Meeting Cam Todd and Some Self-Reflection
Scanning the names of the National Student Show's winners, disappointment shadowed overhead and then it hit. Self-doubt. Is this path right for me? Everything that I've learned and accomplished was that even good? Am I truly creative?
"Fake it till you make it," declared Cam Todd, the Art Director, Brand, for Dell at a speaker event during the Vizualization Career Fair. "You have to do whatever it takes to get the job done. Just do it."
Todd, an Environmental Design major, Class of 2007, had dreamt of working for Pixar, but plans changed in his undergrad at Texas A&M University. He took on a graphic design position for ATPE, the Association for Texas Professional Educators, in Austin even though he wasn't really qualified for it, but his passion and determination got him hired. In the midst of his job, he actively learned what he needed. For example, he taught himself how to create videos and use AfterEffects. The fact that he was working for a good cause brought value to his work. That truly meant something to him.
Eventually, he left ATPE to work for Dell in layout and page design in order to support his wife and future family. However, it wasn't nearly as rewarding or creatively stimulating, but he did his best to not let that deter him. "Find the value in a job you don't love. Attack every job with passion," he proclaimed. "It will pay off."
Word spread about Todd thanks to internal networking and he was promoted to work with the Brand Team. There Todd currently serves Dell by crafting their brand and working with a team to accomplish that consistency. As Art Director, he takes a request and communicate that message to the world by guiding his team to create a visually stimulating design. Here, he can apply his skills and make an impact on the world.
Before wrapping up his presentation, Todd shared some words of wisdom that applied so well in my life: "Have the confidence to do something."
While cleaning up my desk, I found a set of notes from Todd's talk and reread them. Oh, how well I remembered the fear and hesitation from last semester. The same feelings then have returned even stronger than before.
But I believe in God and that in this state of darkness, there is a light. Realistically, I am not the best graphic designer in the world. However, I do believe that God gave me a talent because I am passionate about this. I love creating and learning how to design. Lately, I have been struggling in my work because I feel like I'm not good or creative or talented enough. Then I rediscovered these notes.
This past year, I have lived up to Todd's words. Even if my work was subpar, I made that, I did that. It may not be Jessica Hische perfect, but it's all mine. I'm not afraid to fail, I'm afraid to not try. And I know with God, I am capable of anything. With him, I am confident because I trust Him with my life. So no, I'm not a National Student Show winner, but I am passionate, I am creative, and I won't give up trying.
I leave you with a quote that has hold significant meaning to me:
"The things you are passionate about are not random. They are your calling."