Von Watts is an art and compliance supervisor at Herff Jones, a company that manufactures and sells high school and college achievement products. Based in Indianapolis, Von is responsible for managing the graphic designers and typesetters. “I supervise art direction for the art and composition department—and ensure the best visualization of the product while staying within the budget,” she says.
Von finds inspiration in the world around her. “I can be at a restaurant and the first thing I notice when I sit down is the menu design. If the design is nice, I'll take a picture and add it to my inspiration folder. The same goes when just riding or walking.” She adds that her heroes are teachers and mentors—people who share their creative knowledge. “I love giving back to those who were once in my shoes. I feel good when I can help out my fellow classmates and upcoming designers.”
Von, who in 2015 earned an Associate of Science in Graphic Design from The Art Institute of Indianapolis, says that the school’s software and knowledgeable instructors prepared her for a design career. “My instructors prepared me to receive constructive feedback from my freelance clients and others who view my work. [The school’s] career services helped me with my confidence in interviewing and [taught me] how to conduct myself in front of employers.” She recommends that current students look for chances to grow professionally. “Sometimes you have to create your own opportunities. Think like a creative director.”
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