Hello! My name is Ava Leigh (she/her).
I am a sophomore Journalism and Graphic Design student at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.
I think my interest in graphics, art, and journalism stems from my mom, who was an art major in college and was always creating things when I was a kid. We also went to the library every week to pick out books for bedtime stories. The pictures were always fascinating and definitely affected whether or not I would pull that book off the shelf to bring home. This was a way to feel close to my mom, but also I was immersed in the relationship between art and words.
Back home in Minnesota, I was always proficient in art throughout art class in elementary and middle school and LOVED all of my art teachers. I also use Pinterest a lot and would teach myself all sorts of crafts. I am close with my grandmas, and they taught me how to crochet, knit, sew, and make jewelry. From there, I would scour the internet for tutorials and creative ideas. It was not uncommon for my parents to come home after work to find me in the kitchen baking polymer clay or spread out at the kitchen table working with watercolor.
I was always a crafty little gal and was kind of known for that in school. People would ask me to fix things or make things or design things and I started to realize that design skills are important and that people actually valued and appreciated mine.
I was going to try to go to art school like my mom, but I didn’t really have enough solid, concrete pieces to build a portfolio with, so I shot for the design side of journalism. At the end of my freshman year, I decided to add a graphic design minor because I decided I wasn’t getting as much artsy content from classes as I had been hoping for.
And I love it! It’s obvious that I love the creative field, and I love learning new things. I love making art, being creative, fixing things, and being helpful. Outside of the creative field, I have been known to love music, fashion, movies and shows, traveling, thrifting, my friends, and the outdoors. If I could combine all of those things, it would be my perfect day.
At Drake, I currently design social media content for the Student Activities Board or SAB. I am a graphic design chair, and I collaborate with my peers on efficiently marketing for their events. I am strengthening my skills, not only in Canva, but also in teamwork, communication, and responsibility. I also am on the design team this year for Drake Mag. I have always admired the work that this team does and I am super excited to be involved this semester. I am working on strengthening my skills in Adobe Illustrator and InDesign through this position, and I am very much looking forward to my first issue.
I hope that these graphic design/art experiences will not only look good on a resume but will put me in a good position to find my future career. I don’t know what I want to do quite yet, but I always tell people that I want it to be something creative and something where I am challenged, but in a good way. I am hoping to also be able to travel more, either for a job or in my free time. I would love to visit more of the east coast and the west coast, so we’ll see where my stick figure drawings skills will get me 😉