College of Arts and Communication

Marissa Guthrie '13

Marissa Guthrie

Marissa Guthrie graduated in 2013 with a BFA in Graphic Design and Metals.

What made you pursue your degree?
“I wanted the ability to understand all elements of design. Understanding how to construct objects in metals, while also dealing with graphics allowed me to better understand function.”

What was your favorite part about attending UW-Whitewater?
“I loved the Department of Art and Design, my professors at the time were unmatched in their skill (Teresa Faris, Charlie Olson, Michael Banning, Renee Melton, Greg Porcaro, Dan McGuire) in their field, and the majority of relationships I made with them as mentors and colleagues still stand today. They were honest with their feedback even if it wasn’t what I wanted to hear, but they also created great rapport with their students that allowed space for hard conversations about our work and our futures.”

How did your UW-Whitewater experience prepare you for your career or transform your life?
“Honestly, it’s made me a great designer and well-rounded in that I understand a lot of mediums and how they can be applied. I also learned how to work hard for what I wanted and the skills I wanted to hone. I remember long nights in the studio, and I wouldn’t trade them for the world. Time management when I had to compose my own junior review and senior show. I never liked being down to the wire and over the years I learned how I worked best in order to avoid high-stress situations. Their expectations made me realize my own potential and that I can do hard things. Now I’m a professional that people ask for to work with for a few months to develop processes.”

Where are you at in your career now?
“That’s a tough one. I found that I am good at many things, and currently I’ve started a career in real estate, where my marketing and design experience comes in handy as well. I’m doing this while I also work contractually as a designer/marketing consultant.”

What is your proudest accomplishment to date?
“Flipping, running a business through a pandemic while transitioning careers.”

What advice would you give to your former self?
“Trust yourself, and stop worrying about what others think about what you want to do in life. It’s also ok to like a lot of things, you’ll get there.”

What advice would you give to your future self?
“Stay true to your purpose. There’s really nothing you can’t do.”

What advice would you give to a potential UW-Whitewater Art and Design student?
“Make mistakes and celebrate them! Listen to what you want to do and what you’re interested in. You’re the only one you truly have in life, make sure you’re loving every minute of it. That doesn’t mean it won’t ever be hard or that you might hate it somedays - but make sure it’s worth it to YOU.”

Learn more about the Art and Design Degree Programs