Membership Spotlight: Samantha Wilbur

At 23, Samantha WIlbur is studying graphic design at the Art Institute of Jacksonville. She was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey but has lived in Jacksonville, Florida for most of her life. She started studying design in high school at Bartram Trail and went to The University of North Florida for two years to continue her studies. Since then, she transferred to the Art Institute of Jacksonville and has been there ever since. She will graduate in March of 2013 and is looking forward to working in Jacksonville before branching out to a major city. Right now, she works at the Art Institute in the Academic Arts office which allows her to design the majority of the flyers and posters that go up in the classrooms and around school. She also tries to get as much freelance work as she can handle while keeping up with her classes. She enjoys this, as it allows her to practice her design skills, while making money on the side. For fun she visits art galleries, rides motorcycles, and watches movies.

Q:
You’ve studied at both UNF and The Art Institute of Jacksonville. How long have you been interested in art-related fields and what led you to choosing graphic design?

A:
Ever since I was a child I have been attracted to the computer. At two years old I would sit at the computer and type in a word based document for hours. I have always been interested in art, as well, for as long as I can remember. My father would sketch out little characters for me, that he now says were slightly pitiful, but I always thought he was the best artist in the world. I have also worked on and off with my mother for over 8 years, since I was 13, teaching Microsoft Office programs to teachers for their recertification. Since the computer and art have been a consistent influence in my life, I feel like this is what has lead me into the graphic design field.

Q:
Have you studied any other areas besides Graphic Design during your education?

A:
Actually when I first signed up for school, at UNF, I was majoring in Psychology. I had aspirations of becoming a psychological criminal investigator and studying serial killers. ­čÖé Later on I decided that this field was suffocating my creative side and made the life-defining switch to graphic design.

Q:
You’ve been the President of the AIGA Student Group at the Art Institute for almost a year now. How did you first get involved in this student group and has it impacted you positively?

A:
I first became interested in AIGA at UNF, but never got involved with it until I switched to the Art Institute. The smaller group of people was very approachable and allowed me to work my way up from Secretary, to Vice President and then to President. I have enjoyed every moment as acting President of the student chapter at Ai. It has allowed me to grow creatively and expand my leadership qualities extensively. I love helping inspire the people around me and encouraging others to integrate design and networking through AIGA into their lives. The many workshops and speaker events that I have attended through AIGA have consistently inspired me, so I really enjoy passing this inspiration onto others.

Q:
Do you have any post-graduation plans? Will you stay in Jacksonville or do you plan to move elsewhere? What would you consider your dream job?

A:
After I graduate I would like to stay in Jacksonville for a while to learn as much as I possibly can. I would eventually love to travel to another major city and work within either a branding based design firm, or a competitive advertising firm. My absolute dream job is to become an art director and work collaboratively with others at a well-established design firm.

Q:
Do you have any advice or words of wisdom for students looking to get involved in a group like the AIGA? What helpful tips have you learned that you wish you would have known as a freshman?

A:
My advice to anyone who is trying something new is that you will be scared, everyone is. But once you get over your initial uncomfortable feelings and fear, you will learn to love it. Coming together with like-minded people always brings upon new ways of thinking and seeing. You’ve got to put yourself out there and experience life, because it will not coming looking for you. Being a part of these groups at school and locally will help you network, learn about new ways to improve your designs, and make lasting relationships with like-minded creatives. It is a priceless experience that will only accentuate your love for design.

~ Stephanie, Membership Co-Director

By aigajacksonville
Published April 4, 2012