Monday, October 1, 2012

Meet Kelsey Arbona, Our Featured Young Artist of the Month!

Introducing Kelsey Arbona!

We are happy to share another AFH talent, our featured young artist for October, Kelsey Arbona! 

Despite her busy college schedule, this recent AFH alum makes time to work in the AFH Graphics Studio and continues to impress our clients with her clean, thoughtful designs. Working as an Assistant Mentor, Kesley is assigning design jobs to the current AFH teen-designers, while also being a hands -on designer herself. Kelsey successfully created the new logo for the Somerville Cleaning Company We chatted with Kelsey about art, AFH, and some of the high-profile clients and her successfully completed commissions. Please read on for an up-close interview, a sample of some of her award-winning designs, and a look at Kelsey's cameo role in Bank of America’s commercial!

AFH: You started working at AFH when you were 16, Kelsey, how did you hear about the program?
KA: My aunt discovered AFH through the Boston Globe. Knowing that I was a creative person, she let me know of the opportunity and I eventually came in for orientation.

AFH: Where do you go to school now?
KA: I currently attend Bunker Hill Community College.
AFH: What are you studying?
KA: I’m studying Graphic Design. Next year, I plan on transferring to a four year school.
AFH: What is your current job at AFH?
KA: I’m an Assistant Mentor in the Graphic Design studio, where I worked as a teen-designer in high school. Now, I work mostly on print design, which ranges form company branding (Logos, stationary, etc.) to banners, T-shirts, and invitations. In our studio we work with the Adobe Creative Suite using Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign.

Kelsey's sharp AFH custom silk-screened ties! 

Like all AFHers, Kelsey started working in the painting studio before interviewing for a position in Graphics!

AFH: What drew you to Graphic Design?
KA: My uncle was a graphic designer at the Globe for a long time. When I was young, I used to visit him at work. I thought it was the most amazing experience to be able to use his pen tablet and draw Pokemon on the screen. I still have a Pikachu poster in my room.

AFH: Who are some of your favorite designers?
KA: The most inspiring people, who I am close to are my uncle and my mentor (and AFH Design Director), Claudia. As for other creative geniuses, Salvador Dali has been a fun inspiration from the surrealist movement.

Kelsey's rendition of Boston's iconic Lenny Zakim Bridge

Kelsey's Comic-book inspired custom-chair that was sold for our 20th Anniversary "Have A Seat" Gala last November

AFH: What is the best part of AFH?

KA: All parts of AFH are the best….but especially having found this community where I can learn and create something unique with endless support is exciting. I think that my favorite part of my job is meeting clients. When you meet a client to discuss their aspirations for a project, I get to see something amazing start to unfold.
AFH: You are  a member of the AFH Teen Leadership Crew. Can you explain what that means?

KA: The TLC is a group of young artists at AFH who go the extra mile when needed. We’re always there to stay late to set up for an exhibit or help out during events. 

AFH: I know that the textile company Merida headquartered in Boston, approached AFH a few yers ago to see if our designers could produce a rug design conveying the concept of "sustainability".. and your design was one of the winners! Can you describe the Merida rug project?

KA: First, we held a competition in the Graphics Studio, where everyone produced a storyboard proposal on what sustainability meant to them. After presenting them to a group of Boston designers including Merida, they chose three winners, and the three of us who won then had to transform the storyboard into a design that could then be produced! My rug became a part of their Thrive Collection in their catalogue. 

Kelsey and her Merida Rug!

Kelsey's winning design brought to life!
AFH: Where is the rug now?
KA: Merida manufactured the rug and mailed it to my house last year. I have been trying to find a way to hang it on my wall. I won’t ever let anyone walk on it though… it’s too beautiful!

Kelsey's latest logo!

AFH: What other cool projects have you worked on in Graphics? Any awesome clients?
KA: There are so many! We get to produce most of the designs for T-shirts that are screen printed at AFH. Our studio members came together recently to produce designs that are now sold at the AFH-The Store in historic the Historic Faneuil Hall building. Other clients I’ve done work for include P&G, Gillette and Eastern Bank. 

AFH: What do you do when you’re not at AFH?
KA: I’m extremely passionate about traveling. I’ve been to over 30 states in the United States. I believe in the importance of exploring everything that’s out there.   
AFH: What would be your dream job?

KA: I hope to enter the world of Art Therapy eventually. I want to creatively help people overcome obstacles.

Posing with some AFH pals!

AFH: What, or who, inspires you?

KA: Everything and everyone! As a designer, I’ve developed an awareness of my surroundings at all times. I observe the world around me to become a better designer.

Cool AFH Wall Art, designed by Kesley and for sale at this year's For the Love of Art Annual Holiday Sale! Stay tuned here for more info!

And now... check out Bank of America's commercial featuring Kelsey and AFH here

For more featured AFH artists, clients and partners stay tuned here and on our facebook page!

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