From producer to educator: graphic communication’s Erica Walker
“The industry is rapidly changing and moving beyond just traditional products by offering cross-media marketing services in order to better serve clients,” says Walker.
Walker points out that printing companies have a unique advantage they can leverage. By expanding their services to include digital mediums, printing companies can provide a full range of services to their clients.
“What does a marketing firm not offer? Print. What can a print company add to the repertoire? Marketing services,” states Walker.
Walker joined the faculty in spring 2012 and holds a BFA from the University of Colorado and an MS in graphic communications from Clemson University. One of the courses Walker teaches covers photography, video and web design with a focus on practical applications with a business mindset. This unique approach makes this course quite popular with students.
“The advantage of the graphic communications program is the hands-on approach that provides students an opportunity to practice their problem-solving skills,” states Walker. “My goal is to complement traditional mediums by exposing the student to digital mediums. This exposure will broaden their skill sets and strengthen their critical-thinking skills.”
Before joining Clemson, Walker was a web developer for Eagle Media and was co-owner, director of photography and producer at Galatia Films. With Galatia Films, Walker produced the inspiring documentary “Reclaiming the Blade,” which hit number one on iTunes in 2009 and was distributed internationally.
Walker views her professional work as a real-world example for her students and fuel for her teaching passion.
“My videography and cinematography experiences help me inspire students by bringing in professional speakers, providing industry contacts and showing real-life examples of what works and what doesn’t,” states Walker.
With graphic communication’s departmental focus on internships and practical work experience, it is no surprise that Walker has found a home at Clemson.
Walker believes the celebrated high job-placement rate of graphic communications graduates is largely due to the program’s practical approach.
“I teach technical skills and give students a sharpened perspective on how to apply their skills,” claims Walker. “I want them to produce beautiful products but also to understand the math and science behind how the products work and the business behind them.”