Meet KUCD MFA student – Alexis Grant

Alexis Grant is currently working on her MFA in Communication Design here at Kutztown University. Her work included illustration, motion graphics and researching the connection between food and love. We sat down and asked Alexis a couple questions to get to know her better.

Tell us about your journey to KU’s Communication Design MFA program.

I don’t have any Graphic Design experience from my Industrial Design background, but I’ve always had an interest in Graphic Design. After graduating with my undergraduate degree in Industrial Design, I knew I’d be headed back to school for my Masters later down the road but I didn’t know what for. A few years later while working as an Industrial Designer, I realized that I didn’t want to focus strictly on product design for the rest of my life. I wanted a new challenge and expand my skill set so I could open new doors for myself. Realizing that I didn’t want to stick strictly to Industrial Design, but wanting to stay in the design field, helped me decide to go back to school for Graphic Design. I believe the two areas, industrial and graphic, compliment each other in many ways. My journey to KU’s MFA Communication Design program happened so quickly- from my decision to go back to school to being accepted into the program. Back in March 2017, I made the decision to go for my Masters. I searched for Graphic Design programs and found that KU’s MFA Communication Design. The next month I was working on all myapplication materials, and I remember meeting Professor Bosler for the first time to meet her and find out more details of the program. I remember leaving that meeting in awe and being really happy with my decision to apply to the program. In May I was accepted into the program! Getting my acceptance was one of the happiest moments of my life.

How do you find balance and benefit from a low residency MFA program?

The low residency program allows me to work and go to school. Schoolwork can still be overwhelming (a good kind of overwhelming!) but it’s different than going to school full time. In addition to being able to work and go to school at the same time, the low residency program lets me have personal time to do things outside of work and school, like work on personal art/design projects. Even though I live close by, I’m not anchored to school, meaning I don’t have to be physically in classes the whole semester. The first week of having to be in class with our professor and classmates, “Journey Week”, has been really helpful in preparing me to be on my own for the rest of the semester.

What are your hopes for the future- with an MFA in your hand?

With an MFA in hand, I want to get into Graphic Design work. It’d be amazing to find something where I can use my Industrial Design skills as well as the new skills I gained in the Communication Design program. I’d love to do Graphic Design, and even Illustration work, for local companies and businesses.

Do you have a must read Graphic Design book? Or inspirational Designer/Artist?

Maori Sakai and Wendy MacNaughton are two inspirational artists. Maori Sakai creates these beautiful, whimsical illustrations. She finds inspiration from many different things in her life. Her GIFs are my favorite, especially ones about food and holidays. The first GIF I saw of hers was the “Good Morning Handsome” toast popping out of a toaster and I remember saying to myself “I want to learn how to make these!”(and I learned my first semester in the program!). Wendy MacNaughton is an Illustration Journalist, her way of story-telling through drawing is amazing. For my birthday last year I received the latest book she worked on, with writer and cook Salt Fat Acid Heat. Sakai and MacNaughton are well known artists, but there’s a lot of lesser known designers and artists I’ve found through Instagram and I think their work is incredibly inspiring. Some of them aren’t in the design profession, and they create these really inspiring art and design pieces as a hobby. There’s so much talent out there!
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