I’ve only made the decision to take up graphic design this semester, but I already know that this is the right decision for me. I’ve always had an interest in art and design, but I never thought that I, personally, would be able to turn that into a career until now. I began my journey at Newhouse as an undecided student, proceeded to shuffled around the Television, Radio, & Film and Advertising departments during my first three semesters here, and ultimately came to the realization that I wanted to work in a field where I would be able to have control over my creative expression while also learning more about other people and the world. In the past, I had been hesitant to call myself a “creative” individual because I felt that I had nothing tangible to prove it. I was intimidated by all the other creatives at Newhouse with years of experience and portfolios prepared before starting their undergraduate experience and felt inadequate, but I let that motivate me to strive on. My time spent in TRF helped me to learn that anyone is able to create, even myself. Picasso was nonetheless an artist, even before his works were found in museums across the globe. All it takes is the right tools and a vision. My only problem with that department was that I did not feel like the medium was a fit for my skills and interests. I’m not sure what I had expected going in, but I learned that the months of shooting and daily production tasks necessary were not for me, while also learning some valuable skills about the industry. That’s when I made the decision to switch to ADV. I loved the creative aspect of the field and being able to come up with an image and a brand for a company, but something just didn’t feel right there either. Taking GRA 217 helped me to realize that design was the field for me. I want to be able to see the creative vision all the way through. I can’t quite pinpoint exactly what I love about design, but I was simply mesmerized while sitting in class and hearing Renée Stevens talk about kerning and different typefaces. I was actually learning how to communicate effectively through design and I felt like a kid again. I’ve always loved to learn and art was always my favorite subject in school growing up, but no adults in my life were working in the arts and I’d just assumed that that was something reserved for the elite few who had the pleasure of being immersed in the arts growing up. After confronting my own nerves and the stigma I’d always been anxious about being a gay man involved in the arts, I realized that I am living my life for myself and it’s time to shape my own future.
Thank you, John, for your insightful and vulnerable post. This line especially made me smile: “I felt that I had nothing tangible to prove it.” … You hit the nail on the head there because design is thinking, so it’s easy for someone with the chops but with no previous graphic design experience to have little to show for their inherent ability. I can’t tell you how pleased I am to have you join us, and by the time you’re through with this course, you’ll have some “proof” of your talent AND that you made the right choice. :)