Meet Francine Lubin, an Illustration major from Howard University and one of five new recipients for the 2020-2021 AIGA DC Design Continuum Fund Scholarship. Francine is also the first recipient to be selected from Howard University.
What was your journey to becoming a designer?
I started taking art classes in 4th grade and continued through my senior year. When I was in elementary school, I would always talk about how much I wanted to become an artist. As I got older, I started thinking of art more as a hobby. Around junior and senior year, I started to lose confidence in it as well. I started losing contests and scholarships, and I didn’t know how to build a career in art after high school. Then I found AIGA, and you know the rest.
How would you describe your current design style and what are the influences that have helped you define that over time?
Right now I’m transitioning to digital painting. It’s definitely a process going from a paint brush to a stylus. I am very interested in typography and text graphics as well. Because I am so new to design, I don’t have any influences at the moment.
What are some of your favorite projects you have worked on and why?
My favorite projects were all paintings I did for my sustained investigation for AP studio art, which I later presented in a portfolio presentation to AIGA. My favorite projects that I’ve worked on are both paintings called “Stand Your Ground” and “Strange Fruit.” These are my favorites because they were so much different and more thought-provoking than artwork I made in the past. I provided a link to my portfolio review, that includes all of my commentary. It starts at 1:08:03.
How do you wish to use design to make an impact or create change in the world?
For a while, I didn’t know how to integrate art into my career path. I wanted to make a difference, primarily in the Black American community as it’s very personal for me. I like writing and keeping up with current events, but I also like creating artwork with meaning. One thing I found recently with the pandemic and racism in the United States is how art coincides with social issues. When George Floyd died, the streets were filled with art inspired by his life. With the pandemic, there are multiple graphics circulating showing people how to stay safe outside. With that, I want to see if I can incorporate design in my journey to see the change I want to see in the world.
What does being a DCF scholarship recipient mean to you?
During high school, I started to feel insecure about my artistic abilities. I wanted to create art with meaning and that could help people, and just when I thought I did that the pandemic happened. The pandemic happened and I thought I was done with art for good. I started to accept the fact that no one will ever see my work and I thought it was all pointless. Just when I thought it was over, I was awarded an honorable mention by the AIGA Worldstudio Scholarship. Then the DCF Scholarship was offered to me as well. So I guess what being a recipient means is that I’m not going anywhere.