Alumni Update with Bryan

When I ask alumni what advice they would give current students, the common answer seems to be “put yourself out there.” While this may sound cliché, it is genuinely the most effective way to get work (and get your parents off your back about all that student loan debt). This week, I talked to Bryan, whose willingness to put himself out there is what helped him to find the work that he loves.

Bryan Filarskyheadshot MU blog

Graduation Year/Major: Class of 2011, Graphic Design w/ an independent study/concentration in Illustration

Marywood Clubs/Activities: Zeta Omicron, CMYKlub, I also operated sound and graphics for the show “Breaking the Mold”—a music based interview series which was produced on campus.

1) What is your current occupation?

I currently work as a freelance graphic designer and marketing consultant. Most of my graphic work occurs in the music industry – something I’ve been passionate about for quite some time.

2) What was your favorite part about Marywood?

I really enjoyed how easy it was to get close to my classmates and instructors! I feel like I was able to really find my own style working with my friends and pushing one another to become more creative and consistent.

3) Any advice for current art students at Marywood?

My biggest piece of advice I can give is to put yourself out there. Don’t ever stop creating and making your work available for people to see. The current state of connection that exists on the internet between artist and audience is like never before – You can make something and put it out for thousands (or just a select group) to see for free, instantly.

When I started working with bands I would just send an email out to an artist I wanted to work with and tell them “I’d love to do a piece for you, if you like it, it’s yours – if not, that’s fine.”  I’ve never had one group say “No thanks, we aren’t interested in any free merchandise design.” I did this until my portfolio grew heavy enough that I had bands and labels reaching out to me asking for my pricing.

4) How did your art education at Marywood help your career?

Aside from the direct technical instruction I received in project planning and software use, the biggest thing I took from Marywood was the ability to identify strengths and weaknesses in commercial art. Our group critiques were always a highlight to me because you have 30 creative minds looking at your work, and really digging into it finding ways it can be improved. I still sit back and look at my pieces with that mindset before I formally submit any projects.

5) What is your favorite part about your job?

My favorite thing about what I do is the constant diversity in my work. I’m not hammering a nail or pushing a button for 40 hours a week; every project needs to be approached and executed differently. On top of that, there are endless techniques that can be employed to achieve different results and that is what makes this, as a long term career, so exciting—I will never stop learning and growing.

6) Favorite and least favorite typeface?

My favorite typefaces are usually pretty vintage looking—that’s kind of how my style always leans. If I had to pick one that is really appealing to me lately I would say “Prohibition” by Fort Foundry. I really hate to be so cliché, but my least favorite typeface has to be “Papyrus” because it just makes my skin crawl 😉

Featured images courtesy of Bryan Filarsky. Check out more of Bryan’s work here!

Are you interested in studying graphic design?

BFA DESIGN: The BFA Graphic Design program at Marywood will introduce you to a variety of design disciplines. Conceptual development, technical skills, and professionalism are emphasized. Students have the opportunity to work independently, with partners, in small groups, with professionals in the field, and with real clients. Regular class critiques and portfolio reviews are repeated throughout the program. LEARN MORE

MFA DESIGN: Marywood’s MFA Program “Get Your Masters with the Masters” is a low-residency program for a 60-credit Master of Fine Arts degree in graphic design or illustration. It’s specifically designed for working art directors, designers, illustrators, new media artists and art educators who have to budget their time and resources carefully, while continuing with their full-time occupations. LEARN MORE

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