Alyssa Unsell has always been an artistic individual and was effortlessly drawn to EOC Tech’s Graphic Arts Program as a Choctaw High School student in 2018. Unsell’s passion and talent for everything encompassed in the program solidified her career choice as a senior, and now 6 years later, she’s traveled back to her roots, working in the field she fell in love with at the same institution that educated her.
Unsell, the current Graphic Designer at Eastern Oklahoma County Technology Center, graduated from The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma (USAO), in 2022 with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts Degree. From college, she began working at IPGI, a Promotional Products Company in Oklahoma City where she originally applied to be a Screen Printer, but was hired on as a Graphic Designer.
“We produced proofs of projects that went to clients, we designed websites internally and externally, sent artwork to factories to be produced and also worked with digitized files for Embroidery and separation files for Screen Printing,” she said. “It was very involved and I believe it exposed me to the challenge of prioritizing tasks and meeting deadlines.”
Unsell enjoyed her time in the Graphic Arts program, which is what ultimately led her to apply for the Graphic Design position at EOC Tech.
“I liked how ‘free’ we were with the assignments – it allowed me to be more creative and it exposed me to large scale printing, screen printing and vinyl,” she said. “I liked being a student here so much, I thought it would be neat to see the other side of it, too.”
Former EOC Tech Graphic Design Instructor Shane James, had Unsell in class when she was a student and said she told him on a number of occasions that she was going to come back and take his job someday.
“She was already a fantastic Fine Arts artist before she came to my class and her pieces were awesome,” James said. “It makes me so proud that she is following her dreams and with her ambition, I know she will only get better.”
As the Graphic Designer, Unsell works as part of the Communications/Marketing Team, creates new content for both internal and external sources, promotes the mission of EOC Tech while following current brand guidelines, and is proficient in all Adobe Software. Even though Unsell finds joy and fulfillment in creating art, she still experiences roadblocks and low creativity at times, which is when she turns to research and inspiration like Pinterest to gain new insight and ideas.
“Whenever I reach that wall, I take a break and start searching for whatever catches my eye and research the certain vibe I’m going for,” she said. “When I find something that sparks my interest, I can usually use that as inspiration to figure out how to put certain things together – it’s a good challenge.”
The graphic design world is ever-changing; programs add new elements to design software, widely used themes and popular color schemes go in and out of style, and designers find themselves continually learning and updating their skillset to stay relevant. Unsell said this is something she enjoys about her occupation and she finds herself learning more about design every day.
“Even just working on projects, you learn something new every time,” she said. “Whether it be shortcut keys that just make everything a little easier or learning from other designers about their creative process, you just have to be willing to continue to learn and I really like that.”
Although Unsell has worked at EOC Tech for just a few weeks, she said she is excited for this opportunity and looks forward to working alongside others and continuing growth in her skills as a Graphic Designer.
“The EOC Tech environment seems very welcoming and the camaraderie between the other faculty and staff seems like it’s strong, which is very encouraging to me,” she said. “I just look forward to working alongside everyone here and continuing to find my voice as a Graphic Designer.”