Students express themselves through graduation caps

Cristina Gonzalez/Staff Writer

As seniors gather at their commencement ceremony,  there’s one visible difference: their distinctly decorated graduation caps.

For Nicholas Llobell, a junior majoring in journalism, designing graduation caps for seniors is not only a way for him to play a small part in a student’s special day, but it’s also a way to let his creativity flourish.

Llobell first started decorating caps for his brother’s graduation in 2017. Shortly after that, he began designing caps for close friends who spread the word; it took off from there.

“What pulled me towards it was the fact that they give me the theme or an idea of what they want and they trust me enough to create something out of it,” said Llobell. “It’s about being spontaneous, because I don’t know what’s going to come from what he or she told me and neither do they.”

Llobell uses his artistic skills including his speciality, painting, to create unique and memorable cap designs for others.

“It’s about creating something that no one will expect,” said Llobell.

Although Llobell never imagined that, after doing his brother’s graduation cap, he’d be offering to do it for other students, he’s enjoyed it immensely.

“Being able to see my reaction and of course seeing their reaction to what I’ve made; it’s well worth it,” he said.

When it comes to students deciding on a design, Llobell said that they should take the time to decide what it is they want their caps to reflect and that they should try to be as original as possible.

As Ariana Bueno, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering and physics, brainstormed ideas for her own cap, she knew she wanted it to represent both who she is and what she loves.

“I drew inspiration from the work I do, the things that excite me and the things that make me unique; I wanted to make something that combined my passions,” said Bueno.

Bueno, who has a deep rooted passion for STEM, made sure her cap design embodied that as well as her future goals.

“My design is split up into sections that represent my love for mechanical engineering, physics, and my love for earth as well; the beauty of it and the importance of improving things here,” said Bueno. “It also represents my motivation; working in the space industry and becoming an astronaut.

To ensure that her cap design portrays her passions and hopes, Bueno has put her creative skills to the test.

“I love to create; It’s fun being able to use my art skills again. I’m still working on the final design now but I know I will paint with acrylic paints. I have all the materials since I paint on a regular basis but I would like to incorporate some lights or something moving within my design,” said Bueno.

For Bueno, the process of decorating her own cap has been both personal and fun. As she finalizes her design, she’s excited to share it with everyone at her graduation ceremony.

“It’s definitely part of what makes commencement so special,” said Bueno. “It’s really great to showcase who you are and what you’ve accomplished; the cap lets you share that with everyone.”

Featured photo courtesy of FIU Flickr.

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