Colum Alum Highlight: Kamilah Jones

Meet Kamilah Jones ’14! Kamilah graduated in 2014 with a degree in Illustration. We reached out to Kamilah about her time at Columbia and to share any advice to students. Check out what Kamilah had to say about her journey!

I came over to Columbia after attending two other art schools and I have to say this school was the best fit for me! I pursued an Illustration major and was able to take classes in Animation, Marketing, and work with film students to see how illustration could be applied in a number of areas. I was active in the International Student Organization, Animation Club, and participated in two summer Marvel Entertainment internships. I graduated in 2014 with the goal of being a storyboard artist.

When I started my career in Illustration it was difficult to find my place and throughout the years I’ve discovered that my best work is my personal work. I tend to feel stifled when doing illustrations for others unless it’s closely associated with a topic or style I’m passionate about. So, I took on the monumental task of creating my own illustration brand, Hard Decora, that sells comics, apparel, and accessories inspired by alternative fashion! Since then, I’ve sold my clothes in Japan, been a fashion guest at a number of conventions across the country, and I’ve been featured in Teen Vogue and much more.

My word of advice if you’d like to also run a product-based business is to look into specific business resources for that. For example, drop shipping vs sending items out yourself, comparing e-commerce website platforms, email marketing, FB Ads etc. I think a lot of emphasis is put on the art while you’re learning but these other topics will make your art business actually run.

Kamilah Jones creator of Hard Decora