Congrats to our June Volunteer of the Month, Tasheka Arceneaux-Sutton! Most recently, Tasheka contributed the BEAUTIFUL book design for History Between These Folds: Personal Narratives by the 11th Grade at G.W. Carver. We cannot thank her enough. Read on to hear more about her experience with that book and others, as well as her own design process. Thanks, Tasheka!
What first brought you to Big Class?
A friend of mine thought it would be a good idea for me to submit some artwork (an illustration) to one of Big Class’s book projects, and I did. I had just moved back to New Orleans, so this was a way for me to get reacquainted with the local art community.
What keeps you coming back?
The projects—I studied English writing in undergraduate school, which is why I admire the projects and the quality of work that Big Class produces. Writing seems to be a lost art for a lot of young people. At first, a lot of them don't consider writing as a form of art or as something they can actually do for a living.
What are some skills you have that help you out at Big Class?
I’m a graphic designer with a specialization in book design and I also do a lot of illustration for the books that I design. Thus far, I have designed four books for Big Class and contributed artwork, which includes illustration, graphics, photography and collages.
What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced at Big Class?
I would have to say the deadlines. The deadlines are always tight.
What are some great projects you’ve helped with? Tell us the story behind one of them if you can.
I’ve worked on The Best Bank volumes 1 and 2, How Do You Know We’re Not Zombies? All the projects that I have worked on have been fantastic! The most recent project that I worked on—History Between these Folds: Personal Stories by the Eleventh Grade at G.W. Carver High School was definitely my favorite. Part of the reason is that I had the opportunity to meet the student editorial board to get some insight into the project and their expectations for the design of the book. It was definitely one of my most memorable and special moments of this year thus far, not to mention, the writing was honest, heartfelt, innocent and it captures the spirit of New Orleans. The students were very welcoming to me and extremely charismatic, I had a great time talking with them.
What are you up to when you’re not volunteering with us?
I teach full-time at Southeastern Louisiana University and I’m faculty in the MFA program in Graphic Design at Vermont College of Fine Arts. I run a small freelance design student called Blacvoice and I also help run a art/design collaborative studio call Kernbred.