Olivia Goleneski, BFA 2019, MFA Design Grad Student

Blogger Role: Graphic Design

Major: Graphic Design

I chose Marywood because when I was around five or six years old I would come up to Marywood with my mom everyday during the summer, and every summer after that.  I learned how to swim in the old gym that is now the architecture building, I took “classes” during this program Marywood offered called College For Kids, and I was lucky enough to watch the university grow and change throughout the years.  I loved how beautiful the campus was and how it made me feel not only limitless, but also at home. What really was the final reason I chose Marywood was I remember coming up to the campus, and seeing how all of the students interacted with one another. Whether I was on the old stone steps that is now the memorial garden, in the old circular library or in the beloved First Stop cafeteria, all of the students would have smiles on their faces, and would take a moment to just stop and chat. I really had this overwhelming sense of community that made me decide Marywood was definitely going to be the place for me.

I am majoring in Art because I always had a passion for art that I did not always act on.  When I initially came to Marywood, I was a social work major. I was in that major until my spring semester sophomore year. I had this realization that I wasn’t really happy where I was and I needed to make a change. I mentioned this to my parents, and they recommended that I go talk to the graphic design professors in the art department.

I always had a passion for art, and a passion for graphic design specifically, but I never was willing to take the plunge. Perhaps it was all the voices around me that said I would never find a job, or would never make money that made me put art on the back burner.

As I was contemplating my next step, my father gifted me a piece of advice that will influence me for a lifetime. He said that

“When you are doing something that you love, and makes you happy, the money will come and life will work out. If you have the opportunity to get paid doing what you love, then it is all worth it, right ?”

~ My Dad

Yes, I am aware that I am incredibly lucky to have parents who are supportive of my dreams (it certainly helps that my dad graduated college with a BFA). After the conversation with my parents I made the appointment with the Art Department. When I had a meeting with Chris Medley, the head of the graphic design department, I knew this is where I needed to be because I felt happy again. To date, I wholeheartedly believe that graphic design is where I belong.

When I’m not in class, I’m usually playing The Sims or at home spending time with my husband. I can spend hours building homes in The Sims and designing the interior. I have redesigned every lot in the game, at least twice. If you play The Sims, you can find some of my work in the gallery!

So far, my favorite art class at Marywood was 3D design with Dennis Corrigan. Dennis really taught me a lot about designs that are not only visually appealing but also interactive. Finding out that Dennis is also an distinguished artist who had work in the Met really made me appreciate the class even more.

The coolest thing I’ve done at Marywood so far was in my typography class, we took a field trip to a printmaking workshop. I loved how it gave me the opportunity to work hands on and really connect with my art work. With printmaking I was really able to connect with the history of my field and it made me really appreciate how far we have come in the design field today.

When I graduate I would love to find a job in my field. I have a love for social media management. My dream job however would be working for Apple in their UX department. I always loved how simple Apple’s operating system was and how they really create an experience with their designs. If I had the chance to choose what location to be in,  I would work in their Seattle office.

I’d recommend the Art program at Marywood because the professors are really incredible. All of our professors are very accomplished. We have professors who make amazing art and are established in the community. It really is an honor to learn from them. The professors give students the tools to succeed and the confidence to go out in our field and go make an impact. Not only are they amazing professors because they give us everything we need, but they also really care about their students’ well being. They are able to make connections with their students that larger schools with a larger class size are unable to make.

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