With a master’s degree already in hand, Susan Levine was terrified to return to school to learn needed computer skills for her career. She overcame her fears, and many obstacles, and enrolled at SBCC. Today, Susan is a graphic designer and painter, using her skill set to help others more fully imagine their products and convey messaging through branding, product design, and illustration.
Who: Susan Levine
Profession: Graphic Designer and Illustrator, Susan Levine Art
How long were you at SBCC? 2 years
What was your focus while at SBCC? Graphic Design
Best Memory? I have a master’s degree in art history from the University of Chicago where I graduated at the top of my class. However, I realized I needed computer skills for my career, and the thought of learning this new skill was terrifying. Even though I had many obstacles (including hip surgery on both hips), I overcame my fears and did not let anything deter me from taking classes at SBCC. While in school, I submitted a poster for a contest the SBCC Foundation was sponsoring for its Campaign for Student Success. I will never forget going to class, and hearing my teacher announce that I had won second prize. It was so exciting to me because I never thought that I would be able to master graphic design skills. Not only did I learn the skills but I actually won a competition. I loved interacting with the students, and I loved the teachers as well. All in all, it was a wonderful experience.
I have to say that my best memory of SBCC was not as a student, but as the mother of a student. My daughter cannot walk long distances, and SBCC is unique in that it provides golf carts to take students like my daughter from one class to another. My daughter had the privilege of having Henry Reed as her school counselor, and used all of the helpful aids that DSPS provides. By far the best memory I have of SBCC is the vision of my daughter thriving in a beautiful school environment and graduating. This memory surpasses anything that I was able to accomplish.
How did the SBCC experience influence your professional path? The SBCC experience has given me tools to be a graphic designer and illustrator.
What are you doing now? Presently I am painting, and selling my artwork at Pierre La Fond. I also license out designs and art to companies, as well as making illustrations for clients. I am always open to new opportunities to apply my skills and help people to more fully imagine their products and dreams, whether through branding, product design, or illustration.
How are you making an impact on the world? Well, hopefully I paint subjects that enhance the experience of the world around us. I have designed products that lift spirits and enhance the celebration of life. I also like having the opportunity to help others convey a message or share their vision through my ability as a graphic designer and illustrator. Recently, I made a poster for the UN’s global initiative to create awareness of endangered wildlife. I couldn’t have done this without the skills I learned at SBCC.
Why is SBCC an important educational institution for the Santa Barbara community? SBCC is such an important institution for Santa Barbara because it is an open door of opportunities for people from all walks of life – young, old, and in between. If walls could talk, the walls at SBCC would say anything is possible, anyone is welcome to learn and achieve their dreams.
Are you proud to be a Vaquero Alumni? Of course!
Author: Jessica Tade