It has been said, “You are, in fact, a mashup of what you choose to let into your life” (Austin Kleon). My life is far from typical, but I’d like to think I’ve chosen my elements well. While most of my friends were on the college ride, my days were split between two worlds: training to become a professional ballet dancer and gaining an education as a graphic designer. My days began in a dance studio and ended my with eyes fixed on a computer screen. I spent five to eight hours a day pushing my body to extremes. I spent almost the same amount of time pushing the limits of design and consistently gaining new eyes for the field of graphic design. I have heard the remarks, “You’re crazy!” far too many times to count. But then again, many great artists were considered a little crazy.
I’ve been training in ballet since age 11. My transition towards graphic design took place when my family began a musical theatre company and I was given the job of interacting with our graphic design intern. I wanted the designer to tell the passion behind the show but it wasn’t coming through. The frustration was acute. In the low budget theater industry, when you can’t get what you want, you do it yourself. So I went to the library, checked out every book I could find on graphic design and taught myself from scratch.
Surprisingly, I found a quick connection to graphic design. I had a background in fine art from high-school, but that wasn’t my fuel, I was driven by my inner performer. In dance, I have to tell a story without words or a voice. Graphic design had a similar perspective. The issues the theatre touches on: discrimination, social injustice, disenfranchisement are all real, yet often lost in publicity through the eyes of their designers. It wasn’t long before I sought an education perusing graphic design as my major and found myself as an online student of the Academy of Art University.
This generation calls for a new breed of designers. It’s no secret; the arts are suffering economically, but even more so in visual identity. The performing arts have a unique platform to profoundly affect our culture, but without the graphics how will their voice be heard? My vision is to give the performing arts a strong voice through design. It has been said that a chain is only a strong as its weakest link. Right now that link is graphic design. This is my mission, to empower the arts as a multifaceted artist through graphic design.