Steven Cox

Steven Cox

Professor


Orange Coast College

Milestones

My road in life took a while to figure out.
I was a color, design and type kid before I knew what "graphic design" was.
I went to a college that happened to have a great graphic design program.
In my late 20's, I realized I didn't want to spend the rest of my life at a drafting table.
I had always thought my design professors had a great job.
So, I re-enrolled in school to get my Master's degree.
I became friends with a guy who introduced me to the graphic design professor at OCC - Prof. Tennant.
When a part-time position opened at OCC, I got the opportunity to teach there.
Eventually (4 years later) a full-time position opened up, and I got the job!
Keep following my journey

Education

High School
Bachelor
Graphic Design
California State University-Fullerton
Graduate
Graphic Design
California State University-Fullerton

Career

Professor

I am a professor of graphic design at Orange Coast College.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Design
Education
Teaching / Mentoring

Day to Day

A typical day of teaching college level graphic design involves some form of lecturing and demonstrating a set of concepts and/or skills that are a part of the field. It may also include the evaluation of completed student work (critiquing). And finally, almost always involves time spent one-on-one with students needing individual guidance and help. I worked as a practicing graphic designer for almost 20 years before I got my professorship, so what I teach, I did. I'm drawing from my experience.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

Become an expert in the use of the computer and industry-standard software. At this point, it's mostly from Adobe: Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, Dreamweaver (or Muse), AfterEffects & Premier are the biggies. There are lots more. Also, learn the technology of both printing and online graphics. Get a good camera and learn how to use it! Fall in love with type.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for professionals

This actually applies to all the categories listed. Commit to excellence. Pursue excellence. Create/design/work with excellence. This field is VERY network-oriented. It's who you know as much as what you know. Building a reputation for excellence will get you noticed, remembered and recommended. Everyone is always looking for someone of excellence. In fact, in a tough economy, it becomes even more valuable. There isn't money to waste on mediocrity.

Recommended Education

My career is not related to what I studied. I'd recommend this path instead:

undergrad
Bachelor
Graphic Design
graduate
Graduate
Graphic Design

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Myself:

"I was fortunate to have a supportive family. My father was an Optometrist, so I had a strong personal expectation to be a doctor or something as well. It was very hard to turn away from my major, psychology, and switch to art. Good-bye "Dr. Steve"."

Challenges I Overcame

Financial