Artistic discovery leads to a career in graphic design 

Monica Gibbs photo

For Monica Gibbs ’02, creativity has been a fundamental part of life. From taking art classes as a child to her time at Auburn, it was only natural that she turn passion into profession.

After graduation, Gibbs worked as a graphic designer for the Montgomery Adviser. Despite being new to the workforce, she felt qualified for the job. “The Design program at Auburn teaches you what’s necessary for graphic design and digital design from a technical and practical aspect, but also exposes you to so many disciplines in fine art in general,” she said. “Once you are out in the real world, you realize how prepared you are to problem-solve and tackle any number of issues within the field.”

Now employed by a non-profit in Atlanta, Gibbs is a Senior Creative Designer. She oversees creative direction, does website designing, strategizes for marketing, and communicates with vendors. She is currently working on design materials for Issa Rae, actress on HBO’s “Insecure” and author of The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl.

While Gibbs’ design style is clean and “utilizes white space” with an “emphasis on typography,” her painting style is rather different. She is inspired by music and “in viewing the art and photography of artists from older generations as they captured and interpreted events in their time.” Her art is encompassed by messy strokes of charcoal and pastels.

In the future, she hopes to become an Art Director. She also aims to “continue to give the world more art and creativity” while “helping others accomplish their dreams by contributing to the marketing and visual aspects of their goals.”

She looks up to her mother who grew up impoverished with ten siblings, but did not let her socioeconomic standing or circumstances hinder her success. She graduated high school, worked through college, and earned a Master’s degree in education. “She’s a real life Wonder Woman who also makes a peach cobbler so good it causes spontaneous praise dancing after the first taste,” Gibbs said.

She learned from her mother that “you can be anything you want to be” with the right mindset and determination. “Take initiative so you can be ready for the big opportunities when they present themselves” because success is personally made.