Graduate Cat Squires: How They Found Their Fit in Graphic Design

Do you fit in yet? Cat Squires does.

Graphic Designer Extraordinaire, Expressive Artist, Gender Fluid Person, Borderline Personality Disorder Manager, Non-Profit Supporter, Loving Daughter, Proud Mother, Devoted Wife. Depending on which direction you approach Cat, you could try to label them a hundred different ways. They are all of these things – but cannot be fully described by any single one. And they fit in right here at NBCCD.

Having left a previous career as a Child and Youth Care Worker, which had left them drained emotionally, Cat found at NBCCD a new way to thrive. Having a history of using art as self-therapy, Cat was able to use their portfolio to apply for and receive direct-entry into the Diploma in Graphic Design. And they flourished.

Cat says, “I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder a few years ago; also known as Emotional Intensity Disorder, which I like better. It’s an instability in moods, behavior, self-actualization, self-image, and an instability in relationships. The best way I can describe it is that there’s a tiger chasing after me all day long.” However, that diagnosis has not been a detriment to their creativity. In fact, it is those very struggles that give Cat the inspiration and impetus to create.

“You don’t have to wait until you’re ‘all better’ to start at the College. You can’t let the illness stop you, and doing the work can be a valuable part of your recovery process.”

Through past experience working in the field of Child and Youth Care, Cat saw firsthand how non-profits are often unable, either through lack of funding or manpower, to focus on things like quality branding and marketing. Graphic Design skills, to Cat, are an opportunity to assist vital community organizations in doing what they do. As a student Cat has already worked with advocacy organization Reproductive Justice NB on their new logo and recently completed themed illustrations for STU Pride (an extension of the Queer & Allied People Society at St Thomas University). These areas of service are what Cat continues to expand on – offering their graphic design services on a sliding scale based on what a particular non-profit organization can afford. This same “pay what you can” model is what made it possible for Cat to receive some of the therapy they needed for recovery at Family Enrichment & Counselling Service here in Fredericton so to them it’s a way of giving back.

Read the full story here.