I was fortunate enough to be invited to the Art Director’s Club in New York on May 4th for their annual portfolio review along with other students graduating from Art & Design schools all over the country. I have to admit, I enjoyed talking to the other students more than pitching my work to the various Art Directors, Talent Scouts, and Head Hunters who attended the event. There is a great sense of community among these people and many shared ideas and philosophies.
I have timed this post to be published precisely at the moment I walk across the stage at the Baltimore Symphony Hall to receive my Bachelors in Fine Arts in Graphic Design from The Maryland Institute College of Art. I have come a long, long way since high school, and I can honestly say that I dedicated myself wholly to my work and studies at MICA. So much so, that looking back I wonder if I was too narrow focused. At any given moment over the past four years, my work was at the forefront of my mind, almost exclusively; I was truly and happily immersed. Things like eating, sleeping, romance, and relaxation were distractors — speed-bumps in my productivity. While this might have been alright for my student years, it is not how I hope to live my life.
So on this, my graduation day, I am hoping to turn my life into my biggest project, instead of the other way around.
I have no aspirations to move to New York or Chicago and work for some big shiny design studio, no dreams of becoming a “Young Gun” in the next seven years, and no desire to swim in big piles of money. I want to surround myself with people I love who inspire and challenge me, do fulfilling, wholesome work in my local community and beyond, and live a balanced life wherein I stare at a computer screen for less than eight hours a day. To everyone out there graduating this spring, from Art School or otherwise, congratulations. Do what you love and don’t let it consume you.