Coming full circle

Kristmar Muldrow grew up in an artistic household but here at the University of South Carolina, she’s been able to discover what being an artist really means. 

Growing up with a graphic designer mother and an architect dad meant Muldrow, a junior studio art major, never had a shortage of art supplies. These days, though, she’s using more digital skills to create her works. 

“Art was always my favorite class. I always wanted it to be my major, and then I found design and I knew I wanted it to be my major,” says Muldrow, a Charleston native. 

Graphic design gave art a purpose, she says. She works as the design director for The Daily Gamecock, the student-run newspaper on campus, putting her art skills to work around content. Working with Student Media has helped Muldrow learn new software programs she can incorporate into her work in the art program. 

“It’s a daily puzzle that you have to solve really quickly and that's helped me apply that to my projects in class,” she says. “I also like the balance of being able to design what I want at the paper and then working with others on the art side.” 

Although her mother was a graphic designer, Muldrow says she didn’t connect with design until college. Drawing is her first love and she likes to incorporate hand-drawn elements in her designs. 

“There’s something about sitting down and drawing that you can really lose yourself in,” she says. “That really helps to have that balance between the artistic side and design projects.”  

This year she also designed a poster for the annual First-Year Reading Experience book selection as a part of a graphic design class. Muldrow’s design was the winner of that competition and will appear across campus to help promote this year’s selection, “The Circle” by Dave Eggers. 

“I thought it was an interesting subject, and I feel like it’s so relevant to the modern addiction to social media,” says Muldrow, who read the book before designing the poster. “Now I keep seeing connections to it in the news.” 

Muldrow’s design was meant to capture the idea of the protagonist, portraying her and her path in the novel.

“I liked working together as a class, talking about the concepts of the class and how this was a ‘real’ project,” she says. “I remember as a freshman realizing that design majors got to design these posters. I thought that was really cool and I was excited about that. Going through it and having the honor to win it, has brought it full circle for me.”

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See what other projects Muldrow is working on in her online portfolio.

The 21st Annual First-Year Reading Experience will be held on Monday, Aug. 18,  in the Carolina Coliseum. During summer orientation, students are provided with a copy of the 2014 selection, "The Circle" by Dave Eggers. Students can snap photos of themselves reading "The Circle" and share via social media using #FYRE14 and submit the photos for the Picture Me Reading contest. 


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