Maddie Ponko is definitely one to watch here on campus at SCAD-Savannah. She has traveled, has her foot in the door within her field, and still manages to look effortlessly fashionable. With a style reminiscent of Marc Jacobs 1990 grunge and killer makeup ideas, I got the chance to sit with this campus celebrity and learn a little bit more about her.
Her Campus: Where are you from?
Maddie Rae Ponko: Pittsburgh, PA originally. Rehoboth Beach, Delaware currently.
HC: what year are you?
HC: what is your major and how did you choose it?
Maddie: Fashion Marketing and Management. I originally came to SCAD as a graphic design major, actually. After experiencing some attitudes within the industry and Graphics Department, I chose to leave the major and try something else. I had my own clothing line already, where I had drawn the electronic illustrations for the garments, so I chose FASM because I wanted to learn more about my industry.
HC: what have you been involved with in relation to your major?
Maddie: I have shot with the College of Central Saint Martens and I have been working with numerous brands, makeup artists, designers, and photographers to expand the visual communications with their audiences in their start up phase. My future goal is to freelance in multiple visual communication fields in order to successfully launch new talent that needs a voice.
HC: What is your personal style?
Maddie: My personal style is a mixture of a couple key factors. I have a darker side to my wardrobe, which I think is what connects me to my signature work in urban and street style. It brings in a lot of elements from the grunge scene of the 1990’s mixed with my own vampy style today. Aside from that, I would say my fashion is focused quite a bit on focal pieces. I am the girl who will wear an entire three piece outfit of print, or that jacket that people notice in the window, but are too afraid to wear. My motto with fashion is, “fashion is nothing is odd, nothing outlandish, nothing to be afraid of. If you believe you pull it off, it will be spectacular.” So, every outfit I wear, I wear with confidence. I let the clothes demand the attention they deserve, and that is off of the mannequin.
HC: Where does your inspiration come from?
Maddie: I think my inspiration comes from a number of places. I’m from a beach currently, so I really like to incorporate my beachy, bohemian style into my dark urban style, which is much harder than anyone would believe. Other than that, I’m inspired by a random slew of things; old english poetry and architecture, androgyny, muddled fruit, the roots of trees, psychological thrillers & classic hollywood beauty are the main motifs that continuously inspire me on a daily basis.
HC: How was your experience abroad?
Maddie: My experience abroad was one of the most amazing in my life. The lessons I’ve learned about working as a professional within the industry, especially abroad, have given me and infinite amount of insight. By juggling photo shoots, my makeup degree, and my online schooling at SCAD, I realized that this was the most beneficial thing I could have done during school. It was the best preparation for real life I could have asked for. The primary thing I took away from my experience is that you are the only one to determine your success. Living in fear will get you nowhere.
HC: How do you feel you have evolved since coming to SCAD?
Maddie: I think when I first came to SCAD, I wasn’t as driven. I was very comfortable with what I was learning and didn’t feel challenged. Since then, after spending time away from SCAD and coming back, I have become more passionate about learning and being around people with the same passions. SCAD has allowed me to connect with amazing artists in the workplace and within my schooling and they have expanded my mind and creativity. SCAD has also given me an insane work ethic in comparison to how I feel I would have been had I gone to a different University.
HC: What advice would you give other students in your field of study?
Maddie: My main advice for students in my major, and any major for that matter, is do what you love. It is cliche, and that is because it is so wise. It is not what everyone wants to hear, but I was attending SCAD and miserable at one time. It was because I had lost sight of what I wanted and loved. I was studying because I was told to study. I went through college because I was told that I needed to go for a career, for my parents, & for myself. What studying abroad gave me was a love for what I was doing. Once I had found out what my passion was, I enjoyed school again and loved my major. In short, work hard, stay humble, and fall in love with your future. You will flourish.
HC: And is there anywhere we can view your work or any projects you have been working on?