Pam Convery- Hamilton

Name:  Pam Hamilton
Major/minor: Graphic Design/illustration
Year: sophmore

Tell us a little about yourself. Where did you go to school before Moore? What other degrees do you have? What is it like being a non-Traditional student?
I graduated in 1982 from bucks county community college with a associates in fine arts. After that I went to Tyler for a bit, but left to raise a family. I have 4 kids from 16 to 23. I kept up with my art though. Working for as an art director for a print house, learning everything from design to finish. Even taking classes to learn to run the presses. I also worked in a small sign shop design and making signs. But most of the last 2o years has been spent working in real estate, of course loving the marketing and materials design aspect of it. I opened a real estate office for a company in 2009, but with the economy the way it was found myself unemployeed. I decided to reinvent myself and be what I wanted to be when I gre up, an artist. I had continued to go back to school on and off, brushing up on my skills. SO in the fall of 2010 I went back to Bucks to learn photoshop and illustrator, then in the spring took an illustration class. I realized how happy I was and saw some success, so I decided to finally finish up my BFA and applied to Moore. Funny thing was I recieved a phone call while away at my oldest sons graduation from florida state university last spring. So he was completing and moving on and I was continuing my journey. Being a non-traditional student has it's challenges. I manage my school schedule so that I can complete 2 days at fulltime. Leaving my house at 6am and returning after 11pm. That leaves me time to work on the other days. With school, work, family and volunteering it leads to a tight schedule. So time management is crucial. I ate my lunch at the computer, do homework on the train and try to squeeze every minute out of the day. The other thing that has been a challenge is the financial end. Having been unemployed for awhile, loans are out of the question, so I have work on every scholarship and grant I can find. SO looking back on when I first attended college, I wish someone would have told me that you have all the time and money necessary to get the job done. My theory now is where there's a will there's away, and I'll get it done.

Were you always interested in art or is it something that you realized after your other degrees?
Most definitely I have always loved art, from a small child I was drawing and making things. A trip to an art store or even a hardware store was a treat for me.

Why did you pick graphic design as your major? and what is your favorite part of graphic design?
I love design and illustration, but honestly I picked the graphic design because at my age I figured time was of the essence to get a career running and earning money. SO I thought GD was the fastest route to that. Although I illustrate all the time. Even writing and illustrating children's ebooks for utales.com.

What and where is your current job? What type of things do you do?
Besides the real estate, I've work with a high end sign company since last fal. It's been fun to use my new found computer and design skills there. Lately I've been doing alot of work for the Philadelphia Phillies. In my spare time I illustrate my books for Utales and freelance what I can.

What is it like working in the design field and going to school for graphic design?
To me it's heaven. I'm finally doing what I love. I've always told my children to follow their passions and if you do what you love you'll never work a day in your life. I'm finally listening to my own words. My two long days at Moore are my favorite days of the week. All you girls inspire me daily.

You are always talking about your design jobs or new opportunities. How do you come across them?
I read alot, research and am always keeping my eyes open. The Utales stuff came from a portfolio I posted on the graphic design guild. I network anywhere where I can. Opportunities are everywhere, you just have to be open to them. You know what they say is that LUCK is laboring under correct knowledge. Use the skills you're developing at more and the awesome connections they have. It's a great community to be part of. I also try and turn class projects into worthy projects, for instatnce for my illustration class last spring we had to design a poster for a festival. So instead of something ficticious I researched and found the a contest for the santa paula citrus festival in california. One on the country's largest citrus festivals. It let me create something that I felt was worthwhile. To my surprise after the semester I received notice that it was chosen as the winner. So now I have a nice piece for my portfolio and some street cred to go with it.

What would be your advice for young students about school and job finding?
Realize that the world is at your feet, really what you think is hard now is probably the easest and best time of your life. Relax and enjoy it, but take it seriously. You have an awesome opportunity at your feet. Approach what you love with passion. Network, network, network. Take advantage of the web, create a website, post your best work. Write a blog it's easy marketing. My website and blog aren't the best out there, but they get me out there and the're always a work in progress.