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Meet Highland Park Designer & Illustrator: Samantha Lopez

Today we’d like to introduce you to Samantha Lopez.

Samantha, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I recently graduated from California State Northridge with a Bachelors degree in Art, emphasized in Graphic Design. I am an Illustrator by heart and a graphic designer by trade. My style could be described as American Traditional, which pay’s homage to the tattoo culture I’ve grown to love while living in Los Angeles. I’ve designed custom illustrations, branding and packaging for various corporations to small independent businesses, most notably my local coffee shop Civil Coffee, in Highland Park. As a child growing up I never would have imagined my constant doodles would have developed into the passionate career and world-wide friendships I’ve created as a Graphic Designer. My story has just begun…

Has it been a smooth road?
Of course like any profession there are obvious struggles, however, I had a tremendous amount of support from my professors along the way. During my final year at college, I was encouraged to keep my originality and stick true to my style which molded me to the designer I am now. I am so grateful for the connections I have made. I’m still learning, but I am confident in the decisions I make because of the support system I have.

Has there been people or an institution that has played a pivotal role in your career?
Erick Martinez, my friend I met my freshman year at CSUN. He is the main reason I started creating illustration work. He inspired me to always keep a sketchbook and to experiment with different mediums. He is also the reason I took any illustration classes and why I include illustrations in my design work. Nick Longo, my professor at CSUN. He taught me to appreciate the work I do and how to set myself for success as a graphic designer. He was truly dedicated to give our tiny, graphic design program all the tools it needed to be successful. The time he put into having guest speakers talk to our class, trips to artist studios, and extra workshops outside of class was what pushed me to be a better designer. He is definitely the main reason I have such strong confidence in the work I produce. And to top off how amazing he is, he also linked me to Jen and Amy Hood at Hoodzpah Design, who have been inspiring me and teaching me how to be a successful designer & illustrator along the way. I’m so lucky to be working with such talented, motivated, and inspirational people.

What kind of work do you look forward to most?
I have been lucky to have been working on such a diverse spectrum of projects. The projects I’m most proud of are the ones that I can see the process of development from initial sketch to finished product. A lot of that is due to the open communication between myself and my clients. We essentially work on the project to make it better and stronger and ensures that the final piece is going to be something the client and myself are going to be proud of!

I really do love working on projects that I can see printed on t-shirts, bandanas, or other wearable materials because I get to show off my work on myself. (Which is an amazing feeling). Illustration work is also my favorite because it pushes me to switch styles, experiment with color, and improves my attention to detail.

What have been some of the most important lessons you’ve learned over the course of your career?
I definitely wish I would have started posting my work earlier, even if it wasn’t that good. I think the hardest part of being an artist is that you’re worried that you’re not good enough. I learned that no one cares if it’s bad and even if it is, it pushes you to create better work.I often look back at my work and shake my head because it’s so crazy looking, but if I didn’t start drawing back then, I have no idea where I’d be now. No one is going to know who you are or what you’re capable of if you don’t show it.

Contact Info:

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