Families came from far and wide to celebrate Laguna College of Art and Design’s (LCAD) 2019 commencement ceremony on Friday, May 24.
The family of Julia Meni, commencement student speaker and Graphic Design + Digital Media with Action Sports emphasis alumna, wouldn’t miss her moment having traveled from her native Brazil.
“Now is the time to be the creative person you have always hoped to be,” Meni said. “So, get out there. I’ve learned in the last four years that there are times when you’re going to question your path, your creativity and your life goals. With every difficulty comes ease. Embrace it and move forward.”
Meni transferred to LCAD from Brazil in 2015. In 2017, she participated in LCAD’s first Anaheim Ducks Honors Lab. “I was the youngest and least experienced student in that class, and it pushed me to work harder than I ever had,” she said. “The experience made me grow as a designer and a person.”
Meni continued to take collaborative classes led by senior executives and creative directors at brand giants like Hurley, Nike, Stance, and Vans. She also worked as a teacher’s assistant for typography and held part-time jobs at LCAD IT and with LCAD’s Admissions team. Her LCAD experience helped her to become a designer dedicated to creating socially responsible solutions through her work.
Brian Peterson, co-founder of Faces of Santa Ana and a designer at Kia Motors, inspired LCAD’s class of 2019 with his keynote address. Peterson befriends and paints portraits of the homeless community and then sells the finished work. Proceeds from the sales are used to improve the lives of those he paints. His mission through Faces of Santa Ana is to help those in need in cities around the world, while also inspiring and activating creatives and supporters to become involved in their community.
“I’m here to make sure you walk away with a new life mission,” he said. “Couple your gifts with your heart. The only reason I’m standing up here is because I’m motivated by my heart. It’s an endless pursuit to remain authentic and pure and as creators we can lead the way. The world needs that more than anything.”
For more information about LCAD, visit www.lcad.edu.