Charlotte paints career path through Graphic Design
Charlotte didn't even know what a graphic designer was when she was first told about it. Now she's in a successful career and still gets to enjoy her first passion: art.
"My favorite part is seeing the finished product. Getting a customer who knows what they want, getting them what they want, getting that finished product and then going out to see it."
As a high school junior, all Charlotte Mathison knew was how much she loved to paint.
She wasn’t sure what she wanted to do once she had graduated. She was one of nine children in her family and didn’t think she could realistically go to college. It was her art teacher who sparked her curiosity.
“So I said I want to be a painter, and my art teacher said, ‘No, you need to get into graphic communications because that’s where the money is,’” Charlotte said. “I had no idea what she was talking about. I had never even heard of graphic design.”
Over the course of about six years, Charlotte entered a growing but competitive graphic communications industry right in Oklahoma City and landed a job with Green Rhino Graphix. She creates items as small as business cards to as large as storefront window cover promotions, and she gets to see her work come to life.
“My favorite part is seeing the finished product,” she said. “Getting a customer who knows what they want, getting them what they want, getting that finished product and then going out to see it.”
To get there, Charlotte entered Liz Dinkins’ graphic communications program at Francis Tuttle as a high school junior at Edmond Memorial. Many of the classroom materials were brand new for her.
“I didn’t even know how to turn on a Mac,” she said. “I had never heard of Adobe; I had no idea what I was doing.”
But with time and patient studying, Charlotte developed the skills she needs to work in a competitive field. She encourages future graphic communication students to follow the steps and focus on the book work, too.
“Liz is an amazing teacher. She said this is what you need to get you where you want to be,” Charlotte said. “And in the end, it does. Her program works and you will get a job. I went from knowing nothing to having a career in this field that I knew nothing about six years ago. I loved it. When I first started, I thought I could see myself doing this for a living.”
Now, when friends and family drive by Boulevard Wine & Spirits in her hometown of Edmond, Charlotte tells them to look at her work in the windows.
“Every time we pass it, I say ‘Guys, we’re going to drive by my work.’ And I love it. I love going out there. I texted my family the day it went up and said go look at my stuff. I love seeing it done and in place.”