Faces of the CVPA: Jessica Clark '14

Jessica Clark

Jessica Clark as photographed by Elizabeth Dreher.

1. Where are you from?

Richmond, Va.

2. What is your major and what does it consist of?

My major is visual merchandising and I have a minor in marketing. My major consists of some math (which I am not interested in!) but has mostly been hands on. I've had many studio classes where I've created store designs, advertisements, window displays and have played around with software such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. I really enjoyed the hands on creativity with the window displays, but I'd rather not have a career in retail.

3. For how long have you been interested in this type of work?

Although my heart is set on fashion, I've grown up around styling for productions my entire life. I've been assisting my mom with wardrobe styling on commercials since high school. It's something I enjoy and I know I could have a future in that industry. Though I'm so used to working with my mom locally (in Richmond, VA), I would like to pursue something more challenging after school.

4. What inspired you to pursue visual merchandising as a major?

My mom is a stylist so she's had a big influence on my interest in fashion.

5. How would you describe your design style?

My style is a little bit of everything really. I like to mix and match, incorporate old with new, and I'm a big fan of color. I'd say I'm more organic than plain and simple.

6. Have you had any opportunities to use the skills you have been taught here at RU?

I use what I've been taught thus far in all my classes. Sometimes even in non-design related classes. 

7. We understand that you interned on a movie. Tell us about that experience.

This past summer I had the amazing opportunity to work in the costume department on a movie called "Killing Kennedy." It's a National Geographic film that was filmed in Richmond. I was involved with so many tasks regarding the ‘50s and ‘60s costumes. I organized, handled, and cleaned a lot of the time, but it was awesome just to be around so many costumes from that era. It's one of my favorites.

From day one, I was thrown into an environment that I had to adapt to very quickly. Me and a small group of people including the costume designer, assistant costume designer, costumer supervisor and two set costumers basically lived out of an 18-wheeler truck for the month of filming. The truck held enough clothing for all principles and extras as well as shoes and accessories, a washer and dryer, sink and office space. 

It's crazy to think that I literally performed all tasks on a truck. I steamed and organized clothing according to the day's scenes, did laundry, cleaned shoes, picked out outfits for certain extras – basically anything and everything. 

My body really didn't have trouble getting thrown into doing a million tasks at one time, at a fast pace, but the 16-hour days and the 3:00 a.m. call times I could never get used to. 

It was also crazy being on set watching the filming take place and seeing stars like Rob Lowe and Ginnifer Goodwin acting on camera, right in front of me. It was such a surreal experience. 

People have no idea the amount of work that goes into making a film, even for just a month. I didn't realize until I was experiencing it first hand. It was amazing and exhausting all at the same time. 

I learned a lot and had a crazy experience during this internship. I would like to work on a movie again, but it is extremely time consuming and demanding, so I don't know if I'd want to make it a career. 

8. What other passions/hobbies do you have?

There's also another side to me besides fashion that I sometimes think I'd like to pursue more. I am very much into singing and performing. I was in show choir in high school, but I never looked into the music opportunities at Radford, which I regret. I took an acting class as an elective this semester, and I really enjoyed getting back into being on stage. This aspect of my life makes me want to audition to be a Disney princess at Disney World before entering the actual real world. 

9. What do you plan to do after you graduate?

I've been lucky enough to have many different wonderful experiences that make it hard for me to decide what I love most. I graduate in May and I have no clue what I want to do, but I have many directions I can go!

10. If you could live in any city in the world, what city would you live in?

I feel like everyone says New York, but even if I end up hating it I would love to experience New York City. I know there are many opportunities there for my field of study and interests. 


Jan 16, 2014