Currently, I live in Richmond, VA, but if you drive exactly 95 miles south on 64 Easy you will enter my hometown of Portsmouth, VA. Even though Portsmouth is a small town, it has had a huge impact on me. At a young age, I knew I would not live in (P-Town) for the rest of my life. I first noticed this feeling when I was nine years old and became a beneficiary of the No Child Left Behind Act. Because I was zoned for a school that was considered a “failing school”, I was given the opportunity to change schools. The hour long bus ride across town everyday would not only lead to me getting a decent education but would also be my outlet and allow me time to create imaginary scenarios and doodle master pieces in my notebook. Today that young girl feeling left behind has been replaced with a woman who has a job as an entertainment/talk show director at WTVR-CBS6. Every day in my position, I am faced with new challenges; and I manage to use my creative talents to produce a clean product on air. I believe that these skills can transcend me from directing live television to becoming an art director for this program.
Richmond, hands down has been one of the biggest influence on me. I remember the first time visiting the city as a junior in high school. I was a part of a visual art magnet program and every year students in the program would tour VCU’s School of the Arts buildings. While on the tour I know I needed to move to Richmond. The diversity I saw on campus was unmatched. I met so many people from different walks of live and danced to the beat of their own drum. The compass was a dance hall that brought every style from cupid shuffle to salsa. My intuition was screaming that I belonged here and I needed to dance too. Fast forward to now, I still feel the same way. It hasn’t been all Sugar Shack cupcakes and sunshine though. I’ve learned my toughest lessons here mentally, financially, spiritually, and emotionally. Since moving here, I have become one of those salsa dancers in the Compass (metaphorically speaking.) Richmond has whisked me around, dragged me across its uneven sidewalks, and embraced me in a way that I did not feel in my hometown. So far no place has influenced me more and our dance is far from over.
Hello Brandcenter. It's Nice To Meet You... Again
My journey at VCU was demanding to say the least. While in school, I worked several part time jobs, internships and was president of Ram’s Review, a student multimedia sports coverage organization. In my junior year, I worked as a marketing assistant for VCU Recreational Sports and was granted many opportunities to freely express my creativity. It was during that time that I realized how much I truly loved the creative problem solving that a multimedia artist experiences. Therefore, I have set out to continue my education in pursuit of a new career path that allows me to utilize the one thing I have been missing. After some soul searching I became adamant about attending a graduate school with a great reputation, that would grant me the opportunity to graduate with a credible portfolio and give me a holistic insight into the branding world. My vast search kept bringing me back to the Brandcenter. It felt like fate. I kept asking myself, “Could the school I’ve be looking for be less than 10 miles away?” To answer this question I extensively researched the program, alumni, careers and testimonials. Sure enough this program offered every thing on my list.
Last year, I applied to the Brandcenter and made the wait list. While working on my application for months, I was finally given a creative outlet that I've been so desperately craving. Unfortunately, I later received an email that no spots became available. The news was a blow mentally yet also motivational. I emailed Hawley for general feedback on my application and then went straight to work. Since then I created ads with stronger concepts, took several digital editing classes and got an internship creating marketing campaigns for a small company. As a student, I am anticipating more failures and more critiques while expressing my unique creativity and I'm down for the challenge.
Since I started researching graduate programs I have been on a mission to gather as much information as I can on programs, agencies and the work people do after graduating. The most inspiring work came from graduates of the Brandcenter. Two of my favorites being the Realtor.com campaign art directed by Lily Fu (AD 2016) working with the Pereira & O’Dell agency, and the T-Mobile #LittleOnes commercial aired during Super Bowl LII art directed by Husayn Raza (AD 2009) under the VML agency. That coupled with the information from the website, attending the info session and advice given from current students has ensured me that the art directors track is meant for me.
I AM ROBIN