Taylor Martin (Art Direction, 2024)
I wanted to be everything when I grew up. Teaching was my answer to that.
As a third-grade teacher, I was able to channel my love of interior design into my classroom decor, teach my students how to edit videos for projects, play some of my favorite music while the kids were working, and draw giant pictorials of the water cycle and moon phases.
Teaching virtually through the pandemic forced me to adapt to new mediums. All of the sudden, I felt uncomfortable in a profession that had become second nature to me. And I liked it.
I found myself enjoying the impossible task of keeping third graders engaged for hours on Zoom. The only way to hold their attention, I discovered, was through creating interesting visuals and interactive experiences (although, costumes also helped). I began obsessing over the fonts, colors, and overall design of my lessons and soon realized that’s all I wanted to spend time doing. But, I couldn’t; there’s so much more that goes into teaching.
I love teaching and I always will.
But, something in me had awakened, and it sent me back on my quest to figure out what I wanted to be and to find a title that would combine all of my interests and satisfy this craving I had to create.
And, there it was: Art Director. This was it. Everything I love. In one title.
I knew that in order to become an art director, I would have to go back to school—not only for a degree or a portfolio, but because I had so much to learn. Immediately, I set my sights on the Brandcenter.
I spent the rest of that year teaching myself the Adobe suite via YouTube and giving myself prompts to create a portfolio for my application. One of my favorites was redesigning a book cover just to see if my students would pull it off the shelf more.
Through the application process, I worried that my unusual background wouldn’t make me competitive. However, what I thought was a drawback, Brandcenter saw as an asset. I see now, looking back, that teaching is where I began to understand conceptual thinking and my creative process, which has helped me in my time here.
Quitting a job I enjoyed and had done for eight years and moving with my husband were big commitments. But, Brandcenter didn’t feel like a risk.
It’s given me an understanding of the once-mystical job of an art director, while also exposing me to many other roles I love—like scriptwriting and film production. And, every day, I’m surrounded by extremely talented people who inspire and motivate me to keep pushing myself.
After spending the summer interning as an art director, made possible by the Brandcenter and the amazing faculty that supports us, I am so excited for my future. To collect more passions along the way. To be everything I want to be when I grow up.