“We need to ensure that those who have the least still benefit from equal access to the tools they need to express themselves,” says Clifmon Leroy ’22, a Harold T. and Alice M. McCarthy Memorial Scholarship recipient. The scholarship is awarded to a talented student majoring in art and design and offers a? full, four-year scholarship that includes full tuition, fees, room and board, and books. During his time at Salem State University, the art and design major benefited immensely from on-campus facilities that enabled him to bring his art—digital and physical—to life. “It was so important to have access to Mac computers and high-quality printers for poster making and art prints. We also had dedicated studios for sculpture and paint, which meant I could design something on the computer and then actually go and produce a physical version of it in the studio—or vice versa.”
Clifmon’s creativity and talent in the studio not only caught the attention of his classmates and professors—it landed him a prestigious internship at the digital agency TeamOne. As part of his internship, Clifmon helped to develop marketing materials for the Marvel film Eternals. “I had never worked professionally in a creative agency environment before. This experience was invaluable—both for learning about the industry, and for learning how I want to use my skills in the future.”
For now, Clifmon says that his true passion remains with his own creative works: a combination of illustration and graphic design that embraces quirky figures and bright colors while tackling issues that are close to his heart. “I take a lot of inspiration from the works of Miyazaki,” he explains. “In my zine, for example, I’m able to explore more politically charged topics, like the financial challenges associated with paying for education and the ways that capitalism can create frictions in our society.” To get a better sense of Clifmon’s aesthetic and view past works, visit his website clifmonleroy.art.