Meet: Laura Berwin
Raytheon Technical Services Company,
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Who I Am
I work as a Graphic Artist in a group called Dynamic Media. Our group
is part of Raytheon Technical Services Company, which supports the Jet
Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. We provide graphics and
web services for a variety of missions and programs on the lab, primarily
in the area of public outreach.
job is a lot of fun! I get to be creative, draw and design for a living.
I think I was always inclined towards art and drawing, but never really
had a clear idea of what I could do with it as a career. I took some art
classes in high school, but didn't consider studying art seriously until
college, when I took some life drawing classes. I received a BFA in Illustration
from Cal State Long Beach in 1998. After college I supplemented my skills
by studying background painting for animation at the Los Angeles Art Academy.
I really never considered doing anything with computers because I found
them to be intimidating, but after taking a course in Photoshop, I started
to feel more comfortable with them.
I have always found space exploration and science fascinating and I was
very familiar with JPL since my dad has worked there for over 35 years.
In fact, he encouraged me to apply for this position, even though I had
never worked with computers before. It took some time for me to get used
to drawing and painting with a mouse instead of a pencil or paintbrush,
but I enjoy it just the same!
What I Do
have produced graphics for many different Mars project websites, including
Odyssey, Mars Global Surveyor and Mars Exploration Rover. I really have
enjoyed working on these projects because the missions are so exciting
and there is so much public interest in that planet. My tasks have ranged
from designing the look of a site, to drawing icons for the content of
the pages. Right now I am working on the " Imagine Mars" site
, which has been fun because I got to design a series of futuristic Martian
habitats. Pretty much anything we could dream up was okay, including Martian
blimps, zany monorails, hybrid fruit trees, and futuristic airports! Another
project I am involved with calls for our group to design what the inside
of a futuristic Mars shuttle will look like. One of the challenges we
are faced with is trying to be scientifically accurate, but at the same
time keeping things simple and fun. This is important because our work
is primarily aimed at the public, both kids and adults.
absolute favorite thing to do is travel. I think I would go just about
anywhere! I have been backpacking in Europe three times, and it was the
most fun I have ever had. I was able to visit some of the best museums
in the world, meet lots of people, and try all kinds of yummy food. I
love living in Los Angeles because of the warm weather. I really enjoy
visiting the desert- the hotter, the better for me! I also really like
rollerblading and watching movies.