Gladstone Grade 11 student Carmen Cheung wasn't always set on graphic design. She says she got into it by accident in Grade 9 thanks to peer pressure from a few friends who encouraged her to give it a try. Since taking her initial Photoshop classes, Cheung says she's grown to love design.
"I like to express myself through the images I create," she says.
Cheung got a golden opportunity to showcase her feelings around the importance of Acceptance in schools when she volunteered to design several posters for her GSA. First she did a true colours poster for the club and then got an opportunity to design the school's Dare to Stand Out Conference. VSB Anti-Homophobia and diversity mentor Maria Foster was so impressed with Cheung's work, she asked if she'd be interested in designing the upcoming Pink Day poster.
Cheung realized this would be a huge opportunity for her because the poster would be seen by everyone. She decided to show a "sillhouttee of a group of kids to show people standing together against bullying." Then she added another student into the design to symbolize the courage of daring to "stand out".
Once the poster was distributed across the district in the lead up to Pink Day, Cheung was heartened to hear rave reviews from her cousins attending other schools who had seen her artwork.
"It has gotten a rave reception," she says. "I heard from my counsins who said they saw the poster at David Thompson. It really made me feel really special - this is a really big step."
After all her success, Cheung says she's now considering a career in graphic design once she graduates. She's hopeful to explore her passion at Emily Carr.