Life After School

Picture by Chris Stahelin

Rebecca Alvarez. / Picture by Chris Stahelin


SFUAD alum Rebecca Alvarez graduated last May, and was one of the members of Hexagono, a group of student graphic designers who worked on a variety of projects both for the school and the Santa Fe community.

“Studying at SFUAD was one of the best experiences of my life,” Alvarez says. “It made me feel so much independence and freedom. That also came with a lot of responsibility and discipline, but overall it was an incredible time in which I learned more than anything a way to see and think about life and about my work.”

Alvarez, along with Pablo Byrne, Fernando Gaverd, Suzelle Camou and Marco Lukini were the members of Hexagono, and worked collaboratively to develop their graphic design skills through a variety of creative projects.

“Hexagono is my baby,” Alvarez says. “It is the first project that I was active and participative with discipline and enthusiasm, without looking for money. It was all about creating engaging work and becoming better designers. Hexagono taught me how to collaborate with people; and the perk of doing that is that you learn a lot about teamwork, patience and tolerance. It is not a piece of pie to work with people, especially talented people who know what they are doing. We managed to do it for almost three years, and we still are.”

Alvarez greeted graduation with “enthusiasm.” “I loved what [speaker] Godfrey [Reggio] said about the world after graduation, that in that moment it seemed so unknown and scary.”

Life after graduation is not how Alvarez expected: “No way. Not even a little bit. It was hard, that transition, being out of school and not knowing in what direction to go, and what choices to take; there are so many questions without answers and so many unknowns… I even named my website, based on this feeling.” Nonetheless, Alvarez says she feels prepared and life is going well.

“As always, I think I put too much things on my plate, but I am working as a tour guide at SITE Santa Fe, I have two internships, one is at the Georgia O´Keeffe Museum in the Museum Advancement Department, and the other one is at the Palace of the Governors Press, which is my day to play and have fun with one of the things I love most: typography. I also do freelancing for different clients such as Cupcake Clothing store, IASTE local 480 and the cherry on the top is I do some work for the department of Housing at SFUAD. So I could say I keep myself busy.”

When asked advice for graduating students, Alvarez recommends: “To start applying for jobs, now! I think I waited too long and I was in limbo (I think am still in it) without a job in the summer and it was rough. I think one really important thing I have learned is not to judge yourself too much; it takes time to get where you want to go. And enjoy what you are doing, which I think is the other advice: Enjoy school and the resources that it gives to you, and to ask for more. I have learned the more you ask or talk about what you want, the easier things happen; people like to help others.”