Student Spotlight: David DuFault
David DuFault began making art at a young age. Then he discovered that graphic design and fine art could not only be rewarding but also practical for a career.
“Computer-aided design was fairly new to the university when I decided to change my career path. I had previously sought to become a psychology professional,” he said.
DuFault earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine Arts and Graphic Design from California State University, Sacramento, and wanted to continue his art education in Chicago.
“Early on, I had my sights set on attending The School of the Art Institute Chicago to study the same disciplines,” he said. “After relocating to Chicago, I decided to glean more skills from professors beyond those I studied under at CSUS and spend my post-baccalaureate time refining my design and painting skills before applying to SAIC.
“I chose College of DuPage based on recommendations I had received, its location, and how reasonably priced it was. While I did not earn a degree from COD, in many ways I feel as though I did because of the wealth of vision I received from the COD art department, specifically from Professor Jennifer Hereth. Within the first 10 minutes of my first studio from Ms. Hereth’s class, I knew I found a professional mentor. She continues to influence my studio work 20 years later. We still have a professional relationship and she continues to offer solid critiques of my work. In a wonderful turn of events, I am honored to critique her work as well.”
DuFault did transition to SAIC with help and guidance from Hereth and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art & Technology and Painting. After graduation, he began working both careers simultaneously – as a graphic designer for a large downtown firm and exhibiting his paintings throughout the nation. He has been part of nearly 40 solo exhibitions and runs his own graphic design business.
However, DuFault wanted a bigger challenge from graphic design.
“I feel we have the power to reinvent ourselves as we see best. So I set out to get a real estate broker’s license and put my design, business and fine art background to work and pair it with buying and selling real estate,” he said. “I have been working in the Lincoln Park/Lake View area and really love the change and new inspirations. Many buyers have trouble visualizing spatially when looking at a home purchase. I help guide them to discover if something works or not.
“I use those same skills with seller clients who need help staging their home. You would be surprised how many people arrange their furniture to suit their lifestyles, but that may not be suitable for most others. I also have a collection of fine art that I loan out to clients or other real estate brokers to stage their homes.”
As he continues to challenge himself personally and professionally, DuFault relies on each skill and experience he has learned, including those from his time at College of DuPage.
“When there are many elements to creating a career path, I think most of us usually encounter unexpected situations and must modify our career plan,” he said. “I feel fortunate that my plan to attend COD for portfolio development and further education before applying to SAIC went exactly as planned and exceeded my expectations. I truly felt I got the better end of the deal.
“I would highly recommend College of DuPage. Whether you are starting out or transitioning between degrees, there is always something new to learn no matter your level of skills. I recall the students in our studio classes were diversified and varied as to where they were in their career paths. I would also recommend that students use the wide array of courses thoughtfully to build a core curriculum that suits you. The possibilities are endless.”
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