Creative Colonel – Jess Morandi

Kylie Dillon, Life, Arts, and Entertainment Editor

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Being an artist doesn’t always require being a talented drawer, or even being good with a pencil at all. For this week’s creative colonel, Jess Morandi, shows that with enough passion for something you can find a way to still make your goals a reality.

Jess Morandi is a junior digital design and media arts with a minor in art and marketing. Being an artist has always been a career goal of Morandi’s, but when she was younger, she was unsure how that could even be possible. Morandi laughed about how it didn’t make sense that she couldn’t draw, but still wanted to become an artist until she discovered artistic careers didn’t always have to be drawing.

When Morandi was in eighth grade, she picked up an intro to digital design class. It was at this time she realized her dreams of becoming an artist were a lot closer than she thought. 

“Then when I was 15 I was really like, I’ve been doing this for two years, it is definitely what I want to do, and then it just kind of took off,” Morandi said.

Her passion for design only grew stronger once she arrived to start her four-year journey at Wilkes. Once here, she immersed herself into the world of art in any way she could.

Morandi became a member of Studio 20 (which is the digital design club), an e-mentor for incoming first-year students and an attendant at the Sordoni Art Gallery.

“I kind of stuck my toes in the water a little bit but then got sucked straight in, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I shoved myself in any opening I could find,” added Morandi.

Her skill and passion for design only grew stronger. The more involved she became, the more people across the university began to notice.

Eventually, it landed her the task of designing last year’s 2019 performance of the Vagina Monologues poster. The Vagina Monologues are a series of monologues written by Eve Estler, who was inspired by interviews from women who were asked questions about intimate topics.

Ultimately the point of these monologues is to help spark the discussion of women’s issues and fight to end violence against women.

Afterward, she was asked to help co-direct the performance for 2020, and it landed her an internship spot for design at the art gallery.

Around this time was just before the exhibit showcasing Pete Souza. Morandi took on the challenging task of creating the design work for the exhibit. She said she was scared to do it, but took that fear and turned it into the wonderful work she created.

“I know I did do a good job, but I guess I did such a good job that I got hired as the designer for the gallery, so that really integrated me into doing design for a bunch of other things,” Morandi said.

Her design work began to move into other clients, with her vice president position at Studio 20. Morandi started to work with clients such as students, faculty, and even non-profits, inlcuding Social Fabric Collective.

After graduating from Wilkes, Morandi hopes to move on to Kutztown, acquire her MFA and work at a university as a marketing agent. Her long term goal, though, is to eventually become an arts professor herself.