Seeking the Creative: Jillian Proudfoot, Graphic Designer
How would you describe your art in three words?
Bright, clean, and fluid.
Growing up in Detroit, Michigan, Jillian Proudfoot is currently studying graphic design and art history at the University of Central Florida. Originally a student at the University of Pittsburgh, the shift toward a creative career and her decision to transfer came from her intuition. Always a proponent of moving toward joy, Jillian highlights the importance of “listening to one’s instincts and doing what one loves the most”. As a transfer student, her school’s program involves an application process for the last two years of university – a highly selective program that only admits seventy students out of around three hundred. This move was not for naught as she found a more suitable, creative environment to improve her skills. As a social media graphic designer for Strike Magazine Orlando, she’s constantly surrounded by other creatives while harnessing her skills in outside projects, such as protests, playlists, and much more. Still, she finds time to follow her interests, such as visiting art museums and creating scrapbook social media posts.
A key motivation for Jillian is her improvement. Although she’s been practicing art throughout her life, her program allows increased devotion and routine to enhance her abilities. She uses Illustrator for school and “typically spends between 3 and 7 hours per day” working on projects. To supplement this, her hobbies include painting and drawing, and she makes time in between academia to pursue these other artistic interests. Once again, Jillian highlights the value of doing things that “bring happiness and joy” as she pursues graphic design and art history. With graphic design, her current personal projects include a set of postcards, like Greetings from Michigan, that showcase different towns close to her heart. Her study in art history helps ignite her appreciation of art and critiques. She stresses that “knowing certain histories is so important because this helps shape influences.” For instance, Michelangelo’s poem behind the Sistine Chapel accented his difficulty and doubt in painting the vault. Jillian loves understanding these stories behind artists and their art because they “humanize artists” and relate them to every artist. Likewise, she finds comfort in knowing that her artistry is a journey, and studying her passion is just the beginning of her career.
In the future, Jillian has plans to work for an art museum as an in-house designer since these combine her interests and fields of study. Aside from this, she wants to dive into designing for firms and brands, as most of her school projects focus on rebranding and designing icons. Ultimately, Jillian wants to pursue “a creatively fulfilled and financially stable lifestyle and future.” More of Jillian Proudfoot’s designs and work can be found on her art instagram, @jillianproudfoot.design.
Where/how do you gather inspiration?
I find a lot of inspiration in the typical ways – social media sites like Instagram, Behance, and Pinterest, but I also think it’s critical for artists to look outside of these sites and into the real world. Something I’ve realized while studying graphic design in college is that every little thing we come into contact with or our eyes come across is designed by someone and can be used as either inspiration or an example of what is not a successful design. Also, as a student of graphic design, I do gather quite a bit of inspiration from my coursework.
What do you hope audiences retain from your work?
Designers are artists.
Typography is a form of artwork in and of itself and does not always have to be legible to be credible. I.e.: if a poster is making you stop and think about what it says, it is more successful than a poster that is able to be glanced at and understood.
Trends are constantly shifting, and keeping up with them is not everything – do what you feel is right and creates the most successful design.