• Interpretive material and furniture for A Poet*hical Wager, an exhibition at MOCA Cleveland
  • Monograph for the artist Gabriel Kuri
  • Poethical bench
  • Michael Aberman

Alumni Profiles: Michael Aberma, Minneapolis College of Art and Design, 2011, BFA, Graphic Design

Michael Aberman graduated from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) in 2011 with a bachelor of fine arts in graphic design. He works as an independent graphic designer and is the creative director behind MCAD’s latest viewbook . Check out MCAD’s interview with Aberman where he talks design, the Twin Cities, and his current obsessions (hint: it’s his dogs).

What do you do for work and how do you feel about it?

I’m a graphic designer in an expanded sense. I work and collaborate with artists, curators, museums, educators, and anyone who wants to spend time doing interesting work together. Sometimes that’s projects like identity systems, publications, websites, etc. Other times, the final outcome is ill-defined prior to beginning. I’m really enjoying that balance right now. Building and fostering relationships is really important to me, and it’s something I’m trying to emphasize in my practice.

Who was your favorite faculty member and why?

There are so many incredible professors and people at MCAD, many of whom had a profound influence on both my character and my practice—Piotr Szyhalski, Kindra Murphy, Jan Jancourt, Erik Brandt, Angela Strassheim, and Ruth Voights, to name a few.

Talk about your internship.

I was fortunate enough to do three internships while at MCAD. First PAPER Magazine, then Urban Outfitters, and finally the Walker Art Center; the third took me down the path I’m on today. They were kind of like the yin to the yang that was my education. They also helped dismantle the mental barrier I created for myself between student and non-student work. That line is fluid—we’re all just winging it.

What advice do you have for prospective art and design students?

Question everything and keep an open mind. The way things are aren’t the way things have to be.

Do the Twin Cities offer many opportunities for creatives?

Yes, tons. I’ve lived in a lot of different cities recently and feel there aren’t many that can compete with the support the Twin Cities offers to its artists and designers, both professionally and creatively.

Current obsession?

My dogs. Nellie Cocoa Puff (aka Banana Bread) is a chiweenie and Wizard (aka Cloud Boy) is a polar bear.

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