Thomas WilsonThomas Wilson
'22, Art

by Kristin Steiner

When Professor of Art and Design, Luke Matjas, MFA, put the call out to designers about developing the cover art for CSUCI’s 2022-23 University Catalog, Thomas Wilson didn’t hesitate to answer. The CSUCI alum (’22, Art) was ready to tackle a new project and hone the skills he developed in Matjas’ courses to create something unique for CSUCI’s latest edition of the annual catalog.

A transfer student to the University in 2020, Wilson took classes online for his first two semesters at CSUCI. When he was finally able to take classes in-person for the Fall 2021 semester, he immediately took notice of the campus’ beautiful architecture.

“I think one of the standout pieces of this campus, visually, are the buildings. They’re very iconic, and everything is so cohesive,” he said.

Since he only attended two semesters on campus, Wilson felt he brought a unique, outsider’s perspective to this year’s catalog cover design and worked to create something completely original.

“I kind of wanted to take it and flip it on its head a little bit, you know? Like, the building is now pink, and upside down, and transparent. I wanted to play with the shapes and the color of the campus, try to experiment and kind of break it out of a box.”

On top of changing shapes and colors, he also took into consideration the University’s upcoming 20th anniversary.

“Twenty years is a while and you know, things grow and change, and this campus has grown and changed. That was a lot of my thought process behind it – kind of changing, radically, how the campus feels, through design, as it has throughout the years. It’s changed dramatically.”

When he’s not designing cover art or working for Associated Students Incorporated (ASI) as a graphic designer, Wilson loves making art of his own, often drawing and sketching in his spare time. A lover of the outdoors, he spends a lot of time in nature, hiking and camping in the Sespe Wilderness near Ojai. With hopes to one day become an art director who gets to oversee and mentor other designers, the biggest goal Wilson has is to share his art with others, however that may come about.

“I don’t usually do projects like this, but it was definitely really awesome to just take hold of that opportunity when someone presents it. It’s really fun to have your art out in the world.”

Back to Top ↑