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A New School Brings Valuable Skills for this State High AlumChanging high schools during your sophomore year would be difficult for most teenagers. But for Livio Ramondelli, it provided him with the chance to branch out and develop social skills he credits as contributions to his success.

“I benefited from my experiences by wanting to consciously try to be more outgoing and social, and I've seen how much that can affect—in a good way—the opportunities around you.”

After graduating from State College Area High School in 1999, Livio went on to earn his Bachelor of the Fine Arts at Penn State, and later, to receive his Masters of the Fine Arts from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.

With his MFA came an opportunity to begin his career. Livio was hired by comic artist Jim Lee and worked in his art studio in La Jolla, California. Since then, his career has taken him far and afforded him valuable personal and professional experiences, including comic book projects focusing on the Transformers franchise, design work for companies like Hasbro and Google and even the opportunity to sell and exhibit his own art at conventions around the world. When asked about the best convention locations he says, “Tokyo [is] a particular favorite of mine.”

Livio credits aspects of his State High education for encouraging him to pursue his favorite hobbies, despite drawing, comics and sci-fi movies being considered, as Livio describes it, a lot less cool in those days. But as comics and the sci-fi genre exploded into mainstream media, he turned his hobby into his career.

Livio used his three years in a new high school setting to cultivate the skills he continues to use today. He looks back on his time and the friends he made fondly. When asked what advice he would give current students, Livio says: “Make sure you hit your deadlines and work hard, but also to have fun. Enjoy high school while you can because even though it seems like four long years, it'll be over before you know it. And be kind to those people around you; you never know who they'll become.”

If you would like to see more of Livio’s work, visit LivioRamondelli.com or my Instagram @LivioRamondelli.