Since its founding in 1972, The Group has worked to fund scholarships for deserving students of Otis College of Art and Design. The awardees met with members of The Group and presented examples of their work at The Group's Annual Scholarship Luncheon on February 16, 2017. One student from each of the seven undergraduate disciplines is chosen for the scholarship, and each week, we'll be highlighting a different awardee as we countdown to the 2017 Commencement Ceremony.
Hana Siobhan O’Regan, a senior in the BFA Communication Arts program at Otis College, had once thought that making art was just for fun. It wasn't until Hana enrolled in a few digital media courses, eventually finding her way to graphic design, that she found her true passion and decided to pursue a career in design.
"My design work is shaped by my appreciation of good craft and a wish to share knowledge with others," wrote Hana. "I am a traditionalist at heart; I love to make things by hand, to delve deeply into a process, and to challenge myself to work from scratch. After graduation, I hope to work at a design firm with a heavy emphasis on print work. As an avid typography and book lover, it makes sense for me to design for print. I believe that print is not dead, though many may think so, and I hope to share my own joy for that medium with others." We asked Hana about her internship experience, how she handles creative block, and her advice for aspiring designers, watch the video and read the Q&A below.
Did you always want to be a designer?
Not exactly. Growing up I drew and painted a lot, but during high school, I got really sick of both and figured I wasn’t cut out for an art career. At my local community college, I found a digital media class, which taught the Adobe Suite, and absolutely loved it. After that first foray into the digital art world, I never looked back. I knew I wanted to have a career in design.
What is something that you learned at Otis College that you will take with you throughout your career?
Otis taught me to how to approach a challenge from multiple perspectives, rather than simply giving me the technological tools for making attractive work. I now know that a designer must ask herself what the best solution is for that particular project, rather than what she wants it to be.
Describe your Otis College experience in one word.
Which class or project most surprised you?
Typography I, a sophomore class, surprised me because prior to taking the class I had no idea what typography really was. The idea that letterforms and typefaces are so varied, complex, and potentially the thing that makes or breaks a project was news to me. It was a pleasant surprise, and typography became my favorite class.
How do you handle creative block?
I have a couple of methods when faced with a creative block. One is to do something else that I enjoy, whether it be cooking, baking, exercising, or going outside. The other is to bounce ideas off someone else—simply talking through ideas can be enough to break through that barrier.
Which of your projects are you most proud of and why?
This fall I made a publication called Sandwich, Salad, Pie., which combined my two passions: cooking and design. I’m proud of this project because I pushed the form of a publication to its limit, using multiple elements to create an interesting object. I also really enjoyed the fact that I was able to incorporate something I love into a school project.
What was your biggest take away from your internship experience?
I had an internship last summer at Still Room Studio in downtown Los Angeles. A teacher here mentioned them to me in the fall and, after reaching out to them, I ended up landing the internship. Being an intern was an invaluable experience because I was able to learn more about a design firm’s expectations of its designers. I got the chance to deal with a real boss and co-workers, which is such a different dynamic than the teacher-student or peer-to-peer relationship. I feel much more prepared for a design job because of that internship.
What is your advice to incoming students as they start down the path to a creative career?
Don’t be afraid of the process. Make things you hate, and use mediums that you’ve never tried before. Respect your teachers and classmates because they are wonderful resources. Do your homework, and make, make, make.
See even more of Hana's work at hanaoregan.com.