Justene Merriman

Multimedia Designer

About

What I'm doing here

I produce graphics, audio, video, web pages, and plenty of other creative ideas for our college and department communications. My mission is to ensure the achievements of our faculty, staff and students are represented in a high quality, consistent, and inclusive way. You'll see my work on this website and wherever our marketing reaches.

Background

As a Bellingham native from a diverse blended family (including LGBTQ+ and originating from Canada, Mexico, and all over the US from Alaska to Puerto Rico), I simultaneously grew up on a floral farm in the county and an in-home Graphic Design studio near downtown. On the farm, I tended and cleaned up after farm animals, gardened, harvested and dried plants, made forts out of tall grass and corn stalks, ...and drew on the walls (and cleaned it off, and drew on them again...and repeat). Now I paint murals on the walls, and nobody asks me to clean them off. In the studio, I evolved from doodling on paper found in the recycling bin (and drawing on the walls here too), to creating mailers with professional design equipment. I cozied up to a Stat camera in the darkroom on hot summer nights, and developed a hobby of digital illustration whenever a computer was idle.

I spent 15 years in commercial printing before I came here. I started with cutting and taping printed documents into layouts for giant cameras, then moved on to fixing customer files in design software, creating workflow automation, making marketing materials and managing the company website. Eventually I ended up managing Prepress, and visiting K-12 schools throughout Whatcom County to teach design and printing to yearbook classes, teachers, and parent helpers. During the same time I had a freelance business doing graphic design, fine arts, writing, and event coordination. I also dabbled in photography for fun, and some of my poetry got published.

I joined the WWU College of Fine and Performing Arts marketing team in 2013. Here I have taken our websites through multiple overhauls, generated a ton of posters and other print marketing, performed photo shoots, created and edited videos, joined the university branding committee, and advocated for more inclusive usability for all.

Collegial Credits

AAS degree in Graphic Design from Whatcom Community College

2 years in the Design program at Western Washington University

BS in Information Technology/Multimedia & Visual Communications from University of Phoenix online

WWU certificate in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Play time

Playfulness is vital to creativity (proven in studies!), and creativity is vital to problem solving in every field. I encourage a little playtime in every day: whether it's playing with toys at the desk, gaming, exploring the outdoors, tinkering, or wearing something silly. There's always fun and inspiring activities in the CFPA!