This Monday I had the opportunity to speak to the art students at Taylor University in Upland, IN. My former professor and a mentor of mine, Jonathan Bouw, invited me out to speak at Taylor’s annual Art’s Career Symposium about how to “make it” in the design world . . . I don’t know who told him I would have any inside information on that topic, but, you should never turn down a chance to speak publicly, so what the heck?
My part of the Symposium started with a 30 min. presentation of my work and a discussion about the reasons why I love what I do. I am not the most gifted public speaker, but I don’t have a problem making a fool out of myself in front of people, so I think it worked out okay. Some great questions from the audience helped keep things moving along nicely.
After a short lunch break we moved from the auditorium to a classroom, where I got to walk the class through a typical book cover project, from proposal to final approval. The particular cover I chose to talk about had some snags along the way that had to be worked out, and I got to share that with an audience who would get my frustration, but also hopefully learn from my mistakes, and get a grasp of how the designer/client relationship works. One thing I always wished that art school had prepared me for was how to communicate and even sell your ideas when working with clients, it’s a huge part of the job that I didn’t even really know existed. I hope in some small way my presentation communicated that to the students.
It’s always exciting to see what young designers are coming up with, and as much as I hope my talk was helpful for them, being around excited students doing new things really reenergizes my desire to be creative.
Thank you Taylor University for the opportunity.