After Quinne Fokes graduated in 1985 from the Mount Royal School of Art, she shot family portraits and worked in an art gallery. But a job as a sales assistant for a video production facility helped her discover her calling. “I went to a trade show and saw this person working with logos onscreen,” she said. Inspired, Fokes enrolled in San Francisco’s Academy of Art and completed the full curriculum in graphic design.
As a creative director and designer, “you are helping companies and organizations to stand out in the crowded marketplace,” she said. “From helping customers recognize a company (corporate identity) to encouraging them to buy product (brand identity and package design), to keeping their attention focused on a website long enough to make a donation to a nonprofit, the point is to get someone’s attention.” How similar to making art is that?
While creative direction/design is a “job” that supports her fine arts endeavors until they support themselves, “I’m still exercising the fundamental elements: line, shape, form, texture, tone, and color.” Whether as a design professional where her work is often about branding, or as an artist, where much of her work is personal, both have to do with identity.
Since 1994, the Augusta, Georgia, native has used her skills to help organizations, such as Avalon Bay Towers, match.com, Néstle, and the University of California, communicate with their audiences through her design firm, Quinne Design Associates.
“I bring to my design work fine arts sensibilities,” Fokes said. She credits much of that expertise to MICA. “The Mount Royal School of Art showed you what it was like to function as an artist because you were working independently and checking in with the directors and the visiting artists on a regular basis,” she said, “making decisions and moving forward.”
Fokes also uses her talent philanthropically, doing pro-bono or discounted work for nonprofit organizations, such as the Marin Conservation League, an environmental organization in Marin County, California. “If I can’t give them a million dollars, I can give them a million-dollar identity,” she said.
Though graphic design takes up much of her time, Fokes had begun exploring a renewed desire to paint, and she exhibits fine art commissions in local businesses and galleries in the San Francisco area. “I was looking for a way to be able to work in short spurts,” she said. “I’m going back to some of the larger conceptual work that I started 15 years ago.”
This page was last updated on 03/22/2017.