Three Graphic Designer

From Foundations to Freedom

by Eileen Coristine

Carol Adrian-Clark

Graphic design is Carol Adrian-Clark’s profession. That, and her parallel career as a fine artist, were both inspired by the work of her father, watercolourist Bill Adrian.

As a young girl, Adrian-Clark spent many hours at her dad’s Grande Prairie sign shop, Signs Studio, learning what makes good design. “I’m always trying to hone my skills and look at subjects in a different way,” she says.

Following fourteen years of professional drafting she set up her own company, Adrian-Clark Design. The last 12 years in this business have found her very busy with a variety of commercial projects from trade show displays to architectural renderings.

“With decisions about the foundations of a piece, graphic design comes in very strongly,” she says; “but once I’m in front of a canvas, there’s more emotion. I’m in the swing of it and before I know it something new is going on and it’s wonderful.”

Steve Burger

Visual Arts teacher Steve Burger got into graphic design as a result of his work in photography and screen-printing.

Currently a Grande Prairie high school teacher, Burger turns his graphic commissions into jobs for the students. Under his supervision they get experience in design, producing videos and animations and updating the school’s web TV station.

Burger finds a strong link between his photography, screen-printing and his fine art. “With commercial art you are working with a set of requirements, so there is external pressure for the job to turn out a certain way,” he says. “I’m much freer in fine art. I become my own customer.”

A link between art and music is something Burger tries to represent in his fine art. “I’ve been using drawing and mixed-media to represent music in a visual form,” he explains. “I’ll be doing that for the rest of my life.”

Karyl Gilbertson

Dawson Creek’s Karyl Gilbertson decided on a career in graphic design early on in his life. Recognized for his artistic abilities as a child, Karyl often heard people project him into the role of “starving artist”. “I wanted to be a creative artist, but with full-time work,” says Gilbertson.

At work, Karyl Gilbertson does layouts for signs, logo and identity work and printing. Those tasks are mainly about the client’s needs, but, “I have an interest, so I can be stylistic and artistic if there’s room,” he says.

Concept art is Karyl’s main personal interest. He now does oil painting and digital media for fun. His main subjects are fantasy and science fiction, leaning toward developing character and a surrounding environment and story.

Graphic effects definitely influence his fine arts decisions. “Concept art leads you to think about certain aspects of things and how they would look and function,” he explains.


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