Design-minded: Jessica Lyon
By Eric A. Howald for Chemeketa Voices (Original article)
Chemeketa Community College student Jessica Lyon used to have trouble locating her black Corolla in the parking lot. Fortunately, her new wheels are easier to spot. “Hard to miss” might be a more apt description, though.
The Scion she drives now is decked out in artwork she created for a soon-to-be-released Snow Patrol single.
“One of the Portland radio stations sponsored a contest to come up with cover artwork, so I entered,” said Lyon, a visual communications student.
The artwork by 20 finalists in the competition was unveiled in January. The winner was announced by pulling a black sheet off the Scion to reveal the winner’s artwork. Lyon was shocked to discover it was hers.
“It was awesome. I’d reached the point where I knew I wasn’t going to win, that made it all the more surprising,” said Lyon, a second-term student in the visual communications program at Chemeketa.
Lyon was bit hard by the graphic design bug. Amongst her friends, she was always known as “the artist,” but she recently took a turn for the worse. Typography has invaded her dreams.
“The other night I was dreaming the typeface Bodoni with hairline serifs and wide strokes. It was really weird,” she said. “It’s turned me into a type geek. Now I have to identify every type I see and tell my family and friends what it is.”
After struggling in a mainstream high school, Lyon enrolled at Chemeketa’s Winema High School, an alternative high school program for students. After graduating she took some time off, but recently started back as a full-time college student.
Her success in the album design contest got her noticed around campus (and on side streets and the highway and parking decks). She was tapped to participate in an art project for the Salem’s Vision 2020 group. Vision 2020 volunteers are collecting input from throughout the area to help shape the future of the city. Lyon and other artists at Chemeketa were asked to come up with artistic renderings of their visions.
Lyon created a digital image of her vision for the city layered over an interpretation of how it exists now.
She’s still deciding how she will use her degree once it’s complete. For the moment, she’s seeing where each new project can take her.
“I have big ideas. I want to be in graphic design, but it’s a huge field,” she said. “That’s one of the great things about Chemeketa, I’ve been able to try all these different things and I’ve had all these opportunities. I can’t imagine having gone anywhere else.”