Alea Toussaint ’13
What do you currently do for a living?
I am a graphic designer at mono, a creative agency in Minneapolis.
What is your favorite thing about your job?
I love that every day there is a new problem to be solved. I consider myself lucky to work with talented individuals and within an environment that inspires me to never stop getting better.
How do you find inspiration when you are feeling stuck?
I look all around, from nature to architecture to something someone says that feels visual. I also check out design blogs to see what is happening in design.
What is the best or worst design trend you've seen recently?
There isn't one trend that I have a strong aversion to. The important thing for me is seeing the authenticity in the work, if you are just trying to copy the trends, it shows in your work. Original thinking will always be in style.
Where did you earn your undergraduate degree and what was it in?
University of Wisconsin–Madison in art and elementary education.
Did you have a job while completing the program? Was it stressful to do both simultaneously?
Yes, I worked full time. It was very stressful to be in school and work full time. The post-baccalaureate program is very intense. The one benefit of having to work was that I became faster than those who had more time.
How has your certificate enhanced your career?
It gave me the skills and connections in Minneapolis to be confident in myself as a designer.
Has your work evolved since leaving MCAD?
Yes, projects in school can be whatever you want them to be, but in practice, you have clients and creative directors weighing in on the work. This makes you adjust and change and grow and notice things that you need to keep working on.
Why did you choose to get a certificate in graphic design?
I love to make things. Graphic design is a field that has an artistic aspect along with a problem solving component, and I love that marriage.
What advice do you have for art/design students?
It's a small community of people, so be nice to everyone, and always be prepared when you come in to interview. Do your research.
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