Local Dragon’s Devotion to Craft

Tara Kennedy’s passion for creating is what sets her apart from the rest.

With two degrees in graphic design and graphic communications, she sets the bar high in both professional and personal design.

Tara works at OpGo Marketing, a marketing agency based in Fargo, N.D. She has been dedicated to their mission as their first graphic designer for over three years.

Whether it be layout work, custom PowerPoint templates, or a whole client rebrand, she knows how to make an idea come to life. She has recently taken on a new campaign that she oversees; she directed a brainstorm with the employees at the business, ran the photoshoot, and edited those photos to make a set of ads for their product.

Tara is a lifelong learner. From a young age, she continued to learn new design skills and apply them in her work for others. She is currently learning more about the capabilities of motion design and shows no signs of stopping.

She even assembled a clientele list before college. When Tara was in high school, her dad taught her school's theater program and wanted to get the word out about upcoming performances for their improv troupe. This was the first opportunity for her to design for others.

"He asked me to make a poster for their show, gave me the information, and gave me full creative control,” Tara says. “After seeing the excitement on his face from something I made, I realized I want to do this for a living.”

At 16, she designed posters, bookmarks, stickers, and even updated the logo of her father’s theater troupe.

"Working with my dad showed me how to verbalize my ideas with a client and how to get them from an idea to a visual and tangible product,” says Tara.

With her drive to succeed and enthusiasm to learn, all Tara needed was direction. That’s when she found MSUM.

“MSUM had a program that fit my needs,” says Tara.

Tara gained immediate community and support from the classes and people around her that she is still close with today.

“It’s a place where I'm around others achieving the same goals,” Tara says. “And we all help each other get there.”

During Tara’s time at MSUM, she jumped at every chance she could to stretch her talents. She started as a designer for the MSUM bookstore making sale posters.

She was a member of American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) group on campus. She also worked as the graphic designer for Dragon Entertainment Group. She made digital and print ads for the upcoming events around campus.

“I made a great community of friends from all the clubs and organizations I was in,” says Tara. “Getting involved was the best thing I did.”

She even went above and beyond for her schoolwork. Throughout her four years, Tara received the scholar’s apprentice scholarship. This opportunity allowed her to delve into her graphic design interest and create a project she presented at the Student Academic Conference.

As a graphic designer, Tara was able to thrive in new creative endeavors. Alexandria Fogarty, a professor in the School of Media Arts and Design, noticed her love for her work and dedication to the program.

“I could always count on Tara to think critically about her projects and push herself to create unique and thoughtful work,” says Professor Fogarty. “She is a talented visual designer and was very present and interested in her studies.”

Today, Tara continues to push herself creatively and build her portfolio to display her true passions.

Go to https://www.madetomaketk.com/ to see more of Tara’s portfolio.

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