From Graduate to Working on International Brands

Category: Featured

Kristen Sullivan has four big things going for her:

  1. She’s simply very talented.
  2. She’s incredibly inspired by creating art and art’s role in society.
  3. She understands the crucial importance of working hard to excel.
  4. She sees unlimited potential in her future.

Kristen is a full-time junior designer at packaging design powerhouse Haugaard Creative. After graduating from the American Academy of Art in the spring of 2016, she secured a three-month internship with Haugaard. Kristen’s hard work and dedication convinced her employers to create a full-time position for her. She was the first intern Haugaard hired in three years.

Why did you want to become an artist?

It started with wanting to paint and just get all my thoughts down on paper. Then it turned into something more. I realized that artists have an opportunity to touch so many people’s lives in ways that they never could have imagined. I wanted to be that person. I wanted to create something people could engage with on a subconscious level.

What advice do you have for young artists in school?

Realize that art is so much more than just paintings and drawings. The packages sitting on the shelves, the advertisements you see on TV, the book covers, pamphlets, coupons, t-shirts, everything around you is art. It may be a different kind of art, one where you don’t get to sign your name at the bottom, but it’s art nonetheless. It’s beautiful and exciting and something I was lucky enough to discover.

What are the three most important things you learned / gained from attending the Academy?
  • Value teamwork and be a great team member. As an artist you will always, always, always be working in groups and with other people. Give, learn and be a great collaborator.
  • Work hard even when you’re not terribly inspired. You’ll have to create things that you’re not passionate about, but to have a career as an artist, sometimes it’s necessary.
  • Work harder than everyone in the room. You may not always be the best, but if you push yourself and continue to learn, eventually you will be.

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