Academy Valedictorian Chloe Peterson Giving Her All And Designing A Successful Career

“Put 100% effort into everything you do!”


It’s not just advice Chloe Peterson is fond of sharing. It’s a philosophy she actively lives.

From excelling during her four years at the American Academy of Art – enough to earn her the honor of being named 2013 Class Valedictorian, to landing an enviable internship and job, giving it her all seems to be working out pretty well for Chloe.

Chloe earned her BFA in Illustration in May 2013.


She began working as a graphic design intern at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) May 2012 and was hired as a full-time production assistant in the exhibit design and development department July 2013. Chloe helps to design, produce and install graphics for signage, exhibits, educational resources, events, maps, ticketing and kiosks at the MSI.


“Chloe was a wonderful student – interested, observant, and always ready to push herself a little further,” explained Chloe’s web design instructor, Anahita Mobarhan. “You could tell that she really had fun in expressing herself artistically within whatever structure a given project held. Her artwork was so bright, lively and elegantly presented. She also has a very charming personality with this levelheaded wittiness that always came across in the most unpretentious way,” Mobarhan added.


Chloe explains that the three most important things she gained from attending the Academy were:

1.    Typography skills. “I can’t stress how important learning this was and is to me.”

2.    Professional connections and friends.

3.    Leaning how to be a professional artist/designer and “not a hobby artist.”




Read about Chloe’s work on the Walt Disney installation at the MSI and much more…

Q&A with Chloe Peterson


Q:  How would you describe yourself as an artist?

A:  I am a designer by career. However, I consider myself an artistic explorer because I am always learning about and trying new mediums. I like trying many styles and approaches, as I’m still molding myself as an artist. 


Q:  How did you secure your internship at the Museum of Science and Industry?

A:  I found out a fellow Academy student, Greg Fitzpatrick, was interning at the MSI. I asked him how I could apply for an internship there. After learning about the application process, I applied and was accepted. I was able to intern with another Academy student, Lisset Cortez.


Q:  How did you get your full-time job at the MSI?

A:  In the summer of 2013, after I graduated, the Academy’s Career Services Coordinator Lindsay Sandbothe told me about an open production assistant position at the MSI. I applied knowing that the position basically involved everything I did as an intern. The internship definitely helped me get my foot in the door. I was told a few hundred people applied for two positions. I went through two interviews and was then told I had gotten the job. I am very fortunate. It doesn't feel like a job because I love working there. I spend my days working with some great people and learn so much about science and history. 


Q:  What are some highlights you are most proud of with your work at the MSI?

A:  My favorite things are watching the exhibits I helped create come to life. The Numbers in Nature and Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives exhibits are my favorite projects I helped develop.


Q:  What was your role with the Disney exhibit?

A:  This was the first major project I helped with when I was hired. Nearly all of the exhibit’s story, design and graphics production were done in-house. I helped to design the graphics and their layout for the Walt Disney’s Legacy and Mary Poppins sections. When the design was completed, I helped to print and install the graphics.


Q:  What do you do in your spare time?

A:   I have an adventurous personality, so I’m always looking to add to my life experiences by trying new things or going new places. When the weather is nice, I ride my motorcycle – a 2002 Suzuki GSXR 750 – as much as possible. I just recently started riding on the street this past summer after riding dirt bikes for several years. Next summer, I plan to ride on the track to better my motorcycle skills and legally go fast. I also love traveling. In spring, I am going to see the Isle of Man TT, a motorcycle-racing event. Otherwise, I like to watch movies or documentaries, go on my favorite website Imgur, put together jigsaw puzzles, and play golf and poker.


Q:  What kinds of independent art projects are you doing?

A:   At the beginning of the year, I was working on some commissioned charcoal portraits. For Halloween, I always sculpt a pumpkin. I won a contest this year with a pumpkin that I sculpted to look like Paul Bunyan. For a winter project, I will be working on making lampshades from gourds by drilling holes into them to create patterns with light.


Q:  What are your greatest inspirations?

A:  I find inspiration for my work everywhere. However, nature and historical art/design (Art Nouveau and Art Deco time periods) are probably my biggest inspirations. My favorite artist is Alphonse Mucha. 


Q:  What do you want to be doing in five years?

A:  Working my way up to becoming an art director or starting my own design firm. 


Chloe grew up and currently lives in Steger, in the south suburbs of Chicago.

You can learn more about her here: ChloePetersonDesigns and LinkedIn.



332 SOUTH MICHIGAN AVE. CHICAGO, IL 60604-4302 | 312.461.0600 | 888.461.0600 | INFO@AAART.EDU
© 2020 The American Academy of Art. All rights reserved.
close (X)