Sophie Forman ’13

Although I majored in Studio Arts at Scripps, my learning in the arts was shaped by a wide variety of experiences – late nights in the painting studio, a hot summer spent at the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery as a Wilson Arts Administration Intern, and through semesters of additional classes in both art theory and digital art. One of the most valuable elements of my education was exposing me to the wide variety of paths within the arts – Curator, Gallerist, Conservator, Painter, Designer. I ended up exploring several of these after graduation before finding my niche!

After graduation, I moved to New York, where I worked as an assistant at Robert Mann Gallery, a leading fine art photography dealer in the city. I fell in love with photography and loved the insight into the business of fine art, but ultimately decided to try my hand at my first love – painting – professionally. This resulted in several years spent as a staff painter in the studio of Jeff Koons. Many people don’t realize that mega-artists (or even major artists) are largely dependent on studio assistants to actually fabricate their work, and Jeff Koons was in fact a factory of sorts. It was a wild time and painting every day was wonderful, but ultimately I wanted to find a career where I could grow and use many sides of my brain.

I ended up going back to design school, and receiving my certificate in graphic design from Shillington, a program in New York. Since then, I’ve built my career from a graphic designer to an art director and now a creative director at OBERLAND, a boutique, purpose-driven advertising agency in Manhattan. My current role brings together so many elements of what I love in the art world – leading creative concepting, developing a unique look and feel for a brand or campaign, and developing visual executions that span from photography to illustration to typography to video.

I couldn’t have gotten to where I am now without my Scripps education, which taught me to think critically and pushed me beyond just “what does it look like.”