Designer Interview: Pamela Dufek

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Design by Pamela Dufek
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Design by Pamela Dufek
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Book design by Pamela Dufek

This is the fourth post in our October series of interviews with the six designers featured in the exhibition By Design, in the Baer Gallery of the Bush Art Center through October 30.

Would you describe a typical workday?  

The majority of my day is spent at my desk working on projects. Depending on the day, there is also a mixture of meeting with other team members, checking on projects that are being built in the workshop and discussing what I’m working on with the other designers. We always try to check in with each other and it keeps us all moving down a good path. Every now and then there are photoshoots and offsite meetings that break up the routine.

What were your “next steps” after graduating from SNC?

During my last semester at SNC I got hired as an intern at The Karma Group, a design firm in Green Bay, as a result of attending a portfolio review during winter break of my senior year. When I graduated from college they offered me a full-time position.

Would you describe the journey to the work you currently do?  How has your design work evolved over the course of your career?  

At my first job the projects I designed were a little more traditional…logos, brochures, posters, web design, ad campaigns, etc. After working at the Karma Group for 6 years, I took a job at Wild Blue in De Pere, and the projects changed, which in turn helped me discover new aspects of design that I didn’t know I enjoyed. My projects started to focus more on interior design and meeting themes that spun off into set or room designs. With the way Wild Blue is set up I was able to see these projects through to the finish, right in the same building I was designing in. That really helped me think about the process of creation in a different way. I’ve discovered that my favorite things, at least currently, are interior design and typesetting.

What advice do you have for current SNC Art students?  What opportunities should they take advantage of at SNC?  What should they best do to prepare for life after college?

Having your portfolio ready to go is one of the most important things you can do before you graduate. Getting an internship is often the best way to get your foot in the door and there are a lot of students applying for those so put a lot of time into making sure your portfolio is professional, cleanly laid out, and developed enough to paint an accurate picture of the designer that you are. I co-lead the internship program at Wild Blue and we’ve ended up hiring quite a few of our interns. It’s a great way to get noticed and start making connections.

Who and what are you artistic inspirations?  

It’s hard to narrow it down, but right now I’m a big fan of Aaron Draplin, Jessica Hische, and Tad Carpenter.  I really feel like inspiration is mostly found in the world around me on a day-to-day basis.  I always try to keep my eyes open for inspiration.

Pamela Dufek graduated from St. Norbert College in 2005. Pamela launched her career at The Karma Group, a design firm in Green Bay; she began as an intern and by the end of her 6-year stay there had been promoted to Art Director. In 2011 Pamela decided to shift her focus and took a new position as a designer at Wild Blue, a design agency in De Pere, WI. Pamela has just completed her 4th year at Wild Blue and now serves as a Senior Designer, as well as co-lead for the Wild Blue Internship program.

Pamela also enjoys playing piano, cooking, drawing, oil painting, and experimenting with design projects to decorate her home. Pamela and her husband, Matthew, reside in De Pere, WI.  See more of her work at https://www.behance.net/pameladufek

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