Full Sail University

Media Design Grad Shaping Future Designers

Graphic designer, illustrator, and fine artist Corey Guerra applies decades in the arts as a professor at Tulane University and SNHU.

Grad Corey Guerra is wearing a black polo shirt and posing for a headshot against a light grey backdrop.

From early on, Corey Guerra was drawn to the art world, saying, “My original interest in art [happened when I was] very young. My first painting was a watercolor, and it was when I was 10… in high school, I was doing college-level studio type work, and that's where I initially learned how to paint, sculpt, do all these things.”

However, thinking that a career in art wouldn’t yield a living wage, Corey was encouraged to enter the medical field. After over a decade in healthcare, Corey still felt art tugging at his heartstrings.

“I was in ophthalmology, I worked as a contact lens and low vision specialist for many years. I went back to school because I was getting burned out, and I decided to return to my passion, which was design and art… I [continued] painting on and off through the years, and I still liked to create, but I never really gave myself the time.”

After completing his undergraduate degree at Tulane University and subsequently landing a position as a professor in Tulane’s Digital Design program, Corey decided to continue his re-exploration of the arts by completing his Master of Fine Arts with Full Sail. “I knew that an MFA was a terminal degree in design and so if I ever wanted to continue that career path, in addition to the stuff that I do in my design firm, I knew that I really needed to have that.”

Enrolling in the Media Design MFA program, Corey was able to gain a more in-depth understanding of the why behind his work in art and design.

“Not only did [Full Sail] help me synthesize prior learning and the learning in the course, but it also helped me to understand the importance of trusting a process. Finding and identifying a process that works for me as an individual artist, but one that is also going to work for the client, and to really trust it so that I never have creative hurdles or creative block.”

Today, the designer, illustrator, and fine artist teaches courses in design at Tulane and Southern New Hampshire University while owning and operating his boutique design firm, Corey Guerra Designs. Taking on clients from throughout the Gulf South region, Corey has worked with organizations including The Mississippi Chorus, the Mississippi Association of Choral Directors, La Petite Grocery, Tulane University, and the Sweet Mississippi Tea Festival.

For Corey, the work he takes on isn’t so much about the payday as it is the legacy he wants to leave behind.

“I know that design is ephemeral… even if it's not going to last a long time, it's always going to exist in some form, especially now that we have the internet,” he shares. “So it does help to immortalize me. Not that that's really a goal in life, because I'm not that into myself, but it is interesting that you get to have that outlet.”