Profiles: Graphic design, musical theatre call to National Merit semifinalist


Ed Dudrick

National Merit semifinalist and Bearden senior Alison Jobe (right) rehearses on stage with Ashley Slimp.

Editor’s note: This is the first in a four-part series of profiles on Bearden’s National Merit semifinalists from the class of 2014. Alison Jobe, Abby Lowe, Michelle Lames, and Vishaka Motheramgari have gone to school together since middle school, and now all four are National Merit semifinalists.

Possessing some sort of extraordinary talent in art or a sport can be the key to making one’s dreams come true. But being a National Merit semifinalist in addition to having an extraordinary talent couldn’t hurt either.

Senior Alison Jobe not only scored above the 212 cutoff on her PSAT to be a National Merit semifinalist, but she also has a great knack for the arts, which for her includes graphic design and musical theater.

Although she’s only drawn seriously since seventh grade, Jobe’s talent seems to come naturally. Her love of drawing eventually led to her interest in other fields of art and design. During her sophomore year, she downloaded a free version of Photoshop and fell in love with the graphic design world. According to Jobe, her favorite part of graphic design is getting to make the world exactly how she wants it, while making it look better.

Over the summer, Jobe gained first-hand, real-life experience in graphic design as an intern for the graphic design and branding company Design Sensory. During the internship, Jobe shadowed employees who each have a different specialization in creating a project, going from the business and administrative side to the creative and tech side

Learning from experts, Jobe gained a better understanding of each unique part that goes into creating a graphic design.

“I gained a great deal of really valuable experience,” Jobe said. “I really understand all the different facets of that kind of company now.”

Although her summer internship is over, her opportunities seem to be growing. Jobe will receive a paid commission for doing illustrations for the non-profit company TivaWater.

With an internship, a paid commission, and being a National Merit semifinalist, as well as an officer in National Art Honor Society, her future keeps getting brighter and brighter. As a senior, Jobe is beginning to decide where she wants to further her knowledge of graphic design.

The Savannah College of Art and Design, Jobe’s top choice for college, would provide her the opportunity to expand on her abilities and to turn her passions, graphic design and animation, into her major.

“I visited them over the summer,” Jobe said. “I took a tour and I absolutely fell in love with it. They just look like they have a great campus, and the overall atmosphere is really conducive to creativity and innovation.”

Once finished with college, Jobe hopes that, with the major she’ll be getting, she will be able to work in multiple fields, including animation for a few years and then possibly do graphic design freelance.

“If not Disney-Pixar, then somewhere else; she’ll find work in the art field,” Bearden senior Sam Arnold said. “I think she has the drive and the dedication, and she can totally do it.”

Although her main focus is graphic design and animation, Jobe has a strong passion for musical theater and was in Bearden’s production of Legally Blonde last year, and will return to the stage in this year’s musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie. Having known the entire score to both The Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables since age 5, Jobe certainly has creativity running through her veins.

“My inspiration for every artistic endeavor in my life comes from just observing the humanist experience, getting to either portray a different person or capture a moment in time,” Jobe said.

Even though her inspiration comes from her own observations of everyday life, there are two Bearden teachers who have had a real influence over Jobe. Musical theater director Mrs. Leann Dickson and now-retired art teacher Ms. Flowerree Galetovic are both, according to Jobe, such positive influences and only give tough criticism because they want the best out of her.

“If you throw anything at her, whether she’s naturally gifted at that thing or if it’s a challenge for her, she is going to take it on and do her best with it,” Mrs. Dickson said.

Added Arnold: “Alison brings a willingness to challenge herself that I think a lot of people kind of overlook.”

On top of being a National Merit semi-finalist, her willingness to take on a challenge, her experience in graphic design and animation, and the creativity that seems to come naturally, Jobe’s only a few steps away from going to her top choice college and starting to make her dreams come true.