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Meet: Laura Berwin

Graphic Artist,
Raytheon Technical Services Company,
Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Image of Laura Berwin

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.

Image created by Laura of a magnifying glass and Mars rocksMy 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
Image created by Laura for the "Imaging Mars" projectI 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.

Free Time!
Image created by Laura of a rocket going around a planetMy 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.

 
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