Constanza Gowen-Segovia: Emerging Professional

Constanza Gowen-Segovia’s journey towards a BFA is winding down, as 22 seniors in Hartford Art School’s Visual Communication Design program open their Senior Show at ArtSpace in Hartford. The 26-year-old Constanza was born in Mendoza, Argentina, and moved with her family to the United States in December of 1999. Attending Northwestern Connecticut Community College in Winsted, she got her first taste of design courses, before taking a few years off to, among other things, get married.

Constanza then found herself at the Hartford Art School.

“I went there for a portfolio review just to get a sense of what I needed to work on to get in, since I had taken a few years off. When I was accepted, I decided to just go for it.”

“Now that I’ve been at HAS for two years, I realize it’s the best place for me to be. It’s competitive but not cut-throat. The faculty is extremely talented and experienced — great people to be around, nurturing. There is something I like about each one of them. I like it when a professor is encouraging, but I also like them to be straightforward when something isn’t working. I don’t mind tough.”

Constanza wasted no time in accumulating accolades and experiences. She won the Most Promising Junior award. She took part in a trip to India to implement an educational campaign on sanitation, sharing and respect at a rural village in India — a follow up to the Engineers Without Borders project done by students at the University. And last summer she interned at CO:LAB in Hartford.

“I am so glad I contacted them, because I’m not sure they were even planning on having an intern. [Art Director] Troy [Monroe] came to my Type II class to show some work and talk about his post-HAS experience. When I saw the CADC Awards Show poster him and Brian did with the pencil and eraser, I got so excited. I thought, I wanna be around that sort of obsessive/maniacal creative process.”

Her experiences there were true to the impression that poster had made on her. “The single most valuable lesson I learned there was to spend more time in my sketchbook. Beyond the initial sketches, print stuff out and sketch over it. I had never done that and it felt liberating.”

Rich Hollant, CO:LAB’s self-proclaimed “strategic_creative_designer_director_guy” has no shortage of words when it comes to Constanza. “I first got a real sense of Constanza as we huddled over an odiferous wooden box during the portfolio presentation preceding her internship at co:lab. This was no ordinary, run-of-the-mill stink — it was a brilliant brew of audacious skin-crawling, can’t-flush-it-out-of-your-nose, rancid funk. To present an artifact imbued with such a pungent miasma is enough to earn my respect, but this box went further than to simply challenge the tolerances of presentation decency. The idea within was poetic, sophisticated and remarkable in the care and effort that went into the execution of all the inserted components. The contrast was honest, the delivery was startling, the message was resolved. You can try, but I honestly believe that you can’t teach a thing like that. You’re either born looking at life in that context or you’re not. Constanza was. That’s why we took her on as our intern. That’s why wherever she goes, whatever direction she scoots, we will always welcome her back here. We’ll even consider installing a bourbon cabinet as an enticement.”

After that summer internship, things got even more intense. “Now I’m a senior and have no life of my own. I pull at least one all-nighter a week. Balls.”

At Hartford Art School, students revisit and improve upon old projects as part of the Senior Portfolio class, in preparation for their Senior Show. “Oh my God. I have to say I had no idea it was gonna be this intense when I started school. Revising old projects feels good but now they have to be perfect, which I’m starting to think is unattainable. But I think there’s always room for improvement. First instincts are good but don’t always work. I find that I have to come up with 100 bad ideas before I have a strong concept. I love that process.”

“I love to do something different for every project, that is one of the reasons why I love graphic design. It has to relate to specific variables, depending on the task at hand, and working within those restrictions is fun.”

And then there’s the pressure of finding employment after graduation. “Pressure exists but I’d rather focus on loving what I do. I understand we should cherish the creative freedom we have now, because it doesn’t reflect the reality of the business, so I’m doing just that. I want to show my portfolio with confidence and have no excuses.”

Not to mention finding employment in an environment of economic downturn. “I grew up in Argentina, so I’m familiar with tough times. It’s just part of it, might make the job hunting more challenging but it could be a lot worse. It’s all about adjusting to the circumstances.”

Lucky for us, she plans on staying in Connecticut. “Yeah, that’s the idea for now. I’m married and have my (tight-knit) family here, so I wouldn’t leave if it wasn’t for a really good reason, ie. grad school. That might happen.”

“I’m trying to be part of it all, going to CADC and AIGA events, but I don’t have as much time as I would want to be more actively involved. It still feels good. I like Connecticut. It’s great to have Boston and New York so close, but not have to be there all the time — that would be exhausting. I like to get lost in the woods every once in awhile.”

So what agencies does she have her eye on? “Well, CO:LAB is exciting. Not only in terms of what they’ve done and do, but also what they will become. Lots of great ideas that I would love to be part of. Also, Gluekit in New Haven. The black and gold calendar they did for Yale Art Gallery is so cool. I haven’t seen much work from Winterhouse, but I love Design Observer and really admire Jessica Hefland’s writing. Being part of that would be nice.”

On a higher level, what most interests Constanza? “I love books. LOVE. But that’s on a completely selfish level. Communication is what interests me. Whether it’s literal or conveyed, there’s always a message. I’m into the way people interact with design, how it affects culture and vice versa.”

“I love to draw from real life, people. I can’t wait to graduate so I have time to walk around and see things. I don’t do much of that lately.”

Wherever Constanza lands, we’re sure she’ll be successful.

Hartford Art School’s Visual Communication Design 2009 Senior BFA Show hits ArtSpace Hartford, 555 Asylum Street, Hartford. Professional Preview Day is Thursday, April 30, from 12 – 7 pm. Opening Reception is Friday, May 1, from 4 – 7 pm. The exhibition closes Saturday, May 2, at 8 pm.


Graciela Segovia Bejares
Graciela Segovia Bejares 3.2.09

I’m Very proud from you!! I love you!!

Veronica 3.3.09

One more time…you are brilliant! very special,thank you for your art and contribution to next designer’s. Admirable!

Troy Monroe
Troy Monroe 3.4.09

As always, your approach and delivery on all things is magnificent. Congrats on the much deserved recognition on this site. Also, well done Dave, another interesting resource!

Deb Kline
Deb Kline 3.5.09

Constanza is one of those students who don’t come around all that often. Passionate, intelligent, dedicated, talented and just a blast to work with! I look forward to seeing her attain great success and happiness in her emerging career.

Verito 3.16.09

you are almost there…just because you followed your dream.
sos lo mejor que me paso en la vida…CONGRATULATIONS!!

ramon hidalgo
ramon hidalgo 3.20.09

Que alegria y orgullo, al leer estas noticias.
Desde que comenzaste a estudiar arte me imaginé que tendrías que desarrollarte de forma especial y brillante.
Pienso que seras mucho mas sobresaliente con el tiempo.
Tienes un gran camino y un desafio, adelante!!!

Vaughn 3.20.09

Way to go lady! Good works. Stay positive, almost there!

Antonio B. Maleville
Antonio B. Maleville 3.24.09

Coty, con gran sorpresa de vuelta de nuestro viaje a Chile nos encontramos con este lindo regalo a nuestro mundo latino que tu representas brillantemente en el mundo del Arte.
Nuestra congratulaciones…
Antonio Y Silvia.

hanny bayer
hanny bayer 4.16.09

coty mis mas grandes felicitaciones,que lindo orgullo para la familia mi niña linda un beso grande y negrita siga sobresaliendo y demostrando sus capacidades.

hanny y familia

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What time does the film start?
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