Edinboro Alumni Issue: Danielle Shearer

Friday, September 28th, 2018 at 9:30 AM
Edinboro Alumni Issue: Danielle Shearer by Ben McCullough

Since the age of four, graphic designer Danielle Shearer has utilized her creative mind and her natural gravitation toward the arts to carve out her own place in the industry. TGS Global and The Green Solution, a cannabis company, may have been an unexpected landing spot, but first, her history.

As a child, she drew pictures onto anything she could get her hands on, many of which her father kept, and throughout her adolescence, she continuously refined her artistic abilities through painting, sewing and designing baked goods.

In eighth grade, a member of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh came to speak at her junior high school about graphic design. “Immediately after seeing designs (from the institute), I knew it was exactly what I wanted to do,” Shearer said.

In high school, she continued to succeed artistically and academically, and this success prepared her to take on higher education. Before graduating high school, Shearer was introduced to Edinboro University of Pennsylvania by a high school friend; she then sat in on a graphic design course that took place in Doucette Hall. After observing the course and reading about Edinboro’s arts program, Shearer knew that “Edinboro was the only school that I wanted to go to.”

Freshman year consisted of general electives and prerequisites such as drawing, art history and 3D design. When sophomore year rolled around, Shearer was able to finally get her feet wet in the field of graphic design. “My favorite courses were studio skills with Francis Demaske, where I learned about the old school ways of graphic design and how it all began, and also typography taught by Shelle Barron, who is still a professor at Edinboro today.” Shearer was also inspired by assistant professor Brigette Davitt, who is still at Edinboro.

“Brigette really pushed me to be the best that I could be.”

In her senior portfolio course, Shearer learned essential skills such as building a portfolio and knowing which projects of hers to bring forward. “If I did not have senior portfolio, I probably wouldn’t be where I am today,” she stated, now eight years into her design career.

With several 18-credit semesters, which entailed, at times, 11-hour days and countless hours of studio work, Shearer did not have much time for activities outside of class. “I was a part of a bowling league at one point, and I would usually just unwind on the weekends over a drink with classmates.”

Shearer was a member of the graphic design club throughout her years at Edinboro and was a part of the student-run art and literary journal, Chimera, specifically in their design team. Her group curated “everything from the concept of the book and the theme, to what fonts would be used.” Shearer stated that it was “great to build the book as a team.” Her involvement, along with the rest of the arts team, helped volume 7 of the Chimera journal be featured in the 2011 HOW Promotional Annual.

One of Shearer’s favorite memories of her time at Edinboro was a trip to Chicago with Graphic Design Club, where she had the privilege to sit in on lectures given by world renowned graphic designers. Another memory she labeled as her favorite was having the opportunity to work with Ben and Jerry’s Ice cream. She and several other art students designed ice cream cartons for Edinboro themed ice cream flavors such as “Boro Blizzard” and “Fighting Butterscotts.” A commercial produced by the student communications and media committee was also filmed and shown on campus.

Shearer graduated in May of 2010 and now resides in Denver, Colorado. “My favorite mediums to work in are web, digital design, and branding/logo design; all aspects of graphic design keep my mind engaged, but media is so innovative and fresh,” she said.

After spending nearly six years as a designer in Pittsburgh, at Blue Tomato Design, Shearer “felt stuck creatively.” She continued, stating, “I felt like I had reached my full potential of growth with the company, and I was ready to take on my next adventure.” After her time with Blue Tomato, Shearer had planned a trip to visit Colorado and had contacted Workhorse 45, a full service branding and design company, to see if they were interested in meeting over coffee and discussing employment.

Several weeks after her trip, Shearer was hired for the job; within a month and a half, she packed her car and was traveling across the country to start her new adventure. This was Shearer’s first experience with package design, although it did not last long. Eight months into the job, business was poor and the team dwindled down to her and her boss. She was given the opportunity to leave and she did. “I wanted to be a part of a bigger team and the opportunity to grow, and that was not happening,” she stated.

She then landed a job at TGS Global, where she is still currently employed as the art director and creative services manager, making her way through the ranks.

For two years now, Shearer has been working on packaging and graphic design, where she creates new packaging and advertising for The Green Solution, a cannabis company that TGS Global is associated with. “I never saw myself working with cannabis, but I am excited to be a part of the industry.”

“By the age of 45, I want to live in the mountains of Colorado. I want to either run my own business or solely freelance.” She continued: “I brand myself as a creative cat, much like my cat Captain Jack. I love experiencing the great outdoors of Colorado and merging my career of design with my everyday life.”

Ben McCullough is a contributing writer for The Spectator.

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