Katie Welch, a senior at Georgia State University with a passion for illustration, won the plum assignment of designing the poster for this year’s Atlanta Jewish Music Festival.

Katie Welch (right) finalizes the poster design before printing.

Katie Welch finalizes the poster design before printing.

Welch’s ferocious tiger got the attention of AJMF head Russell Gottschalk, who told the Atlanta Jewish Times he found it “compelling” and his team chose it as the winner because it “pops off the page.”

But why a tiger? “I wanted something vibrant and fierce, something that would go along with the music,” Welch said in a phone interview. “A lot of things that I considered felt very static, and that’s not what music is. Music is very alive and vibrant and colorful, and tigers really emphasize that.”

A graphic design major, Welch’s work was chosen from all the submissions in her class.

“Each student did two, so we were looking at about 60 options, and we chose her tiger as the best of the lot. It was really a skilled design,” Gottschalk said.

The AJMF runs a design contest for GSU students every year, and applicants must adhere to certain requirements, such as the use of specific colors and inclusion of the festival’s dates.

AJMF Reveals 2016 Lineup, Bus Service 1

AJMF’s 2016 poster designed by Katie Welch

“When I saw the deep purples and that bright orange, the first thing I thought of was a tiger,” Welch said.

“I think it works with the color palette,” Gottschalk said. “This year it’s orange and red and pink and purple. It’s fiery, and the fact that she thought of a fierce predator I think works really well.”

Gottschalk also likes the fact that this poster looks nothing like previous ones. “That was appealing too, the diversity. Not only does it work well, but it went in a totally different direction form last year. We’ve got tons of positive feedback. I think Katie did a great job,” he said.

Welch, who will graduate in May, worked last summer at HLN (Headline News) as a freelance graphic designer and acquired some valuable experience.

“I got a taste of what it’s like to work in TV, and I just loved it,” she said. “I did ad designs for a number of different shows; I also worked pretty regularly on ‘Nancy Grace.’ The graphics people on her show are very particular.”

Welch has been a freelance artist for a long time, she said, and loves cartoons and animation. “Even though I’m 35 years old, I still aspire to work in that kind of environment. It’s always been my dream to work at Cartoon Network.” As well as designing a book for children, Welch is launching a website in mid-March to showcase her talents and display them to the corporate world.

“I’m excited to graduate and really get out there,” Welch said.