A recent Graphic Design graduate of FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, Candace Peoples‘ final portfolio demonstrates strong typography, publication design, color theory, and unique conceptual art direction skills. After graduating with such a strong portfolio, FIDM interviewed Candace to get some insights into her background, creativity, and what made her decide peruse Graphic Design at FIDM. Scroll down to read the full interview and check out Candace’s inspiring final portfolio.
How did you first get into website design/publication design/graphic design?
My freshman year of high school, I took a class called Computer Applications. My teacher at the time, who has become a great friend of mine, showed an interest in the work I was submitting for class assignments. She asked me if I’d ever considered graphic design. I had not; I told her I wanted to be a child psychologist. (Crazy, huh? Who was I?) She introduced me to the Future Business Leaders of America Club where I competed in events like Desktop Publishing, Computer Applications, Spreadsheet Applications, and Electronic Career Portfolio. Since my freshman year, I joined the Yearbook Staff as Layout Editor and continued to take computer classes. My teacher, Mrs. Seiler, is one of the most remarkable and influential people I’ve met. What a feeling, to have someone see something naturally within you and believe thoroughly in your potential. I thank her endlessly for that.
What made you want to study Graphic Design at FIDM?
I thought it would be a great choice to leave the midwest. I had my sights set on either the East or West coasts. I initially heard about FIDM from an old friend who wanted to study Merchandise Product Development. I researched FIDM a little more and to be quite honest, it was the FIDMDigitalArtsBlog that sold me. You can ask a few graphics graduates who’d been featured on the blog. I said hello to a couple of them!
What was the most valuable piece of information you learned during your education at FIDM?
I’ve had my share of lessons about the importance of time management. I’ve also learned how great it was to be involved. I had a great experience as a member of and President of the AIGA Red Dot Student Group and as Art Director of FIDM MODE Magazine for the upcoming issue. The most valuable piece of information for me, however, I just learned recently when speaking to a friend at Graduation. She was giving advice to incoming graphic design students and she said, “Don’t think too much outside of the box. Start inside of the box and work your way out.” We ended up having a conversation about it right after, and the “Oh my goodness, that’s some great advice!” light bulb went on.
What are some of your proudest FIDM (or non FIDM) accomplishments?
I absolutely loved Art Directing the latest issue of FIDM MODE. It was a pleasure to work with everyone involved. If there is anything I have to say about the publication is that there is so much potential for the future of that magazine as a representation of all of the talents and gifts, right here at FIDM. Man, I am proud talking about it right now. There was so much I was able to see and create; unfortunately, not all of it could be published but it was still a great experience. Everyone who was apart of the process of creating the magazine from its generation to it being published is important. Thank you for this platform.
Now that you have graduated and earned your degree, where do you work/what do you do?
I am currently freelancing, but still on the search for full-time work. I was interning briefly at Annex Magazine, but I will be transitioning into the Art Director position within the next few months.
What is your dream job or ultimate goal?
This questions awakes a tad bit of fear in me because I don’t exactly know yet. I foresee art directing to be something that I enjoy very much, and I really love creative collaboration. I just want to design great things. To be fair, I do imagine myself living in New York City having the design time of my life. I just want to do what feels good, and I want people to feel something (which doesn’t always have to be good) when they see what I do.
What inspires you to create?
Culture, really. Whether we want to believe it or not, everything we do as creatives sends messages. We can let the artist in ourselves say “I was compelled to paint this” or “I was feeling this way, so I created that” – there is still a message there. As a designer, we design with intent. There is always a purpose. We are mediums, ourselves. I think that is probably what fascinates me the most about design is how much we control or influence the world around us with the things we create or the messages we send.
How would you describe your style?
Hmm. Fun. Sometimes trendy. Fresh. Engaging. I like color but I love black and white – especially in photography. Typography is also my #1 everything.
Current favorite font?
My handwriting, ha! (Seriously, though). I started a Tumblr blog where I just post quotes and sayings with my own handwriting called My-Handwriting.com. Sometimes I post things I’ve written, but mostly little sayings, lyrics, words or whatever comes to mind. I just love handwriting in general. It’s my favorite!
Has your education at FIDM helped prepare you for the work you are doing?
Absolutely. For now.
Do you have advice for incoming students?
Be patient with yourself. One of my favorite writers and a remarkable woman to know, her name is Nayyirah Waheed, wrote about allowing yourself to mature in your craft and taking care of your creative health. Do that. Open yourself to the possibilities of growth without chaining yourself to the expectations of what your gift should look like. It will manifest. You will get there.
And don’t forget to check out Candace’s final portfolio below:
(Click on the thumbnails below to enlarge the images)
Thank you to Mariya Dondonyan of The Gracious Lady for conducting the original interview.