Design work sparks interest in college

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I find myself walking through a typical American mall, waltzing straight in and out. Unless my mother is with me. Then it takes a couple of hours.

At times, my mind is piqued: a store display, a sign advertising the newest product or a table set up near the store’s door, Yet a landslide of disappointments meets my critical eye. I find nothing interesting visually after 10 seconds and my curiosity quickly dissolves.

I walk into a clothing store to fulfill my search for finding the perfect dress, yet I am disappointed in every way. The store’s layout is dull, predictable, and I feel as if a vortex of chaos and dullness has sucked away my mind.

I would feel better if the store installed a slide, or trees that have the clothes hanging from the branches, or even have local artists dress the walls with their creative love. Unfortunately, stores come standardized with a blueprint so every store is the same.

The signs around the store are not any better. They come at you like blackbirds flocking to peck your eyes out with deals as you make your escape.

All of these designs, from the entrance to the tiny bathroom in the back, are made to catch your eye quickly yet they lack inspiration.

I remember sitting on a bench and realizing I did not have to let this happen. Everyone in this day and age has been told we are entitled to do anything, that we are capable of anything and everything. I decided to test that.

I’ve always silently renovated object in my mind: tables, stores, clothes, jewelry, pretty much everything. I want to be part of that world where one makes everyday objects that become part of someone’s life. That is my passion: to learn, find, design and create.

I believe Western Washington University could give me the chance to carry out this passion and reach my full potential as a designer.

Stick me in a good store or leave me in front of a computer and give me the quest of “Find me a really cool doormat for tonight’s party,” and I will charge forth with the diligence of a cat vying to get in the house on a cold rainy day.

I love finding things for people to buy or even better yet, designing something for someone. I have this amazing feeling of complete joy as I wander the store or speed through the Internet pages looking for a certain color or pattern.

When I am designing that doormat, it will be pulled from the dimensions of my mind and will pour itself onto my designing medium. I feel giddy breathing life into this hypothetical doormat, and I cannot get enough of the giddiness that continues to fuel my love for design and styling.

My most recent works can be seen in last year’s and this year’s Walla Walla High School yearbook. Last year, I was entrusted with the cross country, fashion, fall play, and prom pages. My favorite was the fashion page.

I had a photographer come with me to different parts of town to take pictures of the students we chose to feature. I really liked the final design of the page, which I credit to inspiration from Nylon magazine.

I have also done posters for the yearbook advertisement. I used fun, eye-catching designs in hopes of holding someone’s attention, resulting in more sales.

I am currently working on a certificate for a winter dance.

I am also working on the divider pages in the yearbook that separate sections of the student body pictures.

As much as I have to offer, one can look at my transcript and wince. I struggled a lot last year and last quarter.

I hated school. I felt restless sitting in a chair while the instructor spoke, my pencil aimlessly drawing what leaked out of my head. Homework piled up in my bag with an aura of loneliness.

I would read the textbooks because I loved knowledge, yet I would be absent from class, my mind far away.

Finding a reason to go to or even stay in school became harder and harder.

One day while I was in yearbook I was given the fashion page as an assignment.

I began to work with vigor, making concepts, trying different colors and pulling up favorite brushes in Photoshop.

At one point I was frustrated; nothing I did felt right. It needed something to make it look more put together.

I looked at magazines, and I stumbled upon Nylon. I credit Nylon’s simplistic design, bright colors and bold font for getting into design.

I suddenly had something that made me want to go to school and learn. I no longer had to struggle like I did to figure out what I wanted to do. Now that I have a goal I am making more of an effort in class.

I have no doubt I would enjoy the classes at Western. Western has much to offer me as much as I have to offer it.

I bring my diligence, learning aptitude and passion. Western gives me a department with up-to-date programs, computer access, printers of all kinds, a library full of knowledge, great professors and, I hope, big comfy lounge chairs.

Not only does it offer me this but a beautiful campus and a backyard containing the great outdoors, which I cannot wait to enjoy and get inspired from.

Perla Villegas is a member of the Walla Walla School Latino Club. She is currently attending Walla Walla Community College as part of the Running Start program. She is a member of the Walla Walla High School Yearbook staff and participates in cross country and Future Business Leaders of America. She plans to attend Western Washington University to major in design this fall.

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