2013 VCOM Portfolio Show

Miao “Magic” Li takes Best in Show

The 2013 Visual Communications Portfolio Show was held Tuesday, May 7, on the Rosemount campus of Dakota County Technical College. The year-end exhibition showcases the work of the college’s Applied Visual ArtsGraphic Design TechnologyPhotographyPhotographic Imaging Technology, and Multimedia & Web Design graduates. About 200 people attended the evening event, including students, family members, alumni, representatives from business and industry, and prospective students.

Click image below for 2013 VCOM Portfolio Show program


Thirty-four VCOM graduates exhibited their finest work. Attendees voted on the best exhibits in four categories. See below for winners.

Best in Show: Miao “Magic” Li

Magic Li

Graphic Design: Tim Hocum

Tim Hocum

Multimedia/Web: Ali Plevell
Awesome Pelican Productions

Ali Plevell

Photography: Robert Grosse
Robbie G Photography

Robert Grosse

Spotlight on Magic Li

Magic Li

Photo courtesy of Keesha Winfrey

Magic Li, 29, of Farmington, Minn., originally hails from Shuibu, a town in the county-level city ofTaishan in Guangdong province on the South China Sea in the People’s Republic of China. Magic moved with her family to Minnesota in 2008.

VCOM Portfolio Show: Exhibition Design by Magic Li

Magic’s Chinese name is Miao Zhen Li. Her pen name is Magic Early. She picked the latter surname in high school as a tribute to the writer,Lu Xun. She adopted her preferred first name in college in recognition ofCardcaptor Sakura, a popular cartoon series in the magical girl genre by Clamp, an all-female manga artist group.

Conversant in five languages—Cantonese, Mandarin, Japanese, English and a Chinese dialect she grew up speaking in her hometown, Magic developed a keen interest in computers early in her life. She has a passion for drawing and likes the graphic work in Japanese comics, or manga, including work by Arina Tanemura (Full Moon), Clamp (RG Veda), and Kaori Yuki(Earl Cain).

VCOM Portfolio Show: Exhibition Design by Magic Li

Magic majored in English at Wuyi University, a 10,000-student, comprehensive institution in the Pearl River Delta of Guangdong near Hong Kong and Macao. She earned her bachelor’s degree. While at WYU, she also took a number of graphic design courses, including classes on Adobe Photoshop and FlashAutodesk 3ds Max, and Poser.

After researching her higher education options in Minnesota, Magic chose Dakota County Technical College due to the college’s affordable tuition, proximity to her home and a strong VCOM department. She excelled at DCTC, taking Best Graphic Design Portfolio at the 2012 VCOM Portfolio Show.  She graduated with an A.A.S. degree in Graphic Design Technology in fall 2012. This May, she graduated with a 3.99 GPA and her A.A.S. degree in Multimedia & Web Design. She also has a certificate in Interactive Media Design.
Career-wise, Magic sees herself working as a Web and graphic designer at an agency or company until she has the experience and resume to strike out on her own. She would like to publish books—both print and electronic—on teaching Chinese to native English speakers, creating her own animations and developing an app for mobile devices.
2013 VCOM Portfolio Show Gallery
Photos courtesy of Keesha Winfrey

For more information about Graphic Design Technology at DCTC, contact:
For more information about Applied Visual Arts at DCTC, contact:
For more information about Multimedia & Web Design at DCTC, contact:
For more information about Photography and Photographic Imaging Technology at DCTC, contact:

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