Strategic Energy Innovations

By: Lein Harper (Class of 2018)

The past two months of my internship at Strategic Energy Innovations have been very rewarding. Not only have I been able to create quality work, but I also feel like my work is appreciated. This is mostly due to the clear communication of what is wanted, a willingness to grow ideas, and the space I need to create professional work. When I started my internship I was afraid I would constantly have someone hovering over my shoulder, I’m very happy to say that’s not the case. The only negative experience that I’ve had during these past months has been a sore ankles from standing at the workstation. That was the case, till I realized I could have just pulled up a chair.

So far, I’ve learned that asking clarifying questions is a good habit. I can think of a couple of scenarios where I needed a bit of clarification on how the graphics I was working on were going to be implemented. I know for a fact that this has contributed to the quality of work I’ve been able to create. 

As an artist, a lot of the work that I create involves the use of formal techniques, such as the use of an under sketch, perspective, and color theory. These skills factor heavily into my work in my internship. However, adapting my skills to the clean minimalist design of commercial graphics has been a learning experience. My best friend has been the official style guide for the graphics used by S.E.I. I simply am not used to creating iconography. That said, it's definitely something that I can do. 

Another skill I’m still developing is my ability to create graphics with a mouse. I'm sure many artists will agree that drawing with a mouse just isn't intuitive. Though, I’d like to say that I’ve been able to reach a level of proficiency that I didn’t think possible. It’s really a success story of cinematic proportions, one artist’s struggle to overcome the limitation of a computer mouse. Where’s my Oscar? 

In all seriousness, these past few weeks have been incredibly gratifying. A lot of it comes from the gratification of knowing that I’m definitely delivering on not only the quality of work that is expected, but also that I expect. I consistently have the “Yeah, I made that with my hands”, feeling. Which is, believe me, one of the best feelings one can derive from a creative endeavor. Here’s to the continuation of that endeavor and the success of projects to come.