Kylie Lockwood

The term "Fine arts" often conjures images of sculptures and stimulating paintings exhibited in museums and local artist homes. But some artists have discovered a new avenue for their unique, creative talents - the automotive industry.

Kylie Lockwood, a graduate at CCS fine arts program, works as a colors and materials designer at Ford Motor Company.

"Up until my junior year at CCS, I had no idea that the automotive industry was looking for designers with fine arts degrees," said Kylie Lockwood. "I learned about the opportunity when my friend Tome Jovanoski encouraged me to attend an automotive portfolio review. The representatives explained what they were looking for and offered me advice about my work. The next year, I was hired at Ford."

Colors and materials design involves creating the look and feel of a car's "skin," both inside and outside of the vehicle. This includes paint color, finishes, details, wheels, rims, interior accent colors, fabrics, leather graining, and so forth. Designers are often assigned to one of two areas. Some may work on a specific program, for example, designing for the Ford Escape. Other designers, including Lockwood, are involved with the company's strategic design team. Their job is to develop strategies that envision the materials Ford will use in the future.

"Ford is committed to preserving the environment," said Lockwood. "Through research and incorporating sustainable materials into our design, we are making decisions that will have a positive impact on the future. That is my favorite aspect of my job."

Lockwood's ability to work with materials and colors grew out of her love for the fine arts. Courses in sculpture and drawing taught her how to communicate concepts through elements of design and how changing a material can completely alter the meaning in a piece - or an interior.

"I'll never lose sight of my work," said Lockwood. "It's the most important thing in the world to me."

  • Graduation Year: 2005
  • Major: Fine Arts
  • Employer: Ford Motor Company
  • Title: Colors and Materials Designer

Designed and created by DDM Marketing & Communications.