Design destiny

Love of art springboards Lake Campus senior Madison Pape into graphic design

Madison Pape, a senior graphic design major at the Lake Campus, turned her passion for art into a career path. (Photo by Erin Pence)

Art was a big part of her life at a young age. Madison Pape always enjoyed drawing and sketching. But it wasn’t until her senior year of high school that she realized her passion for art could be her livelihood.

Today Pape is a senior graphic design major at Wright State University’s Lake Campus and has her sights set on a full-time job with a design company.

“I’ve always been interested in art, but I had never really considered it a potential career path,” she said. “I didn’t realize the amount of opportunity there is for graphic design. My senior year of high school I really discovered all of the opportunities.”

Pape grew up in the western Ohio village of New Bremen. She was always making art, which came naturally to her.

“I just loved being creative and using my hands to create something. The joy I felt from starting something to finishing it and wanting to continue making new things,” she said.

After graduating from New Bremen High School in 2019, Pape enrolled at the Lake Campus. The location and affordability were major draws, but the clincher came during an open house when she discovered that the Lake Campus had a Graphic Design program.

“I knew I wanted to work in this location when I was done with college,” she said. “And I knew I could find opportunities and be around people who could help me connect with businesses around here.”

Pape said people often think of graphic design as being very artsy.

“But the graphic design world today is very focused on marketing and it’s more trying to engage others into what you’re designing,” she said. “My classes are also focused on real-world situations and trying to make it as realistic as possible.”

Pape said most of her design work is produced on a computer after sketching mock-up designs. The most challenging part, she said, is coming up with design ideas.

“Once you find an idea and you run with it, it’s pretty easy for me to put it onto the computer,” she said. “But actually coming up with what you want to do and what direction you want to go is the hardest part.”

The most gratifying thing is creating the final product and “seeing people react to your design,” she said.

Pape has helped design a logo for a new company as part of her internship at The ONEIL Center at Wright State University. The center provides an innovative transdisciplinary experiential learning workspace that simultaneously functions as a classroom, incubator, small business, social impact organization and research lab.

“It’s been a really fun process,” said Pape.

Pape said Teresa Richter, lecturer for graphic design and multimedia, has been an influential instructor.

“She’s been very willing to help out to make sure her students succeed,” said Pape.

Richter said Page is an incredible student who approaches every project with grace and charm and shows maturity with her technical skill and professionalism.

“It has been my delight to assist in her growth to become the dynamic designer she has become these past three years,” said Richter.

After graduating in May, Pape hopes to land a full-time job with an area design company or pursue a master’s degree in instructional design in which she would learn how to create online learning platforms.

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