TMN Focus: Artist Chantel Sanchez

By:  Booker Rohlf

As I was walking to class I passed the construction of the new art facility. It got me thinking about new beginnings and what it is going to mean for the future of Fort Hays State University’s artists. In the spirit of new beginnings, I wanted to speak with a new face on campus about their hopes for the time they will spend here. I sought out a talented graphic design student by the name of Chantel Sanchez.

We already went over this, but tell us what’s your name and where have you been?

“My name is Chantel Sanchez. I started school at Dodge City Community College; I was doing that for a while and decided to take a break. While on my break I was designing for a screen printing shop and decided while I was there to pick up school again at FHSU.”

How long have you been interested in art?

“It has been a few years now that I have been designing. Throughout this process of making art I have heard ‘oh you can’t make a living off of art or oh yes you can make a living off of your art.’ At first you know, you’re skeptical about whether or not you are on the right path; I have decided I’m on the right path.”

I agree, when it comes down to it we just want to put our stuff out in the world. It’s about doing what you love to do.

“I figured this would be far better than just adopting some 9-5, you may not be wealthy but you aren’t miserable at the same time.”

Was there a specific moment that you said that graphic design is going to be my thing?

“My ‘A-ha’ moment with graphic design was in high school design class. That was when I won a poster contest for the Dodge City Round up Rodeo event that happens there. The poster was going to be used as the official advertising flyer for the event. That was probably my moment I realized that I enjoy doing this.”

What do you look for in other artists?

“Style is everything for me, does this piece catch my eye, and is its message clear? If something is visually and aesthetically pleasing to me, I enjoy their work.”

Why did you come to FHSU?

“The graphic design program was the main thing I was looking at and heard about. The next thing is that it is definitely cheaper than a lot of other options for my particular interests. If I wanted to go to a major university or one of those art schools, most people would be looking at a whole lot of debt. Also the teachers in the program are very passionate about what they are teaching; they engage with us and care about our work.”

Are the stories I hear about the graphic program true?

“Oh yeah, I am only in Graphic 1 and it is already very intense. I have left at 2 in the morning some nights. Some people sleep there, there is a fridge and microwave in there for the reason. It makes you realize if you really want to do design, because you spend so much time on these projects.”

What is your ideal situation upon graduating?

“Probably a company that aligns with my ideals and stance on things, probably an ad company that makes posters or product designs. That’s a big thing the program focuses on; a lot of the upper level courses are doing product designs so probably something like that.”

It was a great discussion and I am glad to have met her. After our discussion she showed me a few of her pieces, I would say it is a solid assessment that she is on the right path. On behalf of TMN I wish Chantel Sanchez a good luck and future here at FHSU.





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