Graphic Designer Lucy Aaron ‘14 Talks Passion Projects and Skincare

2 mins read

Lucy Aaron ‘14 is a senior graphic designer at Face Reality Skincare. Growing up, Aaron played a variety of sports including basketball, swimming, and tennis. She also spent time painting and pursuing photography.

She first discovered her love for design through Mark Leeper’s architecture class during her sophomore year at M-A. She continued the course for the next three years and loved it so much that she applied for college with a major in architecture. “Architecture was a cool way to be artsy but also highlighted my mathematical side,” she said.

After graduating from M-A, Aaron attended the University of Southern California (USC). “I quickly realized that I actually liked graphic designing more than architecture, so I pivoted. At USC, the architecture school and art schools were combined, so it was pretty easy to change,” she said. Aaron also minored in marketing to learn how to apply her art skills in a business setting.

Reflecting on her courses, she said, “We learned the basics of design, how to use the programs most designers use, and how to make visually digestible content. I also learned a lot through experience and teaching myself with YouTube.”

USC’s proximity to downtown Los Angeles gave Aaron plenty of opportunities for internships. Aaron also began doing freelance design for friends and small businesses, she recalled, “I would design menus, invitations, or logos, and did a lot of personal projects.”

“Especially in the design industry, it’s really important to always be doing some sort of personal project on the side—whether that’s things for yourself or projects that you’re interested in, or finding freelance clients. It’s helped me sharpen my skills, meet new clients, and touch a lot of different industries and products that I wouldn’t otherwise,” she said.

One of Aaron’s illustrations

After graduating from USC, Aaron moved to New York City, where she worked as a graphic designer for Barneys New York. “I had been in California my whole life. My classmates were getting local jobs, but I was like, ‘This is my chance to get away from California to try something new and exciting.’” After living in New York for two years, COVID-19 hit and she returned to the Bay Area.

At USC, Aaron built a large network. Now, she said, “I can reach out to any of them and either talk about design or offer freelance work.” Beyond that, she looks for customers online and gains connections from her website.

Graphic design is a necessity for many businesses, so Aaron got to explore many fields. For her, skincare is what stuck. “In college, I tried lots of different companies. After Barneys, I got into skincare and that’s where I’ve been since. I really love learning about skincare and the industry.”

At Face Reality Skincare, Aaron plays many roles. She said, “We’re a pretty small company, so my day-to-day can be very different. One day I could be doing photoshoots for a new product and another day I could be designing our social media grid. I think that’s a great thing about design: it never feels like work because you’re doing many different creative things.”

Aaron’s advice for current students: “If you don’t know what you want to do, that’s okay, because you’re going to fall into what you like naturally by trying out a lot of different things. So, don’t be afraid to try a hundred different things, even if you think you won’t like it, because something might stick.”

Aaron’s advice for students interested in graphic design: “Start trying to do projects either on your own or for other people because your skills will only develop with time and skills are the most important part of design.”

Celeste is a junior in her second year of journalism. She is the co-writer of the weekly column Bears Doing Big Things, featuring alumni. She enjoys covering issues affecting the M-A community through features and writing about student culture. Her story on La Biscotteria was recognized as a top-10 NSPA Blog Post of 2023.

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