A few months ago when my professor asked me to do some illustrating artwork work for the Treveccan, our college alumni magazine, I immediately called my mom to tell her the news. I was beyond excited, and also incredibly flattered that my talent was being considered for that kind of well-established publication. As a graphic design student, I’m always looking for an opportunity to add a published work to my portfolio, but that can be difficult. People aren’t typically anxious to take a chance on students when there’s so much professional talent out there. So just being asked to do this piece was a huge blessing.
The focus of this particular issue was meaningful to me, and I’m sure the theme was one of the reasons a student’s contribution made sense. “Making Great Stories Possible” was the name of a five-year giving campaign at Trevecca, and this issue would summarize that whole project (as well as the first Trevecca Giving Day this spring). I feel very fortunate that my story is one of many that’s possible in part because of all the people who’ve supported this school over the years. So I was extremely motivated!
I really enjoyed being able to work on the magazine. It was a surreal experience. I was excited to create something that would be seen by hundreds of fellow Trevecca students and alumni—something that was tangible, that I could hold in my hand and say “I did that.” It was a chance to showcase what I can offer, and to put into practice the things I was learning in my classes.
A big part of my assignment was to connect the past and present through an illustration. While actually drawing the piece was challenging from a technical standpoint, coming up with a visual concept that would tie in with the theme was probably the bigger creative challenge. How do you tell multiple stories in one piece, and bring it all back to highlight Trevecca? After mulling over a few things, I finally landed on the idea of a photo album. It had the sense of nostalgia and “Trevecca pride” that I was looking for, which I thought was important for a magazine that would tell the stories of some amazing Trevecca testimonies.
I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to contribute to this issue of the Treveccan. It was a super fun project that definitely stretched my creative abilities. But more than that, I’m grateful for a professor who believed in me enough to help me gain that kind of exposure, and for all the instructors in our graphic design program who continue to help me hone the skills I’ll need to work in this field someday. I’m grateful for the friends who cheered me on in my design process and are still celebrating with me in all of this.
I never would have expected that my time at Trevecca would bring an opportunity like this, but then again, I am consistently amazed at the way God surprises us.
Editor’s note: Emily’s work can be seen in the spring 2021 issue of the Treveccan (and she’s featured on the cover).