Student Spotlight: Josie Krentz
Like many college freshmen, Josie Krentz was intent on joining as many clubs and organizations as she could. However, only one really stuck for her—Auburn AIGA, the student chapter for the American Institute of Graphic Arts. “AIGA allowed me to connect with other graphic design students and be heavily involved with Auburn’s graphic design program. I’ve loved having the opportunity to improve students’ experiences here and create exciting events for them to attend,” said Krentz, who serves as AIGA president.
In May, Krentz will graduate from Auburn University’s College of Architecture, Design and Construction with her bachelor’s degree in graphic design. A job in New York City is the ultimate goal for the Long Valley, New Jersey, native. “I would love to work at either an advertising or branding design agency there. There is so much creative energy in the air, I can’t imagine anywhere better for a graphic designer,” she said.
She’ll be taking many fond memories of her time at Auburn with her. “While I’ve loved my last few years of college, I don’t think anything will ever compare to the rush of freedom and independence I felt as an incoming freshman,” she said. “That year everything seemed so new and exciting; it was like every experience we had was more exciting than the last. My roommate, who quickly turned into my best friend, and I spent most of our weekends adventuring as much as we could. I will always appreciate the fun I had freshman year, and surprisingly enough, the tiring late nights at the studio as well.”
Krentz says she’s learned so much about herself and her creative process through her graphic design courses, specifically learning to trust her abilities as a designer. Not taking every critique to heart is key, Krentz says, which is the advice she would pass on to freshmen just beginning the graphic design program. “I spent a lot of time and energy beating myself up when I felt I wasn’t good enough, and I wish I had allowed myself to make mistakes. When you let yourself fail sometimes it might lead to some really fascinating designs. Don’t stop yourself from doing that just because you want to be perfect (something I still struggle with today!).”
Courtney Windham, an associate professor of graphic design, taught Krentz in her Design II course (a senior level course) as well as her Internship Practicum (preparing portfolio for internships course) last semester. “Josie brings a dynamic energy and sharp intellect to every class. Her creativity and vibrant nature is reflected in her active participation in classroom discussions and her willingness to engage in group activities,” said Windham. “I believe it is her enthusiasm that is contagious and motivates her friends and fellow classmates to strive for excellence.”
Krentz said she is grateful for her professors who nurtured her creativity and taught her to fully be able to express her creative self, something that began to emerge during her sophomore year. “My Introduction to Graphic Design class was led by an awesome professor, Lee Clark,” she said. “He encouraged us to do whatever we wanted, and, as an extremely outgoing and energetic person, this was incredible to me. I did a packaging project called JOOS and it incorporated over a hundred ‘doodles’ that I created by hand. It stuck out to me because I was so enthralled and inspired by it, especially because Lee was so happy to see us being ourselves. It reminded me of why I loved graphic design in the first place.”