DC Entertainment director inspires students while visiting CCP

WINTERVILLE, NC — Pitt Community College students preparing for careers in fine art and graphic design this week had a unique opportunity to hear from a leader of one of the largest entertainment companies in the nation .

Janice Walker, senior art director of DC Entertainment’s Creative Affairs Division, visited the campus on Monday to discuss her role with the production arm of DC Comics, the company responsible for bringing superheroes like Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman to the world. as well as villains, including The Joker, Penguin and Lex Luthor. Walker spent nearly four decades with DC Entertainment, a subsidiary of Warner Bros. Discovery, after being hired as a graphic designer by illustrator Joe Orlando in 1986.

“Janice’s visit was just incredible,” said Charity Valentine, chair of the CCP’s Fine Arts Department. “She’s the first visiting artist we’ve come to campus since the pandemic, and it was the busiest visiting artist we’ve ever had.”

With the original 3D Superman character sculpt nearby, Walker spoke to students gathered in the PCC’s Davenport Multipurpose Room about taking classes at a Michigan community college as a high school student before transferring to New York’s Pratt Institute to study Graphic Design and Illustration. He discussed his professional background and the evolution of his job responsibilities with DC Entertainment in a presentation that touched on a wide variety of topics.

“SM. Walker’s visit was especially timely for our students,” said Dr. Eleanor Willard, chair of the PCC’s Advertising and Graphic Design Department. skin and character costumes and his take on comic book art and character development aligned perfectly with what I was talking about in class this week. It was great to be able to reference his presentation. This way he gave a lot of more validity to what the students are learning in class and really brought the material to life.

Walker, who recently moved to North Carolina from California to be closer to family, works remotely for DC Entertainment. In addition to design work and hiring artists, he oversees various projects for TV, film, merchandising and more. Though his role has become more administrative in nature over the years, Walker is still “living (his) better life than him” in the DC Universe. He says he’s always “hungry for more” and loves the hands-on nature of creative content design.

Drawing from a business background that includes physically handling text and images for a newspaper, creating cover illustrations for a black history magazine, and organizing merchandise displays for Macy’s in New York City, Walker has offered students some wise career advice from the CCP:

  • Give any job at least a year to interact with other professionals and learn as much as possible.
  • Know when it’s time to leave a company.
  • Go through tough times and “keep your head down to hone your skills while you learn.”
  • Resolve conflicts by meeting them head-on and being kind as you determine what is truly at issue.

Following his remarks, Walker answered questions from students and gave away more than 45 DC/Warner Bros. memorabilia.

“Students stayed talking to Ms. Walker long after the event was over; the questions kept coming,” Valentine said. “It was wonderful to see the students so inspired.”

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