High school designer making professional money

Miranda Molina, Reporter

It starts with a sketch and will end with a paycheck.

Senior Rachel McIntosh has been designing a logo for a chiropractor who will pay her $500 once the logo is finished. Before working as a designer, McIntosh worked as a commission artist, someone who gets paid for their artwork. Her artwork first got noticed by the Upward Bound college readiness program, and she was then offered a job to design a logo.

“Upward Bound actually came after school to deliver some of my artwork, so that investors could see it,” McIntosh said. “And the word spread about my commissions and it eventually came to an interested person who wanted my artwork for their company. We negotiated until we agreed with the price.”

With the money that she will earn once the logo is finished, McIntosh said she will use it to help out her family.  She plans on advertising her artwork for others to see.

“It’s pretty hard to pay rent right now,” McIntosh said. “But with me working I can be able to [help] pay rent, so it won’t be as hard as usual. I am going to continue advertising my name out there, so not only will other companies come hire me to make things for them, I’ll also be able to pay for college. And then the colleges might give me scholarships for my artwork.”

The process to making her artwork is long and time consuming. McIntosh has a Wacom Intuos4 Tablet that she mainly uses to draw, and then she works in specific programs like PaintTool SAI, Adobe Photoshop and sometimes Adobe Illustrator.

“Normally it starts with a sketch, then a multitude of sketches I draw on paper,” McIntosh said. “Then once I get a set-in stone idea, I go to my computer with my graphics tablet and start sketching it out again on the computer to see if it actually works on the computer. After that I start sketching out the rough draft of the idea. After that I hardline the drawing to give it its structure, but other times I start painting.”

McIntosh is currently designing for a small chiropractic office.

“This is the biggest company I have worked for with an offer at $500,” McIntosh said.

McIntosh said the job takes up a lot of her time and interferes with her school work.

“They collide into each other a lot,” McIntosh said. “When I don’t have any ideas to come up with, I sit for maybe at least 10 hours at home.”

Despite having to balance school and work, McIntosh said the job has taught her some important life lessons, and she does her job for the positive reactions people give once they see her art.

“It provides me with time management skills and also provides me with a sense of responsibility,” McIntosh said. “It takes a lot of planning.  Even though it’s something simple, I still have to set up the plans, the ideas, the motivation and go on term with what he actually wants from me.”

McIntosh said that although the chiropractor did not give any deadlines, she has set one for herself.

“I am planning to get finished somewhere in early November,” McIntosh said. “The basic idea of the picture is a humanoid figure that envelops into a vertebrae. Although it’s not fully human or vertebrae, it’s mixed together to get the best of both worlds – a logo that is simplistic, yet efficient.”

McIntosh sees this as the first step into eventually expanding her career.

“I would like to take this into a bigger and bigger field,” McIntosh said.