CYPRESS — Do you solve problems with “eureka” moments? Your brain is designed like Albert Einstein, who said “Creativity is intelligence having fun.”  Lone Star College-Westway Park Technology Center’s Visual Communication (VisCom) Department prepares you for careers in creativity.

Graphic designers are needed in publishing, advertising, digital media technologies, website design, video production and related services. Come to the Nov. 14 Vizually Speaking event to find out how LSC’s VisCom Associate of Applied Science degree and certificate programs provide students the skills and the competitive edge needed in the workforce.

Mario Bautista not only earned his VisCom AAS degree in 2013, his portfolio professor helped him get an internship interview as a tool illustrator with Weatherford International, where this senior graphic designer still works after six years.

How to be creative while meeting rigid and demanding deadlines was among many important things Bautista said he learned in the VisCom program that has impacted his success working in a corporate environment.

“Helping plan big events and doing the artwork for them is always fun, but actually seeing the finished product on display is so gratifying,” he said. “Aside from the salary and health benefits in this field, there are many other benefits like gaining experience from every project since they’re not all the same.”

Companies are seeking hardworking, dedicated and focused employees, he said. And most companies are willing to pay employees to attend design conferences to gain inspiration and grow their skills, said Bautista, who went to Adobe Max last year and is scheduled for two more conferences in 2020.

Mario Ortega, another VisCom student who recently co-founded the design firm Sympel, said design employees can be a jack of all trades, yet have a specialization.

“I’ve had to work on websites (front and back end), motion graphics, light, video editing, etc., but of course, a heavy portion of my job is creating brands for companies, which is my favorite.”

Employees need to have a strong sense of integrity, self-motivation, organization, communication and technical skills, design principals and how to apply them, said Melinda Kaneaster, who works at SEI Seismic Exchange a small company where she wears many hats including graphic designer.

“I like the diversity of my job,” she said. “The depth of my design skills is still highly utilized as I get to work on various special projects (marketing publication ads, invitations, reports, interoffice communications and presentations) that allow me to explore all the facets of being a designer.”

After graduating with an LSC-CyFair VisCom AAS degree in 2008, Kaneaster started her design career with an internship at Baker Hughes, followed with a position at Integrity Graphics thanks to LSC relationships.

“The instructors at LSC were truly invested in my academic success,” said Kaneaster, who returned this fall to LSC as instructor at LSC-Westway Park Technology Center. “I want to be that inspiration to others searching for a career in this field.”

She has a decade of experience that includes director of graphic design at Oilfield Nameplates as well as designer for Ladybug Natural Gardener, a national brand for garden products and Plant for All Seasons, a local retail garden center.

“Our knowledge and understanding of proper layout, how the eye and mind work together to translate and interpret information, psychology of color, type contrasts, and how elements work together (or not) make us highly unique and valuable in any organization,” Kaneaster said. “We are insuring the information is received and processed by the end user in the way that was intended. We see the world through a different lens.”

To  jump start your design career, attend the fall Visual Communication registration event, held from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Nov. 14. The event includes program information and advising assistance as well as promotional giveaways and light refreshments while supplies last.

For event information, contact Kisha Cormier, professor of graphic arts, at 346.275.6024 or via email at Kisha.L.Cormier@LoneStar.edu.

Helping more than 22,000 students reach their academic and career goals, Lone Star College-CyFair is the 5th comprehensive college in the Lone Star College System, located at 9191 Barker Cypress Road just three miles south of U.S. Highway 290. Start close and go far at our satellite campuses: LSC-Cypress Center, located at 19710 Clay Road and LSC-Westway Park Technology Center, located at 5060 Westway Park Boulevard. For more information about LSC-CyFair and its programs, call 281.290.3200 or visit LoneStar.edu/cyfair.

Lone Star College offers high-quality, low-cost academic transfer and career training education to 99,000 students each semester. LSC is training tomorrow’s workforce today and redefining the community college experience to support student success. Stephen C. Head, Ph.D., serves as chancellor of LSC, the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area with an annual economic impact of nearly $3 billion. LSC consists of six colleges, 10 centers, two university centers, Lone Star Corporate College and LSC-Online. To learn more, visit LoneStar.edu.

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