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Card creator aglow with win

December 01, 2006|by ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN - Dani Ward "absolutely fell in love" with Adobe Photoshop software during an Internet course she took in her final year of high school.

That love led her to Hagerstown Community College, where she is pursuing an associate degree in graphic design.

Ward, 19, is this year's winner of HCC's holiday card contest. She recently presented her design - which features the school's logo on a glowing candle - to the college's Board of Trustees.

When she designed the card, Ward said she thought about the colors and feelings she associates with Christmas. Warmth stuck out in her mind, which led her to the candle design.

Ward sifted through more than 1,000 pictures stored on her computer to find just the right image. She then superimposed HCC's logo using editing software. The actual photograph was of a friend holding a Glade candle, Ward said.

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The card will be sent to those on HCC's mailing list this holiday season. Ward received applause from the trustees and $100 for her design.

Ward inherited her artistic talents from her mother, Mary Ward, who teaches art at Clear Spring Middle School.

"She was really surprised I decided to go into something artistic. She never pushed art," Dani Ward said.

Now, the daughter loves realistic and impressionist art and names Salvador Dali and Vincent van Gogh as her favorite artists.

Dani Ward called her mother a "great consultant" and a second pair of eyes that she calls upon when she gets stuck in the middle of a project.

Ward graduates in the spring and is deciding between pursuing a bachelor's degree and finding a job.

"I don't know where I see myself in June. Maybe a job where I can make a difference and help people and not rip them off," she said.

Ward is considering graphic design, studio art, English and linguistics as possible courses of study for a bachelor's degree.

She chose HCC because, "I could graduate with an associates (degree) and not waste a lot of money until I decided concretely what I wanted to do," she said.

It was also important for her to stay close to home, she said. In the future, being close to home will also determine Ward's work.

"I'd like to get married and have children and work from home," she said.

Ward works at Christian Light Bookstore near Valley Mall while attending classes full time.

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