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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

Tanaka finds passion in graphic design

    By Halle Fukawa
    Copy Editor

    Many young artists can only imagine the gratifying feeling of being able to see their artwork displayed on a billboard, flashing on TV, or posted on social media. Senior Nicole Tanaka is working on sharpening her graphic design skills in the hopes that one day this dream will become a reality.

    In contrast to the other art classes taught at Gabrielino High School, Graphic Design I is computer-based. The class provides an important and unique outlet for modern artists to communicate and express themselves.
    For Tanaka, this medium fits perfectly with her own skill set.
    “I really like making art, but I’m not good at drawing,” laughed Tanaka. “I feel like [Graphic Design] fits me.”
    Tanaka revealed that she wants to eventually design a movie poster, though she has yet to do so in class this year.
    She has already had her own small taste of fame, as this upper-level curriculum includes a variety of different pieces, from mock-book covers, to PTA fliers, to school play posters that are sometimes displayed throughout the school or distributed.
    “[My favorite project was] the PTA Reflections flier,” gushed Tanaka. “I had a pretty good idea for it. I really like how it turned out. Every day when I went to school, I was excited to work on it.”
    Graphic Design I teacher Teresa Hopper certainly noticed Tanaka’s ambition and spirit.
    Having been a mentor to Tanaka in both her freshman year in Intro to Art as well this year in Graphic Design, Hopper has had the opportunity to observe her growth, and has especially come to admire her enthusiasm in the class. As a former graphic designer herself, Hopper appreciates both artistic minds and an enthusiastic workers.
    “[Nicole is] somebody who puts [her] all into projects and does the research and visual processing required,” explained Hopper. “She never misses a deadline and [is] always on task.”
    Although she considered herself to be a creative thinker from a young age, Tanaka credits her father for encouraging her to explore the class, which has since opened new career paths for her to consider.
    As it is her last year in high school, she decided she would take a chance with the class and test the waters.
    “As a senior, I’m starting to decide what to do with my life,” Tanaka remarked. “I wanted to see what it would be like to be a graphic designer. I think it’s where I want to go in the future.”

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    Tanaka finds passion in graphic design