As a student in graphic design, I'm always looking for the next source of inspiration. When I found out about Circles Conference 2012, I was jumping up and down with excitement--getting to be in the same room with some of the best designers in the industry--I was so there! Having been blessed with an amazing support system, I was fortunate enough to be sponsored to attend.
Driving up through historic downtown Grapevine to get to the Palace Arts Theater was like entering a time warp. With all of the old buildings and landmarks, I was half expecting Paul Newman or Chuck Norris to walk around the corner and start a shootout in the middle of the street. Luckily, I found parking unscathed and found my way into the theater, got my nametag, settled quietly into a row of seats and anxiously awaited as the presentations began. Let's see--Kyle, Evie, Joshua, Paul, Noah, Promise, Dan, Kevin, Ish, Blaine, Jonathan, Phil and Cameron--how do I choose?
I would have to say Evie Shaffer's presentation was the one that resonated with me the most. She had this beautiful outlook on life and work that she titled "Art and Purpose"--you have to find that “sweet spot” of expressing your art while having some type of purpose to work towards. Things that could “suck life” out of your work: prestige, pride, conformity, and comparing yourself to others. To prevent that from happening, there are things that will help "give life" to your work: curiosity, limitations, simplicity, adversity, and passion.
My biggest take away? Towards the end of Evie’s talk, she said something that really caught my attention: "How much are you willing to sacrifice for what you love?" WOW. I don't know about you, but if I could've fallen out of my chair, I would have! It really made me stop and think--if I'm actually doing what I love and want to make a life out of it, who better to have as a role model than Jesus; He loved us and dedicated every second of His life for us. So why shouldn't we do the same thing with the talents He instilled in each and every one of us? As artists we have to reflect on our God-given abilities and use them toward a greater purpose. Without that, what else do we have?
I loved my experience at Circles; it brought me so much closer to finding my purpose. Being in college really makes you question everything about your future, and after hearing all of these amazing artists speak about their successes and failures, I feel like it's completely okay to do so. Being a designer is what I was created to do, and after finding that out, I now get to use my gifts to give back for the common good. Guess I was led to the perfect internship here with Art House Dallas! It's amazing to look back and see how things turn out--it's both encouraging and comforting to see God's handiwork in action.
Kayla Ketelsen serves as the Web and Graphic Design Intern for Art House Dallas. Her interests include music, sports, fashion, traveling, drawing, and reading. She's a senior at Southern Methodist University and is graduating May 2013 with a Bachelor's degree in Advertising from the Temerlin Advertising Institute and double minors in Graphic Design and Arts Management.