Mentoring Fearless Creativity

Initiatives by Romy Roloff, Senior Copywriter

Sandbox x Hamilton High School

Making intentional space for more diverse voices to join our industry is some of the most important and urgent work we can do. Through Sandbox, our external mentorship program, we’re creating more opportunities for underrepresented youth to learn about our industry and gain hands-on experience.

During Fall ‘21 and Spring ‘22, students from Hamilton High’s Communication Arts Academy joined Hook team members for a custom curriculum which gave students the knowledge, introductory skills, and support they need to explore this career path.

This program allows marginalized students to find their voices through graphic design. It provides them the opportunity to learn industry standard software, receive mentorship, and study the fundamentals and principles of design.

Ms. Lujan, Hamilton High School faculty

To kick off the program, mentors from various disciplines gave career path presentations, peeling back the curtain of what goes on in motion, graphic design, production, and creative departments. Mentors spoke about their personal journeys, got real about the joys and challenges of what they do, and answered questions around their process and where they find inspiration.

It wasn’t just about teaching an intro design class, it was about showing students the possibilities of being creative and how that can lead to different creative career paths.

Hieu Luong, Associate Creative Director and Hook mentor

Through various working sessions, mentees got exposure to different aspects of graphic design like brainstorming and concepting, typography and hierarchy, illustration and color, all with examples on how each step can be approached.

Sophomore students created stickers that represented their identity, and the senior class was tasked with concepting and designing a band poster featuring a musician of their choosing.

To commemorate the end of the program and leave students feeling inspired to continue pursuing their interests in a creative field, we printed the stickers and produced a book featuring the completed band posters.

I am beyond thankful to have been part of this program. Hearing the students talk about their lives, and how they wanted to incorporate their culture, background and interests into their designs was amazing to witness.

Amy Rexford, designer and Hook mentor