This past weekend I was the keynote speaker at the Northeast Indiana Scholastic Art Awards. It was an honor for me to be able to come back and speak at a ceremony that helped sculpt so much of my youth. It was in 2004 when I won my first scholastic award and it really showed me that art was possible as my future career and not just a passionate hobby.
So much of what we do as youth is guess our future, for some reason we can’t wait to grow up and begin life. My life had been planned since the seventh grade. I was going to design shoes but I didn’t know how to get there. I had to find and prove my own path. I faced adversity the whole way. I grew up in a community that simply didn’t understand what art could be as a career. I was lucky enough to have an amazing art teacher who believed in me and a family who trusted my passion. Without them and the Scholastic program I don’t know that I can confidently say I would be designing for a living today.
My goal as the keynote speaker was not to just talk about myself but to prove to every one of the 2,300 people in that room that you can make an amazing living off of your passion. I wanted to give a way for each and every one of those students to be able to build a plan for their future. I created a presentation that broke down a piece of art that I had created all the way from freshmen year of high school to where I now am as a Lead Designer within Color & Trim for Chevrolet at General Motors.
The experience was more than amazing, I really felt like I was giving back and that felt good. I have accomplished a decent amount in my young life but this might be the biggest. I thank the Scholastic program for all that they do and the opportunities that provide to so many youth. I would also like to thank them for giving me the opportunity to share my path and help motivate others to create their own path. Check out my presentation below!