Sarah Truly Beers always loved to draw, paint and make crafts prior to attending FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising and now she’s putting her natural creative talents to use every day as a Creative Merchandising and Promotions Manager at Marvel Studios. After graduating in from FIDM’s Graphic Design program in 2002, Sarah worked first for Universal Studios, and currently at Marvel where she contributes to a variety of creative projects, from licensing style guides to marketing campaigns for major box office films such as Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk. Sarah was interviewed by FIDMDigitalArts.com about her experience today as a creative professional:
(Sarah) “I’ve been in Southern California since I was 5. Someone from FIDM came to my high school and I always thought it sounded like an interesting choice. A few years later I started looking into their graphics program.”
What made you decide to pursue graphic design?
“I love to paint and draw, make crafts… Basically I love being creative and graphic design seemed to me like a field that was really growing and had so many avenues of creativity to explore.”
When did you intern at Universal Studios and what was your role there?
“I interned at Universal Studios in 2001. I worked in Consumer Products – so basically I was looking at apparel and toys that featured or were designed around a Universal brand, such as Curious George. My duties included making sure that the products being submitted followed the brand correctly.”
Tell me a little bit about your career since you’ve graduated from FIDM.
“I continued on in Consumer Products. First I worked in licensed apparel as a design assistant. I eventually was hired at Universal in their Consumer Products Division and now I work for Marvel Studios.”
What do your daily responsibilities at Marvel Studios include?
“Because I have so many responsibilities I like to break my day up into segments. The first part of my day is spent checking in on all the promotional partners I manage (companies who sign on as partners on our films). This usually involves going through emails and making phone calls. A large chunk of my day is spent looking at creative materials. I route any creative, such as in store posters, packaging, and website concepts to a creative group for all of us to weigh in on. I will also spend time reviewing consumer products, such as toys and collectibles.”
How did you get your foot in the door at Marvel?
“Actually, one of my old friends who I interned under at Universal now works at Marvel. When he found out I was unemployed he recommended me for a job when a spot opened. Networking and staying in touch with co-workers, classmates, and teachers is really important!”
What is the best part about your job?
“There is a lot that rocks about my job, but my favorite thing is definitely getting to walk the red carpet at our film premieres. I have been to three now. I NEVER imagined getting to go to one of those! It’s very exciting and I’m very grateful to have the opportunity.”
What are some of your favorite projects that you’ve worked on?
“Getting to work with 7-Eleven on Iron Man 2 was actually really cool. I was on a team that helped with the development and progression of their in-store creative, online and TV ads. It was a really great feeling to walk into 7-Eleven and see all these posters, cups, straws, etc that I helped along from concept to final product. Being a part of the creative process and seeing it come to fruition is extremely gratifying!”
What are some other examples of the projects you’ve contributed to?
“Current projects I’m working on are top secret. Here’s a list of some projects:
Burger King – Iron Man 1, Iron Man 2
Audi – Iron Man 2
7-Eleven - Iron Man 2
Dr. Pepper – Iron Man 2
Symantec – The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2
Reese’s - Iron Man 2
Hot Toys - Iron Man 2
Hasbro – Iron Man 1, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2
I have also helped create graphics for some of our style guides (which are given out to our licensees, such as Hasbro). The guides include character poses, fonts, icons, patterns, etc., which can be lifted directly from the guide and placed on products such as sneakers, mugs, bedding and home decor. You get the idea! Some of the guides I’ve designed for are:
Iron Man 1
Iron Man 2
The Incredible Hulk
Wolverine and the X-Men (animated series)
Spider-Sense Spider-Man (Classic program)”
How did your experience at FIDM help to shape where you are in your career today?
“There were classes that prepared us for the real world and all our teachers were still out there in the industry working. FIDM gave me the tools I needed to go out and successfully get a job. Every job I’ve ever had after graduation is because of [FIDM] in some way. Either because an employer reached out to them or because they recommended me – as they did for my internship at Universal, which eventually lead to my current position at Marvel.”
Do you have any recommendations for websites or blogs that inspire you as a designer?
“I love COLOURlovers.com. It’s a great site to explore color combinations and palettes. You can upload your favorites or just browse around for ideas. I also love Vectorstock.com. It is the BEST site for beautiful royalty-free vector graphics. If you need some inspiration or are looking for that perfect paint splatter or texture, you’ll find it there!”
Congratulations to Sarah on all of her success!
Don’t miss this video below, which features the 7-Eleven/ Iron Man 2 TV marketing campaign, posted by Marvel on YouTube:
- Have you ever considered pursuing a career in graphic design or digital media? Check out FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising’s program for Graphic Design where you can learn all aspects of print media, including typography, digital photography and publication/layout design, and FIDM’s Digital Media program where you can learn editing, digital composition, motion graphics, 3-D modeling & animation, and sound design.