From the Big Screen to the Print Screen
Updated: May 25
After graduating from California State University, Los Angeles with a Bachelor of Arts degree in TV & Film, Juan Cortes decided to try his hand at graphic design. He enrolled in Riverside City College's Applied Digital Media program, which he is currently attending.
Through Riverside City College and Network Kinection's partnership connecting career-based community college students with opportunities with local businesses, Juan was able to land an opportunity at Inhouse Media Group.
In his own words, Juan describes his more than satisfactory experience at Inhouse. Read about his experience and watch our interview with him down below:
My name is Juan Cortes, I am a student in the ADM, Applied Digital Media department at RCC. I had originally graduated with my BA in TV, Film from Cal State LA, and even had a few gigs within that industry. However, I didn’t think it was ultimately for me, and decided to get into graphic design. I went into that field on a whim at first, not really knowing too much about it. I decided to attend RCC after looking to see which of the surrounding community colleges had a department for that field of study. I knew I didn’t want to go back to another Cal State or UC, or any kind of private art institute, after already having accrued debt from my bachelors. Despite not knowing much about graphic design, or the design program at RCC, I quickly fell in love with it. The program is very hands on, teaches very useful information that is actually job related, and has some very passionate teachers running the whole thing.
I feel like this has been such a valuable experience for me and my career as a whole.
I’m currently working at this screen-printing shop called Inhouse Media Group in Chino. I have been there for about a month and a half. At Inhouse I work in the Art department, where we receive all the files and artwork and prepare it to be screen printed. This includes gathering all the files, properly labeling them, cleaning up any little mistakes that may be found in the files, separating colors, and creating what’s essentially the “blueprint” that tells the screen printers how these posters or stickers will be printed. Aside from that I also have to help with creating the screens themselves, and maybe even having to reach out to the actual artists themselves to go over their artwork, and figure out what can and can’t work.
During my time at Inhouse I have really grown a lot as a designer. RCC prepared me for this, but the on-the-job experience has taught me a lot about all the Adobe software (Photoshop, and Illustrator mainly). I have learned a ton of different functions, shortcuts, and things that I didn’t even know about on those soft-wares. I’m very happy with the training I’ve received there, and I feel like they have allowed me to grow quickly. When I was first hired, I was told my role would be very different, but because they have said I have learned and progressed quickly my duties and responsibilities have grown.
Being able to do some of these tasks has made me feel proud, especially learning how to separate colors. Then after doing everything on my end, and the posters go onto press, and I see them being printed, and the final product as a whole, I get such a satisfaction from knowing I worked on that and now there’s this amazing beautiful tangible product I can see and hold.
Because of all the great hands-on experience I have received at Inhouse I’m very happy and I think that this is a great foot in the door for me in the world of graphic design.
I feel like this has been such a valuable experience for me and my career as a whole. From my past jobs within the film industry, I learned how important it was to have prior experience and industry contacts. I didn’t have those and that made my time within that field even tougher. I found it hard to get jobs, or anybody willing to give me any kind of experience. Because of this I would absolutely recommend to any student to definitely seek out a job or internship such as this. Like I mentioned it’s hard to find someone who’s willing to give you a great opportunity, so when you find it, you need to take advantage of that chance. I think because of all the great hands-on experience I have received at Inhouse I’m very happy and I think that this is a great foot in the door for me in the world of graphic design.