Caitlin Dundey turns her mixed passions into her career

Joan Dundey recalls that one day when her daughter Caitlin was in elementary school, the little girl was angry. So Joan suggested that Caitlyn do something with acrylic paint. Time passed, and she came up with the most amazing dragon. 

“She started drawing dragons when she was really young, and just perfected them,” Dundey stated. “And by the time she hit middle school, they were frame-able.”

Caitlin Dundey has shown artistic abilities throughout her life, but she also spent time on other things such as animals and sports. As a child, she never thought her creativity and talent would lead to a career in graphic design. 

Watercolor illustration, symbolizing her two younger siblings and her love for animals. Painted by Caitlin Dundey. (Photo courtesy of Caitlin Dundey)

“I initially was going to pursue veterinary medicine instead of art,” Dundey stated, “But I emotionally couldn’t handle the aspect of having to deal with the loss of an animal.” 

Dundey spent most of her childhood outside, enjoying the slow-paced beach life in Tequesta, near West Palm Beach. She and her two siblings were very active and played sports together, but the one thing that has stuck with her is swimming. 

“In team sports, you can hide, and get the same credit as everyone, but individual sports teaches you a different type of discipline outside of team sports,” Dundey stated. “It’s always you versus the clock.”

Growing up on club and school swim teams has greatly impacted and shaped Dundey. This sport and mindset have made her both self-reliant and a team player. It’s also has helped her overcome hardship in academics and to land jobs. 

“Caitlin has always been full of energy and extremely talented when it comes to art,” said her uncle, Michael Monfalcone. “It’s something she’s always been good at.” 

But she wasn’t always sure that art would be her path in life.

Then one day she looked around at her desk and spotted her notebook. She had always had a passion for art and drawing but wondered: “How could I make a living out of it without being a starving artist?” This question sparked her interest in graphic design. 

The next year she entered the University of Central Florida, but flunked out after a year due to the pressures of college and the large intimidating classes. 

So she enrolled in Valencia College in 2008, which offered a smaller classroom setting and a close-knit environment. 

Soon she joined the honor society, then became the group’s executive vice president, which led her to grants and scholarships that paid for over half of her tuition. 

In 2011, she transferred to the Savannah College of Art and Design, where she soon became the only mile swimmer on the team. She competed for the next two years, and her academic scholarship from Valencia followed her to her new chapter. 

Dundey earned her bachelor of fine arts degree in graphic design with a minor in illustration in 2014. 

She has since worked in graphic design for roughly ten years and has been working full-time for Boston Proper since 2016. 

Boston Proper is a women’s fashion company where she not only designs the company’s website but also creates promotional content for the brand, including advertisements and flyers. 

Pictured is a packaging design by Caitlin Dundey for Reptilia, a reptile product packaging company. (Photo courtesy of Caitlin Dundey)

She occasionally takes on freelance work on the side and stated that prices depend on talent, skill, knowledge, and work. It’s important to note that you get what you pay for.

“I’ve even got hired to fix other people’s work before,” said Dundey. 

Explaining that a lot of jobs come from word of mouth and building a reputation, she said she charges $350 for logo designs and around $1500-$1600 for a one-page website, with an extra $500 per page. 

Dundey is also a swimsuit brand educator and promoter for Jolin, a company that specializes in high-quality products, especially for professional swimmers. 

Swimming is still a big part of Dundey’s life. She is a competitive swimmer for the Palm Beach Master Wahoos. Along with her artistic talents, swimming has followed her all throughout her academic journey. This passion led her to new opportunities. 

“Even when bad things happen,” said Dundey, “I choose to look at the positive because I can take something positive from it.” 

Katie Kelly is a senior majoring in digital journalism with an area of concentration in Psychology. Once she graduates, Katie is interested in pursuing her career in the journalism world.