Meet Graphic Designer Karissa Tolliver

Meet Graphic Designer Karissa Tolliver

Tolliver is a force to be reckoned with

Karissa Tolliver is a 22-year old Integrated Marketing Communication major and visual design studies minor attending Winthrop.

A native of Lugoff, SC she has been doing this for six years. She tells me it is her hobby passion and career all in one.

Check out her Q/A below:

Shakora Bamberg: Tell me a little about yourself and about your role at Winthrop including any leadership roles you have held thus far as a student at WU.

Karissa Tolliver: I've always had a passion for creativity. I've learned design skills and software since 10th grade in high school. I realized that I might actually have a gift when I placed 3rd in a national student design competition my 11th-grade year and was awarded $1,000. My work was displayed at a graph expo in Chicago.

I spent 2 years as DSU's graphic designer. I was the layout editor for the RMR. I've displayed my art at a few events on campus like A. Bevy's black history event and Winthrop Black Girls Rock event.

Currently, I am Visible's graphic designer.

SB: Of, all the roles what has shaped you into a better young artist?

KT: DSU shaped me into a better professional, I learned how to work under strict deadlines and collaborate with other people's ideas. I also made lifelong friendships with people that I've met through DSU.

SB: When did you realize you wanted to go into this field of study where did this passion come from?

KT: Being an IMC major, I've learned a lot about advertising and using different strategies to get your product/service out there. I've used skills I've learned in my IMC classes to promote my products on social media, updating my website and also I made a commercial promotional video.

I always knew I had artistic ability since I was little. I always loved to draw since being a little kid and when I was around 7 or 8 my dad taught me how to use Microsoft Paint and it took off from there. I was constantly making digital art from elementary school and on. My parents even kept a book of all of my early Paint drawings but I have no idea where it is now lol. But yeah that's where it all started.

SB: Tell me about the inspiration that comes with creating your graphics what have customers said about your work?

KT: The inspiration for my work comes from the things that I love and are passionate about. I might either feel the need to express my love for a certain public figure or feel the need to make a statement. My customers have said that they love it and they're always ready to see what I'm going to create next.

SB: Social media accounts for potential customers to purchase or view your work?

KT: Website:

Instagram: @ktolliverdesign

I now sell my work on Redbubble.

The direct link to it is on the website under "shop."

SB: Basic prices for your graphics and art?


Logos are $60-$70 depending on what it is

Flyers are $30

Minimalist portraits are $20

Invitations are $30

The prices of the products vary and can be found on my site

SB: Favoritequote?

KT: I have a lot of favorite quotes but I think the one I like the most right now is

"Your value does not decrease based on someone's inability to see your worth." _Unknown

I made a poster with that quote because I loved it so much.

SB: Who has been your biggest influence?

KT: My graphic design teacher in high school has influenced me. He was the one that taught me all of this and he was the one who made me realized that I had a gift. She showed tough love and wasn't afraid to tell you that your work sucked. That meant a lot to me because if he did like something I created, that means he genuinely liked it. He's also the one that entered me in the design competition. influence?

SB: Has this business venture paid off thus far?

KT: This business venture has definitely paid off. I never thought my life would be this way. I've been doing graphic design for years and I've always known I had talent. But just recently I made the decision to capitalize and take full advantage of it. I'm so glad I did.

SB: What is one piece of advice you can give to college students who are interested in starting a business or company:

KT: Keep your studies at the top of your priorities. It’s easy to get lost into working on your business especially when the money starts coming in but remember that school still comes first. Find a good balance.

SB: What advice do you have for women who are entering the same work profession as you?

KT: Some people won’t take you seriously. They'll give you that “oh that’s cute you have a little website” kind of tone. Just be confident in yourself and your abilities. Know yourself and prove them wrong.

SB: What are your long-term career goals?

KT: My long term goal is to own a design firm but to also continue creating products on a larger scale. I definitely want a team of people to be a part of this.

As well as an online apparel and print store paired with it. I want the products in the store to be created by the designers working at my firm.

I would honestly like to develop a team to expand the business. Like another designer, a marketing person, a financial person, something like that. I can only do so much as one person and I think the opportunities would be endless if I could bring other people into it. My goal is to bridge a gap between graphic design and culture.

SB: When do you do your best work as it relates to your business? How do you get better at your craft?

KT: My creative juices always seem to flow better late at night. That’s when I’m most into my work. My best designs are always completed around 3 or 4 a.m. I can’t sleep until it’s perfect. I just look for new techniques and new ways to broaden my talents. If I see a cool design or artwork I try to mimic it or remix it in my own way.

SB: Who is your favorite artist?

KT: I don't really have one, however, my friend Devon Ford who also attends Winthrop is really talented and I am a fan of his work.

Check out his Instagram: builtfordtuff94

SB: What is an interesting thing that you have been able to do?

KT: I've recently founded an organization dedicated to the young people at my church, I started a committee that focuses on community service and spiritual growth for youth. It is just getting started but I'm excited to see how I will be able to impact the lives of young Christians.

SB: What is one thing that you love about Winthrop and why did you choose Winthrop?

KT: I’ve always loved Winthrop’s campus. It’s cozy and beautiful and it just feels like home.

Who runs the world? GIRLS.

Tolliver is a young rising graphic designer who is just getting started. Stay tuned there's more coming from this budding entrepreneur.

Cover Image Credit: Karissa Tolliver

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If South Carolina Colleges Were Characters From 'The Office'

Who's Jim and who's Meredith?

"The Office" is one of the best shows on the face of the planet. Don't believe me, you obviously haven't watched it. It has a character for everything, including all of the South Carolina colleges.

The Citadel

This one is probably the easiest. Creed Bratton. Hands down. Military all day every day. No one knows what really goes on behind closed doors, except the people there. Just like Creed's mind.

Coastal Carolina University

Consistently voted one of the top party schools in the nation. #It'snotcollegeit'sCoastal.

Winthrop University

Winthrop is the place for future teachers. We all know that Meredith is the mother/teacher figure in the office, which is kind of scary in and of itself.

Columbia College

Erin just seems like the type of person who would go to an all-female college.

Bob Jones University

At what other school do you see people wearing things that could be from the American Girl large colonial dolls Spring line?

Wofford College

The pearls, Greek Life, and Southern fashion are so real.

Furman University

Let's be real. Pam is a bit of a nerd. But at the end of the day, she does know how to get down. I mean she WAS on the party planning committee. And who doesn't want that Ring By Spring?

College of Charleston

Nard Dog is definitely in an a capella group in Charleston, taking in the city and the history while dressing like a frat star.

Medical University of South Carolina

Andy isn't alone in Charleston. Dwight is down there becoming a doctor. Yes, someone who can save lives and is able to do surgery. Although, who else would you expect to be a doctor?

University of South Carolina

There would be no South Carolina without the University of South Carolina. There would be no office without Michael Scott. The later seasons prove it. They're large and in charge.

Clemson University

While Michael thinks that he runs the office, it's no secret that Jim is the mastermind behind the operation. The office would fall apart without him. I'll just let that sit.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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Your Brain Is More Than A Bag of Chemicals

In David Anderson's 2013 Ted Talk, the Caltech professor discusses the downfalls of mental healthcare in our society, opening a discussion to wider societal issues.


David Anderson, in his Ted Talk "Your Brain is Not a Bag of Chemicals" dives into the world of treatment for psychiatric illnesses, of scientific research, and of fruit flies. His goal, to explain the flaws in current treatments of mental illnesses and present how this downfalls could be resolved is clear throughout the talk. Through presenting his research, and speaking of novel contributions such as the actual discovery of emotion in fruit flies, Anderson displays the flaws in mental healthcare and demands more of the scientific world to resolve these downfalls.

As Anderson explains, the traditional view of mental illnesses is that they are a chemical imbalance in the brain. He states, "As if the brain were some kind of bag of chemical soup filled with dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine." He explains the difference for typical treatments of physical ailments versus psychological ailments. As he describes it, physical ailments presented to a physician will lead to blood tests, biological assays, and various other factors to gather information about what is going on in the body so that a treatment plan can be well-suited to that issue. However, for psychological problems, the patient is often handed a questionnaire to assess the issues. These questionnaires, as he suggests, are insufficient in understanding the complexities that surround mental illnesses.

Of medication prescribed for mental illnesses, Anderson states, "These drugs have so many side effects because using them to treat a complex psychiatric disorder is a bit like trying to change your engine oil by opening a can and pouring it all over the engine block. Some of it will dribble into the right place, but a lot of it will do more harm than good." Anderson uses the example of dopamine and the model organism of fruit flies to explain this concept. He explains how in certain illnesses, such as ADHD, there is not a complete understanding of why there are features of learning disabilities and hyperactivity. Without this understanding, the treatment of just increasing the amount of dopamine in one's system is lacking.

Anderson suggests that pharmaceutical companies and scientists should do more research to not only discover the disturbances of neural pathways, which tend to be the real cause of mental illnesses, but to also develop new medications that attempt to resolve these specific pathways and specific receptors, rather than simply increasing the amount of a certain neurochemical. These new medications could and do revolutionize the way that mental illnesses are treated, and the efficacy in their treatment.

As a society, there is a general view of mental illnesses that varies greatly from the view of physical illnesses. Anderson, without directly discussing it, acknowledges this exact problem. He discusses the differences in treatments, but also the lack of resources that are put in to truly understand how to better treat mental illnesses as disturbances in neurophysiological components. Without, as a society, acknowledging and respecting mental illnesses for what they are, we are short-changing the 25% of the world who is directly impacted by these illnesses, and the countless loved ones who stand by those impacted. A shift needs to occur, and the research and ideas that Anderson presents are a wonderful scientific starting point for these shifts. However, if we as a society do not support the principles behind this science, do not support the concept that mental illness is much more than just being a little emotionally reactive, we are doing a disservice to the majority of the population.

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