The Oracle: When did you discover your passion for graphic design?
Shoam Ohana: I was in sixth or seventh grade. I remember looking for a free alternative to Photoshop, and I came across the GNU Image Manipulation Program. I installed it and began experimenting. My first intention was to draw digitally. I then started to familiarize myself with all the different tools. It was very overwhelming at first, but eventually I learned to edit photos and what “contrast,” “color balance” and “gradient” mean. Later on, I started to learn to edit pictures in more sophisticated ways.
TO: Are you currently working on any graphic design projects?
SO: Outside of school, I mostly just like to make graphics for Tumblr. Experimenting with pictures on Photoshop is how I learned graphic design. Making those graphics helps me find new ways to use the program to its full potential, I’ve still got a lot to learn. My dad has given me a few ideas as to how I can profit from my designs, so I have that on my mind right now. And, of course, we’re working on a project in class. We’re making the posters for the next play here at Gunn.
TO: How would you define graphic design?
SO: I always like to say that art is what you make it, and what you make is art. Anything is art, and art can be interpreted in a million different ways. Graphic design is another way to get a point across, to spread a message or to get a reaction, which is the goal in every art form. I would say that graphic design is a form of digital art, but that’s not necessarily true. You don’t need a computer to make a design.
TO: What is your inspiration?
SO: I find that I get inspired once I know what I’m supposed to make. When my teacher introduces our next project, different ideas start popping up in my head. Sometimes it isn’t that easy, sometimes you have to sit down and force yourself to think. I find my best ideas come spontaneously, though. Sometimes you just need to step back and go do something else to clear your head. It gives you something new to think about which eventually leads to inspiration. I day dream a lot, and it leads me to branch out my ideas and world view which later leads to an idea that my art might express.
TO: Do you believe you could go into graphic design in the future?
SO: A career in graphic design was something I was considering for a long time. I want to also study traditional art in college and do that on the side. I want to be able to support myself financially while doing something I love. My parents are suggesting architecture, and I’m considering it as well.
TO: What do you use graphic design to express?
SO: If you know me, you know I’m a very opinionated person. I am open to learning and hearing other people’s views, and in the end if I agree with them, they influence my beliefs too, but all in all I’ve taught myself to analyze situations and make conclusions. I am good at arguments and debates because I over-analyze things, I think things through thoroughly. It’s easier to express my views that way, I can back it all up with thought-out reasoning. In the end, I use my feelings and ideas toward certain topics to send a message through my art. It could be about anything I have strong ideas towards.
—Compiled by Ellen Lee