Art that’s Alive

By Hailey Stangebye

Angela Warf’s garden bursts with life each season. Our art director will bring our office ripe tomatoes, tomatillos, kale, cucumbers — even homemade pickles. She knows that, with the right environment, time and care, she can make something beautiful grow.

That applies to more than her garden.

Angela has the unique capacity to take the seed for a design or an image or a video, and coax that idea into reality.

“My grandpa owned an apple orchard and a grape vineyard,” Angela says. “It’s definitely in my genes to want to grow things, which is, I think, why I love it so much.”

“My grandpa owned an apple orchard and a grape vineyard. It’s definitely in my genes to want to grow things, which is, I think, why I love it so much.”

She also has creativity in her genes. Her grandmother is an oil painter, and she noticed that Angela took a keen interest in the arts, even at a young age. Every Saturday morning, she would sit with Angela and host informal art lessons.  

“And I always fought back,” Angela laughs. “I wanted to do very graphic art, and she always created this beautiful, flowy, kind of fine art. But I’m glad that she had those classes with me because, now, I have a mix of styles that I can implement into my graphic design.”

Angela has created art throughout her life, but she never thought of pursuing an artistic field for her career until senior year of high school in Sugar Grove, Ohio. In a school district where arts budgets ran thin — like watered-down Elmer’s glue — one teacher started an initiative that changed the course of Angela’s life.

“Mrs. Mary Goss. She was actually the librarian, but she had a really good eye for art, and she made woven blankets from alpaca wool,” Angela says. “I think that she saw a need for digital art classes. So, my senior year, she created a tech art class where she taught photoshop. She might not have even known how to use it herself, but she helped us figure it out because she knew it was important for people like me who had this skill, but needed a way to implement it into the real world.”

“I think that she saw a need for digital art classes. So, my senior year, she created a tech art class where she taught photoshop. She might not have even known how to use it herself, but she helped us figure it out because she knew it was important for people like me who had this skill, but needed a way to implement it into the real world.”

Mrs. Goss ultimately convinced Angela to use her work from that tech art class to apply to CCAD. Prior to that, Angela says that no one had told her she could make a career out of art.

Since that day, Angela has completed her CCAD degree in graphic design with minors in art history and copywriting. She’s made a career and a name for herself doing what she loves most: creating.

“I think if I was doing anything else, I wouldn’t be happy,” Angela says. “They say, ‘Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.’ I think that’s absolutely true, especially for creative people. I wouldn’t want to work a job doing sales or something, and then do art on the side. That wouldn’t be me fulfilling my dream and my purpose, which is to make things look better than they do now.”

Angela brings life to all of the creative we produce, just like she brings life to all of the veggies in her garden. And, like a bountiful harvest, she makes art that you’ll want to share.