Maritsa Cortes is a Lancaster native and graphic designer. She was part of PCA&D’s class of 2010. Since leaving PCA&D, Maritsa has aided businesses with their marketing and branding, worked producing high-quality print ads. She even freelanced abroad for 3 years in Asia. Maritsa has since moved back to Lancaster and currently serves as Social Media & Marketing Coordinator for Kegel’s Produce.
What inspired you to become an artist?
MC: I have always been drawn to art and creativity since I was a young child. I believe I started my first sketch book when I was about 6 or 7 years old.
Can you tell us a little about what you’ve done professionally after graduating from PCA&D?
MC: I received my first graphic design job offer from Clipper Magazine two months after graduating from PCA&D. I worked there for four years until taking a position with K&W Tire as their in-house graphic designer for a year. I then moved to Asia for three years and worked as a freelance designer while I started my own plant-based fitness and nutrition business with a partner. I’ve now been working with Kegel’s Produce for a year.
How did PCA&D prepare you for a career in art?
MC: PCA&D taught me the foundations of graphic design and how to bring my creative thinking into the print and digital world. How to think creatively in multiple mediums.
Did you face any difficulties finding a job after graduation? Are you working in your field of study?
MC: I was very lucky and received my first graphic design position two months after graduating. I am working in my field of study and I love it.
Do you also pursue art as a personal passion outside of your day job? If so, any projects you’d like to mention?
MC: I do have freelance clients that I work with as well, as my own personal art.
Can you share a time you’ve felt accomplished or have a had a personally gratifying experience when sharing or exhibiting your creative works?
MC: I was asked to create a front cover and feature illustration for Expat Parent Magazine in Hong Kong. My business was also featured in South China Morning Post, Pearl TV, and Plug Magazine.
Have you taken on any creative pursuits outside of your primary field of study?
MC: I really enjoy creating hand-drawn typography. I’m hoping to eventually showcase my work.
Any tips for maintaining your creative energy and preventing burnout?
MC: I find that working out, sleeping well, eating healthy, and practicing mindfulness and gratitude help keep me in balance.
Any advice on what to expect from art school for our future art students?
MC: I had a bit of a tough time balancing college and personal life, so my best advice is to keep pushing forward, try to prioritize, and organize your time and explore as much as possible.
Any career advice for our graduating seniors?
MC: Focus on your portfolio and make it as diverse as possible. Information is at our fingertips, so be resourceful and flexible.