This would-be architect quickly turned to graphic design – and quickly became one of the world’s top young designers.
Title: Assistant Professor of Art
Now resides in: Starkville, Mississippi
Degree and year of graduation: B.F.A in 2003, and M.F.A in 2006
Family: Married to Alisha Landry (B.S. in Famly & Child studies from 2006). Two Children: Joan, 2 years old, Charlotte, 2 months old
Your current job – or in your case, jobs: As an Assistant Professor of Art, I teach several courses in Graphic Design including Graphic Design 1 & 2, Print Production, and Screen Printing. I am also a freelance designer who works with a variety of clients designing logos, posters, and many other types of print media.
Tell us about your “Young Gun” recognition, what it means in general and what it means to you specifically: The Young Guns award is a global competition created by the Art Director's Club to recognize creative individuals for exceptional work early in their careers. The award is judged solely on a portfolio of 10 pieces. Personally it is a huge accomplishment. The award is affirmation from my peers that I am a top graphic designer in the world under the age of 30 . I am so shocked by this that it still doesn't feel real. I've always had high ambitions and hopes for this kind of recognition, and it feels amazing to have achieved it so quickly.
How I got to Tech: I wanted to attend a medium-sized university that had plenty of opportunities but wasn't so large that I would feel insignificant. I thought about studying architecture, and looked into the program at Tech, but after seeing the amazing work that the graphic designs students were producing, I quickly changed my mind.
How Tech prepared me for my current position: Coming out of high school, I was used to getting A's fairly easily, but in art classes, A's are much more difficult to earn. I struggled in my first two years to create anything decent, because I wasn't even really aware of what good design was or how to go about creating it. My professors, especially Jonathan Donehoo, Todd Maggio, and Matt Willemson, pushed me to do better, and I wanted to be the best. Eventually, the work paid off, and I finished near the top of my class. In graduate school, Jonathan Donehoo (now the director of the School of Art), really gave me good advice on becoming a teacher, and I gained great teaching experience through my assistantship. It all prepared me for my first job out of school: as an Assistant Professor at Illinois State University.
When did you know you could draw and create? From a young age I enjoyed drawing and could tell that I was better than average. I think I won my first award in third grade for a portrait I did in pencil.
If I've learned one thing in life, it's: Hard work is everything. I have an unstoppable drive to succeed, to be the best, and I'll stop at nothing until I am the best.
Advice to incoming freshmen: Find your passion, the thing that excites you the most in life, and pursue it without reservation. Freshmen should also get involved in a student group, or find a community of people that will support you.
Favorite memories of Tech: Meeting my wife, Alisha, would be at the top of the list. I was at Tech for seven years, so I got to know a lot of different people and watched many of them come and go. I loved watching basketball games at the TAC, especially Paul Millsap. I was also heavily involved in the Association of Catholic Tech Students as well, so I have lots of good memories of spending time at the St. Thomas Aquinas Student Center.