When Lloyd Norman landed an internship with Studio 202 over the summer, Owner Daryl Stevens let the visual communications student dive right in. Almost overnight, Norman was working alongside the O’More instructor on big-name projects and helping monitor the company’s 50-plus client websites.
It was an opportunity he had hoped for: an inside look into the web design business and an opportunity to hone his client-relations skills. It was also a chance for Norman to see if Studio 202, which offers comprehensive design and branding services and boasts clients like Steppenwolf, was majoring in the kind of design he wanted to pursue after graduation.
“Through my vector imaging and rich media courses with Daryl, I discovered that what he does outside of O’More is exactly what I want to do,” he said. “He recognized that in me and offered me this opportunity. We both always have new ideas, and there’s a certain excitement that comes with that.”
In his role, Norman has handled website coding and mock-ups, lead branding endeavors and other projects for Studio 202. Norman said that Stevens has served more as a mentor to the student than a boss.
“What’s cool about him is that he’ll stop what I’m doing to explain a proposal or show me how to answer certain emails,” he said. “So I’m learning about that side of the business too, how to present a project and handle certain situations.”
For Norman, this is an important aspect of the internship. The entrepreneur moved from Memphis to Nashville to develop Villain Place, a company geared towards the music industry.
“I was always doing design, but I wanted to raise my ceiling and get a fuller understanding of the design principles,” he said. “That’s why I came to O’More; I want to be the best that I can be in my field. This internship helped me develop the business side of things.”
Norman, who was once a recording musician, said he’s using his degree to combine his other passion.
“I was already doing design for other bands and I thought becoming a web designer would sustain my music career,” he said. “Design coexists with my music, it just goes hand-in-hand.”
Villain Place is a video production and design studio that caters to musicians, who Norman said are stuck in an industry that often exploits them. It’s also a recording studio, and its services range from production and website design to band branding and merchandising.
“The idea is that music is for art, not for money, and its creation should be as enjoyable of a process as its release,” he said. “I love the part of being my own boss. It takes away my ceiling, and I can push myself.”
After graduation, Norman plans to continue to grow his company.