Friday, August 23, 2013
My name is Natalie Fitzgerald and I’m a senior Graphic Design major with a concentration in Book Arts. I spent the summer of 2012 as a graphic design intern for Cartoon Network in Atlanta, GA. Cartoon Network is a cable television channel that focuses on animated programming for children and young adults. I found the position by searching for places I thought I would enjoy working and seeing if they had internship programs, which many did, and applying according to their protocol. I was especially interested in Cartoon Network because I hope to make a career of designing for children, and because I consider myself an illustrator as well as a designer. Cartoon Network seemed like the perfect chance to do work that would marry the two.
My direct supervisor was senior graphic designer Petrika Janssen, but I recieved assignments, feedback, and advice from all six members of the print design and on-air/motion graphics team. I even had many opportunities to talk and work one-on-one with the creative director of Cartoon Network and its sister channel Adult Swim, Jacob Escobedo. During the course of the internship, I worked on many projects to promote the channel and its shows including three illustrated posters, a billboard, several instances of custom lettering, concepts for a press kit and music video that are both being produced, and more. I was treated as a true member of the team and was regularly trusted as sole designer on my projects. I am extremely proud of everything I was able to work on this summer, but the thing that stands out most is having the very first project I worked on, an illustrated map that was part of an interactive game at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, become a sought-after item that was written about on numerous blogs and can be found selling as a collectible on eBay.
I loved having the opportunity to become part of a fast-paced design team. Even though there were some tasks I found difficult, it is invaluable to me to know that I was able to not only keep up, but to contribute in a meaningful way. The experience solidified my desires to design for a young demographic and to work in the design department of a large organization where I would work with a set client/brand rather than at a design studio with many. It also piqued an interest in the entertainment industry, which will inform my career choices from here out. I definitely grew as a designer through this experience and will carry the knowledge and confidence I gained as I move forward.