Print guru Dani Locastro changes up the pattern at ASU

Dani Locastro, the director of operations for digital printing company first2print, understands the struggle of making it big doing what you love. In turn, she wants to teach ASU students how to succeed with her presentation, The Printed Project, on Friday. 

Locastro started first2print, which is a custom textile printing studio that has been around for a decade. Since 2001, it has worked hard in understanding and using the technological advances in the digital printing world. 

Locastro's career is a result of hard work and an artistic eye. It all started with a degree in fine arts with a print-making concentration to start her successful path. Locastro graduated with honors from Providence College in 1990. 

"The irony was in 1990 I was the first of my friends to get a job over the business majors," she said. "From there, I took every opportunity to continue to learn from everybody and anyone willing to help me connect the dots in understanding product development. I vowed not to be an arrogant designer and to contribute back to inspire other people to continue to learn about process. So, at this starting point I realized that artists could make a lucrative living if you are willing to see commercial art as commercial."

The Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts has a well-cultivated relationship with the Phoenix Art Museum. Through this connection, notable speakers, like Locastro, have been able to find their way to ASU and share their success stories and give advice to students. 

With 27 years of design and printing experience, Locastro has a lot to offer those interested in the industry. She is passionate and honest about her textile design career, fine art path and life. Her invitation to students includes understanding that they will be able to learn a thing or two to apply to their own futures. 

The Printed Project will allow students to see the process of a professional in the field. Not only will design students see the interesting aspect of the presentation but fashion, business management and artistic collaboration students.  

"This presentation will take the student on a journey to look at themselves as an artist," she said. "I will share my outlook backwards and forwards and how it has gotten me to where I am today working with clients like HGTV, The metropolitan museum of Art, Sony Motion pictures, Zac Posen, Nike, to name a few."

The presentation will showcase some of her unique projects for costumes, art restoration and Hi-Fashion that were all impacted by the new technology of digitally printed fabric.

"(Students) will also be inspired to find their own thread of creativity that they can weave through their work and future careers, especially in areas they might not have known about surface design."

Student engagement coordinator Megan Workmon thinks students have a few things they could learn from Locastro.

"By talking with someone like Dani, you get a sneak peek into the reality of an innovative career post-graduation, looking at how multiple disciplines intersect and how projects move from initial conception into the final stages," Workmon said. "Experiences like this talk move an abstract view of a creative future into an examination of how you are going to get to where you want to go. I think Dani and first2print’s work is especially exciting as it is so interdisciplinary in nature, so students from a variety of disciplines can learn quite a bit through this program."

The event will take place at 3 p.m. on Friday in Stauffer B125.

Related Links:

'Platinum' brings tasteful photography showcase to Phoenix Art Museum

School of Art ranks among best programs in the nation


Reach the reporter at ryan.santistevan@asu.edu or follow @ryanerica18 on Twitter.

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