Meet Graham Erwin, One Outstanding Illustration Senior

May 2nd, 2011 by Amanda Fondriest
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Senior Graham Erwin was named the 2011 Oustanding Senior for the Illustration department.

At the end of the academic year, a graduating senior from each major is named the Outstanding Senior for that department. But sometimes, it’s hard to pick just one—as is the case in  Illustration. Today in part one of our 10-part series, we interviewed Senior Graham Erwin (CCAD 2011), who was named co-Outstanding Senior for the Illustration department along with classmate Phong Nguyen.

Q.) What has been your proudest achievement while at CCAD?
A.) Just a couple of weeks ago I received an email from French Paper Company asking me if I would like to have my screen print featured on their site. Having my work featured among many of my screen printing heroes was a huge honor, and one of the first signs that I have a chance making money off of my personal work. (Check it out here.)

Q.) What’s your ultimate dream job?
A.) Ideally, I want to be my own boss. I want people to respect me for my personal work and give me the benefit of the doubt that I’m going to create something awesome on my own. I found that while freelancing there will always be someone that thinks they know more about your profession than you do, even if they never spent a day in art school. I’m in the process of turning selling screen prints from a hobby into a solid part-time job, hopefully it will be full-time in the near future!

Q.) Why is it important to give back to CCAD?
A.)  I’m not a big fan of using people. I think every good relationship is mutual. Although there are ups and downs with any college experience, I am so grateful that I was lucky enough to go to college, and I owe it to CCAD to give something back.

Q.) What about CCAD will you miss the most?
A.) The forced creativity. The most valuable skill CCAD has given me is the ability to force myself to make something when I don’t want to. There were so many times when I was in the middle of a project and was just tortured by how much I hated what I was making. If I didn’t have that deadline, I would have just given up. It’s funny looking back now because those projects have always ended up being my best.

Q.) What word or phrase sums up the feeling of graduation?

Like his work? Buy a poster online through Graham’s Etsy shop. And to learn more about Graham—and to follow his success—subscribe to his blog.

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3 Responses to “Meet Graham Erwin, One Outstanding Illustration Senior”

  1. Joe Wagner says:

    Wow. Such incredible, fun work. Love the colors.

  2. Graham was a pleasure to have in class- a well deserved honor!

  3. walter king says:

    Graham is one of the most creative and industrious students I ever had. He took every assignment seriously, always came up with something that answered the problem in his own unique way and always had a positive attitude…sometimes more positive than mine. His in not a lucky career but one he has earned as a creative. Go Graham!