after hours of planning I still had to move some things around to be able to make the composition feel more intentional. Once I finally got the layout finished I started on the pen and ink. The most time consuming part of the piece since every line has to be perfectly executed and the shading is done by hatching. A piece that I’m very proud of not just because of the time and effort it took, but because of the historical and cultural significance it has in my family.

Hayley Koteff | The Happy Hour Handbook

The Happy Hour Handbook is a recipe book filled with various alcoholic beverages. This project started with research on types of drinks, their recipes, directions and all types of alcoholic terminology that corresponds to these drinks.  After doing my researching and deciding what drinks to include, I organized the layout the drinks would be set up in, trying to find the best spreads. When my layout was finalized, I began working on the illustrations of each individual drink. Although I wanted the pages to look cohesive throughout the book, it was important to me that each drink’s personality really shined through. To make this happen, I personalized the background color of each page and allowed each one to have a unique texture, pattern, or drawing on it. I made sure to include a wide variety of drinks that way everyone, of legal age, could find something they liked and wanted to make. While in quarantine, my parents and I had fun experimenting new and unique drink recipes, being the inspiration for this project. The Happy Hour Handbook lets everyone join in on the bartending fun. Cheers!

Kristin Mancuso | Magick Rose Oracle Cards

This summer, I spent a lot of time researching all things magick. I delved deep into different types of crystals, tarot cards, and oracle cards. As crazy and impossible as it may sound to some, I believe there is magick surrounding us every day. My intuition has always been strong, I tend to know what is going to happen before it even occurs. My first crystal was one I purchased at a little hippie shop in Cumberland, MD. It was a beautiful selenite which is meant to ward of negative energies with its calming capabilities. Each time I hold it, I feel its positive energies coursing into my hands. It was the first time I believed crystals worked, it truly felt real. All of this research and experiences are what inspired my idea for my BFA project: creating a deck of oracle cards.

Oracle cards are very free form. There are no rules, restrictions, or regulations like the well-known tarot cards. Tarot cards are required to contain 78 cards in their decks while also pertaining specific suits, words, and often even imagery. Oracle decks are used for divination. They are here to help find guidance and even to continue the story the tarot cards started, to find more clarity. With such free range, I thought this would be the best direction to take for my project. My lucky numbers are three multiples of three (three, six, and twelve), so I chose to make my deck out of twelve cards.

Illustration has never been my strongest skill, so I wanted to challenge myself this last semester. However, I also wanted to include one of my favorite skills: watercolor painting. Instead of creating entire digital designs, I am painting each drawing I ink up to make my cards unique. First, I had attempted to draw each of the cards concepts and then digitize them. Not completely set on this idea, I chose to paint each drawing with watercolor instead, and then digitize them. Each card includes a single word of affirmation. These strong illustrations brought a story to life on their own. Each word allows my audience to decipher what is being told and how they interpret it to their own lives.

“Magick Rose” is dedicated to a close friend of mine who passed away in March of 2018. Brandon Davis gave me a yellow rose for Valentine ’s Day, one that symbolized our friendship. This flower stayed in the same vase, with unchanging water, for an entire nine months... and somehow, kept most of its form and color. I had the rose framed in October of 2018. I have never had a flower last more than a month, without completely decaying and falling apart. This was certainly magick in itself. Which is why I chose to center my theme around this beautiful, yellow rose. My entire deck was designed with my friend in mind. I drew each design out, painted them with watercolor, and then brought them in to be digitized. I manipulated them to get to the best gold color I could, as a fun twist to the yellow rose. The background the cards are being presented on is this shades complementary color, blue, which was also Brandon’s favorite color. This is a very personal deck that I hope brings inspiration to others, as well as a unique memory for his friends and family to cherish. The bee, wolf, butterfly, planets, moon, and candle designs I included are a few examples of Brandon. His memory lives on forever, and now forever in “Magick Rose...”

Sarah Michelle | Polymath

For the BFA project, I wanted to focus on an idea that combined a passion project with UX/UI design, the user experience (UX), and the user interface (UI). I approached this project with a problem and focused on developing a solution; the problem is inequality as it relates to education, opportunity, race, socioeconomic status, and education reform. My solution was to create a non-profit organization, Polymath, committed to closing the inequality gap and reforming the education of low-income minorities ages 5 to 18. This organization focuses on teaching non-tradition topics in schools such as self-care, mental health, conflict resolution, and personal finances via an app. 

The first step for this project was to create the logo as it is the basis for the brand and sets up the brand image and perception by the users. The logo is a hexagon, a polygon, and in the center of the hexagon is the letter "P" filled with a colorful and bright gradient. This logo sets up an entertaining and exciting mood that students should feel when they think of learning. The visual motifs of bright and saturated gradients are one of the main visual elements of the brand that is shown repeatedly throughout the app.

The next step was to create three proto personas which are information based on second-ary resources and educated guesses as an alternative to direct field research. I watched copious videos on education inequality from documentaries to TED Talks to YouTube videos. I also found scholarly articles and other resources on the web to further explore this issue. I concentrated on case studies for my visual and academic research from organizations and companies such as Duolingo, Boys & Girls Club of America, and Khan Academy. I chose these because they are non-profit organizations focusing on educating the youth, in the case of the Boys & Girls Club and Khan Academy. In the case of Duolingo, its focus is on modular learning and gamification, using game-inspired elements in a non-game environment. All three of these learning sites and apps utilize strong UX/UI design for the web, mobile, and/or app.

After the personas were completed, I moved on to the sitemap, the flow of the site and app, which aided in creating the wireframes, drafting versions of the layout for the app, using a program called Adobe XD. Based on the user personas, I created a layout that was easy to use and navigate, focusing on the goal of simplicity. Next, I moved on to prototyping; this is when the app starts to come alive when the images, illustrations, typography, body copy, and colors are all filled into the wireframe templates I created in the previous step. This BFA project has granted me the opportunity to explore UX/UI design and become more acquainted with the process, combing design, and research with a passion project to create Polymath. 

Ola Piasecki | Psilocybin Visions

As a culture, we are hungry for something to help us heal. Over the years psychopharmacology has been used to treat people with mental disorders. Although it has been known to help some, many people are left dependent on their medication while also giving them terrible side effects. Psilocybin has been used for thousands of years for therapeutic and spiritual context. Psilocybin is a chemical compound obtained from certain types of dried hallucinogenic mushrooms found in places like Mexico, South America, and parts of the United States. The compounds found in Psilocybin have a similar structure to LSD and are used for their hallucinogenic and euphoric effects. In the early 1960s, scientists and mental health professionals considered Psilocybin to be a promising treatment as an aid to therapy for a broad range of psychiatric diagnoses, including alcoholism, schizophrenia, OCD, and depression. In 1970, President Nixon passed the Controlled Substances Act, not only criminalizing the possession of psychedelic drugs but also making it illegal to research them. This resulted in a complete halt of psilocybin research on humans, research that was showing far more substantial potential than most Americans realized. In current times, psilocybin has been found to be effective for people with a number of mental health concerns. Psilocybin has been shown to accelerate the healing process in many people for distressing emotional symptoms, such as depression, OCD, and anxiety. Psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy combines the therapeutic effects of psilocybin with the support of an experienced and trusted therapist. The psychotherapy component of psilocybin treatment allows the client to process what is gained through the psilocybin experience with the therapist, supporting the integration of these insights for lasting symptom relief. 1 Psilocybin has been through a rigorous journey to be seen and studied and I believe its effects are a story worth telling. Culturally and legally it has been given such bad representation seriously. 

I’ve decided to paint psilocybin-assisted therapy patients’ visions because every patient’s visions are unique to them. The patient’s thoughts and observations are coming from their own subconscious so they are all distinct to each individual. I chose to use the medium of painting because painting is very versatile. I am able to manipulate the paint how I want it to look whereas in other mediums there are set colors, but with paint, the color varieties and shades are endless and assist in the expressive visions I want to portray. I am taking each patient’s subconscious observations and bringing them into my own conscious visions. Each patient described their experience very vividly, but I’m taking their testimonials and portraying them how I see it. Everyone’s imagination appears differently, and each person reading the patient’s testimonials will all look different, so I want to challenge the viewers to read the testimonials and see how I observed it and compare it to their own.

1 “Psilocybin-Assisted Psychotherapy.” Psilocybin-Therapy for Mental Health | Behavioral Wellness Clinic. Accessed October 18, 2020.

Rebecca Smith | Unleavened Breads of India

The idea for this project sprouted from my unintentional ignorance of how many different types of bread there are in this world. After living with two people from India, and dating another I thought I was familiar with Indian food, until I realized there was almost never a time when I picked up a piece of food and named it correctly. I would be holding two seemingly identical pieces of round tortilla like breads and would be told they were two different varieties. I became exasperated and began jokingly saying I was going to make myself an info-graphic to help myself identify these breads because clearly I needed to figure this out. And thus this tour of unleavened breads of India was born. Now what is considered an unleavened bread, let’s start with what I am defining as a leavening agent. My expertise in this matter comes from reading lots of recipes and watching hours of The Great British Baking Show (which is obviously the highest academy for baking knowledge.) I am defining a leavening agent as a substance causing expansion of doughs and batters via the release of gas or the act of rising.

This can include:

  • Egg White
  • Gluten (can be whipped to produce a foam like beaten biscuits)
  • Air (heavily beaten)
  • Steam
  • Yeast
  • Fermentation (like sour dough)
  • Baking Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Cream of Tarter
  • Tartaric Acid                   
  • Butter
  • Milk                                               
  • Yogurt

Therefore none of the recipes listed will include any of these ingredients if they pertain to the act of a dough rising, though yogurt may be included occasionally for the taste.

Jalyn Tolliver

Delaney Wiggins | Empath

I like to think of life as experiences that have been pieced together over time. Those experiences, over time, change and evolve into memories, things I can learn from and grow from. My project consist of many pieces of a whole. Playing with collage as form, I attempt to express and evoke emotion through color, form, texture, and composition. Using clippings from found images, I create a new image to express or evoke that emotion. This is something that graphic designers need to know how to do in order to sell a product, or brand. 

This year has been a major year of self-reflection and understanding. I like to consider myself an empath, one that bares the weight of the world on their shoulders. I decided to create this project using six canvases, each representing an emotion: Joy, Sorrow, Courage, Fear, Hope, and Despair. All of which I experience on a weekly basis. I came up with the six by listing an emotion, and then finding the complete opposite of that emotion, in order to show the contrasting variables of the two. As well as accepting that one can feel both in a short period of time. 

I’m using multiple forms of media, like cut and paste, hand painting, and scratching, as well as using multiple kinds of material like cloth, cellophane, tape, and even plants.

Noah Young | If I Was A Dragon

This work is a children’s book that was hand drawn and transferred to digital. Ever since I was a child, I have been fascinated by dragons. I have been inspired to love these creatures from various films and stories such as Lord of the Rings, Ancient Mythology, Game of Thrones, and other children’s books like Puff the Magic Dragon. I have wanted to recreate these special memories and inspire other children around the world. I love creating these illustrations that feel like their own independent world and make people feel that imaginative and playful side of themselves that they may have forgotten about. I also try to echo these feelings from my color scheme which evokes those fun playful childhood memories.

I explore a child’s imagination as he goes on a journey to become a dragon. I want to evoke those nostalgic memories of every child, back when they used their imagination for their sole center of entertainment. Back in the days where they could spend hours outside running around the yard with nothing but a stick as a sword and a curved stick as a bow.

I use simple forms in my illustrations to relate to how simple life was when we were children. I incorporated a dog as the main character’s best buddy, as dogs and pets in general have always had a special place in our hearts. In conclusion, I hope to inspire others around the world to remember the joy and imagination they had when they were children.