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The American Institute of Graphic Arts held its 5th annual student pin up show and membership party. Two University of West Georgia students were awarded for their work at the AIGA national competition on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014.

The AIGA pin up show, held at the Big Studio at King Plow Arts Center in Atlanta, issued awards in 5 categories: 2D graphic design, 3D graphic design, web and interactive design, illustration, and photography.

Students were able to submit a maximum of 3 posters to for the competition. Graphic design professionals from design studios such as TBS, PRIMAL SCREEN, MULTIPLE INC. and Grant Collaborative judged all submissions.

Out of more than 200 projects from nearly 80 students in various art programs from universities from all over Georgia, Carlton Roberts was only one of six students recognized with awards. His poster was a piece of artwork that utilized blueprints from Charles-Edouard Jeanneret, better known as Le Corbusier, who was a Swedish architect.

“I was quite surprised I won, said Roberts. “Honestly, with the amount of talent present, winning the award meant quite a bit in validating the time that I put into my work.”

Roberts said that Le Corbusier is a Swedish/French architect who is arguably one of the most influential architects of the mid-20th century. He draws from many different inspirations as he creates. Le Corbusier is only one of the many artists that influence his creations.

“Aside from Le Corbusier’s actual architectures, I drew additional inspiration from his sketch book and furniture design,” said Roberts. “In most of my other design projects I tend to draw inspiration from things usually not at all related to the project.”

Madison Defilippis was one of 30 winners in the International graphic design competition. This contest is a poster design competition judges in 4 categories: typography, illustration, photography and design.

“I was one of 30 winners in the “Show Us Your POSTERior: International Student Poster competition in Chicago,” said DeFilippis. “My poster was under the typography category.”

AIGA is the oldest and largest professional membership organization for design. It is known as the professional association for graphic designers. AIGA brings designers together from all over the world. The organization credits itself as being the largest community of graphic design advocates and professional practitioners.

With this many professionals artist judging at the competition, the pressure on students to prove their creative talent grows to a new height.

The University of West Georgia’s Art department has grown in the past couple of years to accommodate different concentrations within the department. With the addition of ceramics, printmaking and sculpture in the Visual Arts building and Humanities which houses the bulk of the department including graphic design, students have a lot of resources to use to fuel their creative passion.

“I believe the West Georgia’s Art program offers a great learning experience and is very rewarding if you are willing to dedicate a lot of effort to it,” said Roberts. “Being a senior, I think the program has helped me develop a better understanding of the craft. It takes a great work ethic to pursue a career like this.”

While accepting advice and critique from their professors, students also looked to outside sources when finding inspirations to use as a catalyst for their artwork. As this was her first art design competition, DeFilippis wanted to put her best work up and impress the judges.

“For this project I was inspired by the lead singer of Foxy Shazam, Eric Sean Nally, and his fun contemporary glam rock style,” said Deflilppis. “In my design work, my inspirations depend on what the project needs. I am often drawn to the hand-drawn or hand-made art rather than digital, vectorized elements. When you enter design competitions, you have to be fine with critiques in any form of art or design, or else, improving your work will be difficult,” said DeFilippis. “It’s big because it is also a great line on my resume. It is hard work creating a good poster, and it shows that you care about improving your design skills and that you are fine with criticism.”

“I believe that within any creative process doubt will inevitably make an appearance, said Roberts. “Being confident in yourself and your process can alleviate a lot of that doubt and help you push forward.  It is usually pretty difficult to grasp in the beginning, but confidence develops with working through failure.”

The UWG art department is versed in teaching and preparing students for life after college. The UWG art program seeks to provide opportunities for intellectual, creative, personal and technical development. With hard work, dedication, and confidence in themselves and their work, without a doubt, Roberts and Defilippis both look forward to both having successful art careers.

“I feel like I can make a happy and good living for myself in design now,” said Defilippis. “I didn’t even know what graphic design was about four years ago and now I’m winning awards.”

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