June Student Spotlight: Jill Bragdon

Jill Bragdon

Name: Amanda Jill Bragdon
School: Texas A&M University
Year: Class of 2011

What made you want to study design?
That is a good question, and I’m going to be honest… I kind of just fell into design. I started doing photo journalism in high school as a freshman. By junior year, I was photo editor, then yearbook editor my senior year. I had never done any sort of ‘design’ until then really. That year I made a 288 page yearbook and haven’t turned back since. Now, I couldn’t image doing anything else but design.

When you aren’t at school, what are you doing?
When am I not at school? Only kidding, school takes up a huge chunk of my time (though it should, that’s why I’m here, right?). When I have the occasional free time, I love to read. I read all sort of books; classics, those “girly books”… you know the kind, and of course, design books. I could almost start my own library. I also love to be crafty. For me, design and craftiess go hand-in-hand. I do everything from refurbish old desks, sew pillows, and even the occasional mod-podge creation. When I’m not designing, schooling, photographing, reading, or aiga-ing… I’m sleeping.
How long have you been an AIGA Houston member & what do you get out of being an AIGA member?
I joined AIGA my sophomore year at A&M… So I’ve been a member for 3 years now! Pretty much the only reason I joined was for the AIGA 365 book… ok, ok, that’s a lie. Being an AIGA member has quite a few benefits, yes, including the sweet 365 book, but also the lecture series, networking, and overall experience of joining a student organization that not only enhances your time in college, but your career. I’m all about that multi-tasking!
What the best part about being president of the A&M student group?
Being the president of the A&M student group has been one of the most rewarding challenges of my career thus far. I love it. It was also something I just fell into. I not only had the honor of being the president for the ’09-’10 school year, but I also get to take that experience, learn from it, and do it again this year. I am beyond excited to rise to the occasion. Something unique about our AIGA group is that we don’t really have a “design” program here at A&M. AIGA helps extend the options of design related knowledge in our small department. All I can say is this next school year better bring it!
What is one of the greatest moments with your group?
That’s a tough question. There were a lot of great moments for us this past year. One of the most exciting was traveling to ATX to watch the screening of American Artifact and meeting Jay Ryan. Several people in my group had been swooning over Jay Ryan and we actually got to meet him. It was a pretty amazing experience, not only for me, but for my group as well. I just really enjoy seeing someone get excited about design. Knowing that my organization had a tiny part in inspiring someone to design or be a better designer gives me chills. That’s what it’s all about — spreading my passion to other people.
Who are your design heroes or what designers are you following right now?
I am a Massimo Vignelli fan most definitely. After watching Helvetica for the first time I couldn’t help but study up on this fella. He couldn’t have said it better, “The life of a designer is a life of fight: fight against the ugliness.” I also am really into Angela Kohler right now. She did the amazing stop-motion Amazon Kindle commercials. Plus, photography is something that will always hold a special place in my heart! Another amazing designer is Mikey Burton. Holy Cow; I can’t get enough of him. I could go on and on, but I will spare you all.
What inspired your Flux09 entry?
Well, when I came on board as president one of the first things I wanted to do was establish our self as a brand. An officer of mine and I sat down one day and just brainstormed how exactly we wanted ourselves to be known. One thing that kept coming up was the fact that we are pretty different than most design groups… and let’s be honest… College Station isn’t really booming with awesome design/designers. We made an identity that could be changed as needed, but still recognizable as our brand. We think it works well!
What would be your dream job or accomplishment if you could do or be anything?
That is another good question, and I honestly don’t know the answer just yet. I think I would love to work in a small studio atmosphere. But then again, I don’t really know until I get out there and try. I’ve always said my dream job would be to work at Starbucks doing design for them. They always have the best marketing/print pieces. Plus, I’m a pretty big coffee drinker. In other words, I’ll let you know when I figure that out!
Where can we find you?
Here is the site. theamandajill.com
Gchat is where it’s at! amandajill11@gmail.com
I’m all over the twitter scene, follow me! It’ll be worth it! twitter.com/theamandajill
Of course I’m on facebook, who isn’t now-a-days? facebook.com/amandajillbragdon

By John Luu
Published June 30, 2010
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