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Sarah Curtis

Where do you work, and what do you do in your current occupation?

My full time job is at Lanier Islands. I recently received a promotion from a Marketing & Design Assistant to a Marketing Coordinator. I work on a variety of creative tasks in my position. I design both digital and print marketing materials for Lanier Islands and Margaritaville at Lanier Islands.

This can range from animated paid web advertisements, animated or static social media ads, to digital designs that are put on our Welcome Screen and Spectacular Screen on Paradise Beach.

I create internal documents for the corporation as well. So, these would be designs for restaurant menus, activity guides, posters, flyers and so much more. Part of my job also includes being an active member of marketing meetings, designing e-newsletters, email blasts, and creating marketing reports to show the results of our marketing efforts.

headshot of Sarah

What do you enjoy about your current to occupation? Do you consider yourself successful? In what way?

I enjoy that no two days are the same or repetitive. I love that I can use my artistic skills in ways that tie into all of our marketing efforts. I consider myself successful in my own terms. I have fallen in love with Lanier Islands and the people I work with. To me, if you are happy, then you are successful. I wake up every day excited to be part of our team.  

What led you to pursue your current line of work?

I chose to graduate with a degree in Art Marketing. From the beginning, I saw myself creating artwork in a digital environment. I wanted to be sure that I could take my artistic designs and translate them into a digital format. With everything going digital, I felt this was the best avenue for me to express myself creatively with a full time position. 

Do the skills and knowledge that you gained as a student in the Department of Visual Arts (DoVA) contribute to your current occupation? If so, in what way?

It would not have been possible to work in my position without the classes I took at the University of North Georgia. The courses that have benefited me the most were those involving the Adobe Creative Suite. The programs I use the most at work are Adobe InDesign, After Effects, Media Encoder, Photoshop, Illustrator, & Adobe Acrobat. The After Effects courses I took have been very beneficial when designing animated advertisements. I could write an entire essay on all the ways each class has aided me in my career. Take in everything you can, in every class!

Now that you have a vantage point to reflect on your art education, what would you do differently?

I would have taken photography courses! I had not anticipated needing photography skills in my line of work. Having photography experience is an advantage to you as a designer because you may not always have the stock photography you need. I also would have spent more time learning Adobe Premiere and Lightroom for photography and video editing. 

Sarah in office on computer using after effects

Do you have any words of wisdom for current DoVA students?

Be familiar with the idea of Brand Guidelines. I create designs for both Lanier Islands and Margaritaville at Lanier Islands. We have specific style guides that are required for designing. For instance, each brand has approved colors, typography, and imagery for consistency. It helps keep the brand recognizable to guests. Be open to criticism and the idea of repurposing designs. Once a design is created, it can be repurposed for multiple platforms and may be used again.

You may not always start from scratch each time a graphic or animation needs to be created. I would also like to stress that learning the output of your work is super important. It is necessary to understand bleeds, crop marks, and margins in prints ads. When it comes to digital designs, it’s good to know how to create different types of files with a variety of sizes. You may need to know how to turn your Adobe After Effects Video into an animated gif or mp4. You may also need to know how to change file sizes too depending on its output.

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