Hello! My name is Zaria Richardson. I am an art major specializing in graphic design and a creative writing minor. I may be a quiet, introverted individual, but I am not boring. My mind is an extraordinary world that runs on storytelling. I tell these stories and share how I see the world through my writing and my art, whether it be graphic design or drawing. The stories I create can live as engaging copy within the design and in the presentation of the work itself.
My designs often have a playful element or feel because I am deeply influenced by all things colorful, entertaining, and intriguing. This comes from my lifelong absorption of animation, science fiction books, and picture books such as I Spy and astronomy books. In my later years, I also grew enamored of the Technicolor films of the 1930s to 1960s and the colorful television shows of the 1960s. I even gained a love of the look of the Art Deco art style and its use of bold color and well-defined shapes. All these influence my art style and help me produce colorful, playful art with organic curves and solid colors. One can easily see this look in the acorns and logotype in my beer label designs, the art style of the beer advertisement with the squirrel, the paintbrush-like strokes of my personal logo, and the presentation of my work on this web page. Despite the playful look, I still keep both the client’s and target audience’s desires in mind and make sure that my designs match the proposed subject matter for the work.
I try to use intriguing facts about the subject matter to influence my designs. The stories behind the making of things have always interested me. For this reason, I enjoy embedding nods to the subject matter’s special facts in my work. For example, I based the name and design for my beer label on squirrels’ behavior of burying acorns and other nuts. This knowledge also influenced my decision to spread acorns under the solid dark brown area on the can as if they were buried underground. I reference the behavior again in the billboard with the tree. Although the specific behavior of burying nuts is not seen in this design, the idea of hoarding is still here in the form of cans having been stashed in the tree. I further reference the behavior in the taglines of the billboards: the taglines encourage the viewer to get as many cans of the beer as possible, like a squirrel hoarding food for the winter.
I think that graphic design is a great way for me to communicate with others. To me, a design is a story within itself, a narrative based on the placement of elements within it. Like in writing, a design is meant to persuade people in some way and to get them to think. I believe that my work does this as well. Viewers are encouraged to examine my designs so that they can experience the full story hidden within them.