Chicago Studio Volunteer Spotlight: Manju Muralidharan
The Arts of Life has numerous events and exhibitions throughout the year and with that comes a high demand for graphic designs! Every poster, flyer, and event invite you have seen for the past year has been meticulously crafted by our Design Intern Manju. Read on about Manju and her experience interning at The Arts of Life from afar in California! How did you get involved with the Arts of Life?The recommendation for a Design Intern for The Arts of Life turned up on my Volunteermatch page, I emailed Noel immediately and 3 days later I was at the Chicago Studio!What is your background (School/practice)?I am a Computer Engineering undergraduate, but I migrated to SAIC for Graphic & Web design and later transferred over to UC San Diego for the same.How long have you been involved with the Arts of Life?April 5th marked my first year at the Arts of Life! What is your favorite project you’ve worked on for The Arts of Life?I’m going to pick two because I had an awesome time doing both. The first was the Poster for the Chilli Cook Off. It was a real challenge showcasing the information in different forms and sizes! It also gave me an inside look into how much effort goes into planning an event of that size. The second was the Annual Report for 2015, it is very special to me because it was my first professional book layout project. Looking at all the pictures I really missed being back at the studio!What are some of your favorite aspects of volunteering at the Arts of Life?Even though I only had 4 months to work in the studio itself, I loved being welcomed in with a hug from Bill in the morning and I always looked forward to the chats with Susan! The atmosphere was always buzzing with energy and everyone made me feel at home almost instantly!I miss working in the open studio and interacting with the artists so much! Can’t wait to see them again when I visit.What made you move to California?My husband Bala, who works as a Software Engineer for Intel, got relocated to San Diego. It was one of the toughest choices I’ve had to make!What is it like in San Diego? It’s sunny and warm year round and there are many many beautiful blue beaches with sea caves. There are a lot of hiking trails. My favorite author, Dr.Seuss’s house is right here too! What do you miss about Chicago?I miss my friends at SAIC, sitting by the lake at Adler staring at the skyline of the city and most of all sitting at Noel’s desk at the Chicago Studio chatting with the artists at The Arts of Life.What do you like to do outside of volunteering?Outside of volunteering I’m a STEM coach at the San Diego Public library and in school for Web Design (hopefully graduating this year!). I love to sew and dabble a little in Indian Classical dancing in my spare time.