From the beginnings of time to the present day, humans have been filled with the need to imitate God by creating things. In many cases, this results in art – paintings, sculptures, buildings, and more. Art is everywhere nowadays, and graphic designers (artists who work in the digital medium) are especially valuable assets to organizations looking to popularize their content online and in the world. Alumnus Andrew Ciskanik is one of those valuable assets, using his talents, and background in the liberal arts, to create beautiful imagery for some of the top clients in the United States.
A gifted artist, Ciskanik, whose family runs Emmanuel Books, spent hours sketching growing up, with dreams of becoming a professional artist later in life. In 2007, he began taking design classes part-time at the Delaware College of Art and Design but wanted to complement that education with the liberal arts. In 2008, he enrolled at Christendom College, a decision that would only boost his artistic ability, along with his communication and leadership skills.
“Christendom gave me an opportunity to explore my interests in art and graphic design in a professional setting,” says Ciskanik. “I received foundational design experience as a layout editor and through other volunteer art projects. Balancing school assignments and professional work builds a strong work ethic, while the liberal arts directly supports the development of other critical skills such as communication, inquisitiveness and creative problem solving.”
Ciskanik continued taking classes in graphic design and Adobe Flash at Delaware College part-time through 2010, while also working as a layout editor for Christendom. In his position, Ciskanik directed the development of the college’s annual Donor Honor Roll, advising on the document’s design elements. He also managed all advertisement and layout projects for the college’s development office, while occasionally collaborating in mailing projects as well.
In 2012, Ciskanik earned his B.A. in political science and economics from Christendom, and immediately began working as a graphic designer for Voveo Marketing Group. There, he assisted in building bold, beautiful brands for clients, using his artistic skills for a number of different digital marketing efforts. After nearly four years there, Ciskanik moved to Washington, D.C., to become a senior graphic designer for Maga Design, Inc., a trusted advisor for Pepsico, National Geographic, the U.S. Department of the Navy, and other big-name clients.
Today, Ciskanik is living his dream as an artist, impacting the greater world with his skills, his positive demeanor, and his Catholic faith.
“Graphic design is an effective medium that gives life and identity to a concept. I have been able to support many creative and unique projects in my current position at Maga Design, and I particularly enjoy setting the visual tone and developing art assets from concept to completion. I hope to continue learning my craft daily and to establish my own design studio in the future,” concludes Ciskanik.
Christendom students are well-prepared to become professional artists after college, with the liberal arts education giving them greater understandings of philosophy, literature, theology, and more, all of which help form the artistic mind and give it depth. Studying in Rome, where the classroom is literally in the center of many of the world’s greatest artistic wonders, helps students even further.
Like Ciskanik, other students have gone on to find success as graphic designers, architects, and more after graduation. Together, these students represent hopes of an artistic renewal in society, centered around restoring all things in Christ.