Vermont College of Fine Arts
Master of Fine Arts in Graphic Design
Fall 2022 Thesis Exhibition
This work has become an integral part of my personal design practice, post graduation. I periodically add and build upon Kamama,  a Cherokee syllabic typeface.
This work holistically explores merging my Cherokee Identity with my graphic design background. For too long, my graphic design career and Cherokee identity were like opposite worlds, and I needed to find a balance between these two worlds. Native Americans make up a meager percentage of the Graphic Design field, and because of this, finding inspiration and graphic design resources along with representation within this field is difficult.
This work represents my experience of fusing traditional Cherokee arts and crafts methods with my techniques. Some of these visual techniques are inspired by museum field research and express contemporary issues affecting myself, my daughter, and my Native American students. By exploring the visual language of Cherokee traditional crafts, this work culminates in a typeface named Kamama, which aims to aid language preservation through a typographic vehicle.
The methods of my design practice include macroscopic collage, cyanotype, and letterpress printmaking, illustration, paper-weaving, mat-weaving, type design, and growing my source materials for the above methods using traditional Cherokee plants and foods.
I hope this document is a resource for my daughter, Native American graphic design students, and graphic design educators. I have detailed my design process and personal growth through personal narrative writing while connecting my design practice to my culture. Additionally, this book contains historical writing and documentation of contemporary Native American representation by examining the tribal seals of the 39 tribes and nations within Oklahoma. This seal research presents culturally important symbolism and storytelling of each tribe within Oklahoma, also known as Indian Country.
Through this work, I am better equipped to guide my students from many different cultural backgrounds in expressing their cultures and identities through graphic design.
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