DMACC Creators Series: Graphic Design

Most students outside of the graphic design program probably have never visited Building 15. Despite this fact, graphic design is a growing industry and certainly so at DMACC. The graphic design program captures creativity with its innovation and artistry; and Jerson Valenzuela is a student aiming to exemplify those qualities.

Now a year away from graduating DMACC, Jerson reflected on his original plan to pursue agricultural engineering at Iowa State, “I decided not to at the very last minute. It is certainly something I could do, but nothing I was passionate about.” His bold decision to stop and consider other options is representative of the intimidating experience all students face. On his choice to come to DMACC for graphic design he said, “I’m a creative person, and I love doing anything that has me think creatively. I always thought I wouldn’t be able to make a living in a field like that due to the stigma around it.”

Just by talking to Jerson, it’s clear he is thriving and immensely passionate about his work. “The projects in the program are very helpful when it comes to modeling what working as a graphic designer would be like,” he says about his experience in the program. He cited Professor Robert Foss as an influence, having experience in design and passing his knowledge on to students. Jerson also mentioned some personal growth experienced since starting at DMACC. “Something that I learned about myself is how passionate I am about making it in the industry. I want to amount to something, I want to leave my mark, I want to start conversations.”

Jerson has also taken the creative passion he discovered personally and made it his duty to encourage those close to him to do the same for themselves. “Growing up my parents, aunts, and uncles did not have opportunities to nurture their creative gifts.” That experience in addition to his own in graphic design now is a leading factor in his support of younger relative’s creative interests as potential careers. “I want to be the one to show them that they can follow their dreams.”

With endless possibilities to pursue in graphic design, Jerson’s goals after DMACC are somewhat open-ended. He said he wants to gain experience in the field and work towards freelance design and illustration, perhaps opening a side business for fun. “Wherever my life goes, I just want to be happy with whatever I’m doing.”

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