You never know where a single Instagram contest will take you. For me, one little Instagram post allowed me to present an elevator pitch to Scott Belsky, Chief Product Development Officer of Adobe. He basically makes all creative careers possible. That elevator pitch won me a trip to Adobe MAX, an annual creative conference. During this three-day conference in Los Angeles, four thousand art directors, designers, and typeface enthusiasts join together and dive deeper into the software that makes our jobs possible. We tested out new features, listened to industry leaders, and nabbed a TON of free stuff (my favorite freebie was an ACTUAL type specimen! It’s a little metal piece of a letterpress that came in a tiny labeled test tube. SO COOL!). The conference encouraged me to get outside of my laptop and appreciate all the awesomeness of design and how it brings together incredibly interesting people and projects.
I recently graduated from TAI in May but my SMU experience has given me the warmest welcome into the real world. I work with several former TAI rockstars at BBDO in New York – several of whom were in my own cohort! I also still bother my professors even though I’m no longer in their classes (Sorry Mark for de-railing your Advanced Portfolio class a couple weeks ago!). My education didn’t stopped when I left the classroom. The foundation of skills that I learned at TAI gave me the confidence to enter the art direction world wholeheartedly. My professors taught me that it’s always okay to ask questions and to seek advice from trusted friends and colleagues to strengthen my work.
Scott said it best in his opening keynote presentation on the first day of MAX: “The best way to learn to create is by seeing how others create.” TAI allowed me to learn from and alongside some of my favorite creative minds and I feel endlessly grateful for that opportunity.
Oh, and I’m grateful for Instagram contests too!