Laney Corey: Designing the Future

Naya Johnson, Editor of Campus Life

The work of Horizon Honors’ senior, Laney Corey, has always been a fan favorite at the school’s art and guitar showcase, and with her recent billboard deal, she seems to be at the top of her game. In this exclusive interview, however, Corey has claimed that her early days of designing were not as smooth and spectacular as they are now. Through a gradual process of effort and exploring interests, Corey developed her own style that students and staff alike have come to adore.

The Horizon Sun: In what grade did you start taking Graphic Design, and what caused you to make this choice?

Laney Corey, senior: I took it in eighth grade, and it was the first year that Britt taught it. She was part of the reason I stuck with it, actually. She introduced me to it, and I thought it was amazing because I was able to express my aesthetic through it. I originally took it because I needed an elective and I had no idea what the class was about, so I took it blindly, but it turned out to be really cool. I guess it was a good, bad decision.

HS: When you first started, what parts of Graphic Design were overwhelming to you? Did it come to you naturally?

LC: Switching between programs was rough, but as I got more into Graphic Design, I also loved and hated the process of developing my own aesthetic. It didn’t come naturally to me, but I do have a creative eye, which really helped. The programs made it difficult, because in Graphic, that’s a big step, and something I definitely had to work for.

HS: What did your first designs look like in comparison to your current ones?

LC: My first ones were all over the place because I didn’t know what I liked yet and I was just trying to get the projects finished. Now, I already have something in mind to work towards. Design is more free and open now and I don’t have to follow a rubric.

HS: How much work/time/effort did you have to spend on average to complete a design? How much time do you spend now?

LC: At the beginning, it would take a week to do a design, but I didn’t put as much thought and effort into it as I should have. Now, I take about the same amount of time, but a majority of the time I spend involves planning.

HS: What are your favorite aspects of design? Do your current designs reflect those interests?

LC:  My favorite things to make are polydesigns, which involve geometric patterns, and I feel like it’s an aesthetic I’ve developed over time. I wasn’t always into shapes.

HS: How do you plan to utilize your graphic design skills in the future?

LC: I want to be a city planner, so having some background in design in beneficial. Layout is everywhere and it’s great to have the prior knowledge and experience.

HS: How has Graphic Design impacted your view of the more visual things in the world? Is it easier to find beauty in the world around you?

LC: I definitely appreciate graphic designers more because you can’t throw things together and expect it to work. Everyone has their own tastes, and professional designers have to understand a variety of tastes. I also appreciate work, beauty, and fonts especially, more. It’s also caused me to pay more attention to detail and notice the little things in life.

HS: How did you get your billboard deal, and what was it like designing for an actual company?

LC: I posted some of my designs on this website called Behance, and my dad’s partner was looking for a designer. He checked out my stuff without knowing it was me. I showed up at the interview, and we were both so shocked. Then he hired me. Designing for others is different than what I was used to, because in class, I was designing for myself.  With the deal, if my boss didn’t like something, I had to change it. That’s fair, because he’s paying for it, but I still miss having a voice in my own work.

HS: What advice can you offer to aspiring designers?

LC: I think the most important thing is to know the programs like the back of your hand. Every tool is beneficial; you just don’t know it yet. If you want to get hired and design professionally, publish your designs in an online portfolio.

HS: What does Graphic Design mean to you personally?

LC: I think I’m an artistic person, but I can’t do anything by hand, so when I found Graphic, it was an “aha” moment; I can “art” digitally! I was more successful because of this. I learned to appreciate art because I didn’t really notice all the time and detail of it until I had to design things myself.

HS: Anything else you’d like to add?

LC: I want to make a shout out to Britt. Without her, I would never have found Graphic Design, and it’s something that I’m super passionate about today. Without her guidance, friendship, and knowledge, I don’t think I would’ve discovered my creative side, and I can’t imagine my life without it.

As seen in the interview, a major portion of Corey’s life revolves around her experiences in Graphic Design to-date. If she had never stumbled upon the extraordinary and beautiful outlet of Graphic Design, Corey might not have reached her full artistic potential.