Alyssa Rawls is a graphic designer from Thomaston, Georgia who will be graduating with honors and receiving her BA in Art with a concentration in graphic design and a minor in philosophy. She specializes in graphic designs, concentrating on branding and marketing. She combines her ethical studies with intentional design to create a strong sense of branding centered around emotion and feeling. As she finishes her school career, she plans to continue to grow her freelancing business, Alyssa Graphics Co., while pursuing a professional career in graphic design at LB Marketing in Alpharetta, Georgia.
There’s nothing more powerful than creating something out of nothing, and from an early age, I utilized my artistic perspective to constantly form new creations. Throughout my life, art has given me the tools to find a home, a strong, faithful support system, and my identity. I have learned to treat every day as a blank canvas while searching for ways to fabricate my life into a work of art - one to be proud of.
Growing up, I was never satisfied in my small hometown. I felt as if little ole’ Thomaston, Georgia restricted me from growing as an artist and person. I spent many sleepless nights dreaming of the day I would leave the place that seemed to hold me back from finding my true self. A constant cycle of watching each passing day, while dreaming of the “What Ifs,” made me long for an escape.
Once I left for college, I found myself a stranger, struggling to claim my spot in a new place, a new town. The sense of self that I had spent years crafting seemed to be falling by the wayside. My sense of familiarity had disappeared with no hint of return and I began searching for new friends, art classes, anything to fill the void, yet nothing seemed to work. One day it clicked: I lost a huge piece of myself when I left Thomaston.
As I began working on my senior Capstone project, I realized that Thomaston was my biggest source of inspiration! What once seemed to hinder my creativity sparked a revival. I began to think about how Thomaston built me into the artist I am today. Slowly, I realized that even though I was no longer living in my hometown, I had to keep my roots planted firm. How can a tree flourish when the roots have been removed? I found that Thomaston is more than just a pinpoint on a map, more than just my previous address. My hometown provides security, a place filled with those that have loved me when I felt unlovable, and a home that I can always come back to. The old saying, “You don’t really know what you’ve got ‘till it’s gone,” rings through my head, and now I truly understand.
My vision for Common Grounds has always been to create a space that provides that same feeling of security, warmth, and unconditional love. As an artist, my main goal is not just to create a design that is aesthetically pleasing, but also to draw an emotion. In just 21 short years on Earth, I’ve been able to form new creations every single day, and I believe that Common Grounds is a creation that will continually inspire others to find comfort and joy in everything, every day.
Common Grounds Coffee Company was built from conversations around my dining room table in my hometown of Thomaston, Georgia. I created branding and marketing for this coffee shop around the central theme that so many young 20 somethings are on the search for: a sense of peace and familiarity. Playing with comforting, warm colors, street names from my hometown, and familiar architecture, I created Common Grounds in the image of Thomaston, Georgia using the Adobe Suite and Procreate. My designs are meant to emphasize the relationship that can be formed from an atmosphere like Common Grounds: a place where people can gather, just like my family, to discuss dreams of unimaginable proportions and feel a little more inspired with Common Grounds Coffee in their mugs.