Hello, and welcome to my website!
I’ve always been an artist. Music, drawing, painting, crafting, and being a tinker-bot – If it was creative in any way, I wanted to be part of it.
My first award for art was in the 3rd grade. It was a collage of under water creatures and life forms, as an homage to my home in Florida. I started playing the violin shortly after. As I progressed through school, however, it was the visual arts that continued to inspired me.
In my junior year at Amherst Central High School, I had an opportunity that allowed me to become the designer and business owner I am today! I entered into the Erie Boces Harness Center, a vocational and trade skill school, for half of each day. Here, I expanded my knowledge for the art world. I learned what a graphic designer was, and how they impacted the world. I also discovered the competitive side of design, and entered into yearly design competitions. All of this gave me a taste of the design world.
With my technical certification in hand, I continued my education at Erie Community College. In this educational program, my inner artist and tinkerer were full of excitement. My education at ECC allowed me to combine graphic design with printing, and learned the mechanics of offset and digital printing.
I was still able to keep entering in design competitions, but with printing in my arsenal, I could do more than just design. I could put my art into action by presenting branding packages and product packaging, as well as stand-alone graphic design. This would, unknowingly, give me an edge over other graphic designers. Now, I could correctly communicate not just printers, but also sign makers, marketing products providers, and other services needed to bring your business and ideas to a whole new level.
Even after receiving my Associates degree in Visual Communication and Printing, I desired more knowledge and experiences to expand my graphic design education.
My final educational stop was at Buffalo State College, where I pursued and acquired my Bachelor of Fine Art in Visual Communication. While I loved the program and education, there was some discouragement for a time. I found that most of the graduates from the program had to leave the Buffalo area to find adequate jobs in the design field.
Rather than despair, I decided that this would not do! I grew up in the Amherst area, and was weaned on stories of local shops and independently owned businesses. I had seen over the years, however, that many were suffering from big business' encroachment. Small businesses were starving.
The summer of my senior year, I was looking forward to my first art gallery exhibit and anticipating one last internship of my student life. Then, by pure chance, I became aware of a local business owner in need of graphic design work. It kept occurring to me that someone needed to fight for the local business owners; To give them big city branding for our smaller growing economy.
It was this determination to help my fellow small business owners, as well as the acquisition of my first customer, that drove me to start Monteleone Graphics.