Cookies, Design, & Aha Moments in Cincinnati & Beyond

An Interview with Kristin Lasita,

Gaslight’s Newest Branding Star

You’re a native of Cincinnati, what’s it like to grow up, go to college and start work here?

I grew up traveling around the country. By the end of high school I was ready to get out, if not the state then at least the city. On a whim I applied to DAAP at UC. I had always liked art in high school and getting to come up with creative solutions to problems. My original plan was to major in international communication so I’d get to travel. When I did get my acceptance to DAAP, it was hard to turn it down. I had a couple friends going to DAAP as well, so it seemed perfect.

Long story short, I decided to take the chance at design school and I’m so glad I did. I was able to live all across the country, buy pretty paper and not books, and stay up all night trying to make everything just right. By traveling away from Cincinnati, it made me appreciate it more. Sure it’s not San Fran, but it has it’s own charm. I even had someone tell me they had heard Cincinnati was cool, when I told someone my hometown. Who would have thought that?

Staying in town was really a financial situation: I have some loans and parents who are kind enough to let me live at home. Cheap cost of living is a huge plus, but so is the city itself. I was thinking, if Cincinnati has changed so much in 5 years, I don’t want to miss what they can do in the next 5. I even thought I might be a part of influence of change, so I’ll have to get back to you on that success.

As a recent DAAP graduate, how do you feel about your decision to go to Art School versus just starting work?

For me, college wasn’t a choice, it was expected. Nowadays, it almost feels like you have to have a college degree to get a job.

Although I’m glad that I went to school for design, I can see where it isn’t necessary. There are plenty of talented and passionate people out there who have the drive to succeed. I just never had this until I really got started in school.

The first three years of school were a kick in the butt. I did a series of seemingly, to me, meaningless exercises: painting a grey scale, one drop of black paint at a time, drawing keys, and putting together boxes. Looking back, I had many Aha moments that really drove home that actually getting something for the thousands I paid. I didn’t just learn how to properly set a magazine page, I learned how design surrounds us. I can see the concepts in well designed clothes to motorcycles.

So is college right? For some people, like me, yes. For passionate people that know what they love off the bat? Not necessary.

What is one of your favorite DAAP experiences?

If you haven’t gathered yet, I love to travel. With a mom working at Delta, I was able to fly for free all through school. With all my friends around the country, it was the perfect opportunity opportunity to see some cities I had never been to. LA, San Fran, New York, Pittsburgh, and Chicago were some cities I visited, while living in Boston and Salt Lake City.

So yeah…that wasn’t technically in DAAP.

What’s your first full week at Gaslight been like?

One word: different.

In the past, I’ve worked for design firms, doing anything from the field wall for the Orange Bowl, to company holiday cards. This is a whole new ballgame.

But in general, it seems like I’ll be learning a lot, but also helping to make things a little prettier. Everyone has been very, very nice and I’ve had some very,very not nice workplace experiences. It’s interesting actually seeing how websites work, rather than just designing after the fact. The back-end is just as creative as front-end.

Also the atmosphere is very different, but nice. “What are my hours?” “Well, about nine to five, but if something happens let us know”. It’s nice to not have some faceless boss, who doesn’t know your name.

Overall: been good and we’ll see where the future weeks take us.

Outside of Design and Art, what else do you like doing?

I’m pretty laid back. My favorite past-time is reading a book in the sun. For rainy days, I’m excellent on Mario Kart for the N64. I like to cook visually balanced dishes and drink delicious margaritas.

I’m also really good at eating cookies.

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