She's an Award-Winning Digital Designer: Meet Rachel Corres

Rachel Corres recently won the School of Art + Design Medal.

Rachel Corres recently won the School of Art + Design Medal.  Each year, the School gives the medal to a graduating senior who combines academic achievement with design excellence.

Rachel, who graduated in May with a degree in Digital Design, had many accomplishments at NJIT that lead up to her winning the above medal.. For two years in a row, she won the Design Award for her major. She won first place in a student design competition sponsored by the Virtual Academic Library Environment and was awarded the 2012 Art + Design Director's Scholarship.

She was the founding president of SIGGRAPH H (Special Interest Group on Graphics and Interactive Techniques), a campus group that informs students about the computer graphics industry. She also worked a summer internship at Novartis. Rachel’s, whose outstanding animations and still imagery can be found at www.rachelcorres.com, talks below about digital design in the below interview. 


Talk about starting the SIGGRAPH chapter at NJIT.

A year ago, my fellow digital designer, Danielle Esmaya, and I founded NJIT  SIGGRAPH. Both Danielle and I believe that SIGGRAPH offers great opportunity to students in our field, so we created the chapter so that other students can learn and take advantage of SIGGRAPH. Our chapter has also worked hard to hold computer graphics software tutorials, organize workshops, and events where DDs can network and get to know each other outside their years.

Can you talk about your internship at Novartis?

Last summer, I did a summer internship with Novartis’ graphic design house, Creative Media and Print. The department is responsible for most if not all of the visual media and branding throughout the company.  I learned a lot about working in a professional environment and collaborated personally with clients on various projects as the main graphic designer.

How does Digital Design differ from graphic arts?

Digital Design is a broad spectrum of topics and skills, graphic design being only one aspect of it.  Digital Design includes graphic design, motion graphics, video and animation, aspects of game design, introduction to set design and motion pictures and physical computing. It’s a rich and broad curriculum and these past four years have given me a chance to explore the areas I want to pursue.  I am the type of person who likes to do everything, so I would like to do graphic design, but I also want to pursue motion design and 3D modeling, texturing, and lighting.

Would you recommend the Digital Design Program to a high school student?

This definitely is a major that will challenge a student to grow in creativity and discipline. I would recommend digital design to a student who has a passion for the computer graphics industry and the willingness to work hard for it. If you love what you do, you won’t mind the hard work and the bumps that come along the way in your academic career.

You have participated in three Global Game Jam at NJIT.  Are you an avid gamer?

I've had the opportunity to participate in Global Game Jam for the past three years. Although I do not particularly love video games, I do appreciate the conceptual and 3D art behind them. I wouldn’t mind working for a game company, but film/TV/advertising companies are what I’m most interested in.

Where did you grow up?

I was born in Saudi Arabia, moved to Australia, then to California, before settling here in New Jersey; the majority of my childhood was spent between Australia and New Jersey. I went to Union County College for a Graphic Design/Fine Arts associate’s degree before coming to NJIT to take Digital Design.

What are your plans for summer and afterwards?

This summer I plan to get a job in either in Graphic Design, Motion Design, or Film/TV/Advertising at a studio preferably in New York City. At the same time, I plan to improve and perhaps expand on past studio and school projects to better my portfolio. I also look forward to having more time for friends and family.

(By Robert Florida)