22-year-old Landon Matney graduated from Nossi College of Art in Nashville. I decided to chat with him because, well, I wanted to others in the same field to feel inspired by him. I wanted you to use him as an example of a success story. So, without further adieu, listen to the story below:
I'm a twenty-two-year-old Graphic Designer living in East Nashville. I bunk up with my two best friends on Greenwood Circle, and we all consider ourselves to be young entrepreneurs. I received my Bachelor's of Graphic Design in August of 2015. I'm originally from a small town in central Kentucky. During my youth, I painted several murals in my hometown, Greensburg, Ky. I was president of my high school's art club. I took Senior Portraits before I was considered a Senior myself. I had a lot of encouragement in my upbringing, and I truly believe that support and self-discipline have developed me into the designer and person I am today. Now a solid company with a commitment to the future is what I'm seeking.
I can honestly say I love my life. In my free time, I try to always live life to the fullest. I crave adventure. I'm always up for a road trip. I thrive on traveling and exploring new environments, however, I can still appreciate my own backyard and very much enjoy living in Nashville. Pop culture often gets the best of me. I binge watch Netflix, re-read John Steinbeck books and never miss a chance for a free concert. If asked to sing karaoke; I'd choose A Boy Named Sue and Baja Burrito is currently my favorite place to eat.
How did you get into graphic design?
When I came to Nossi: College of Art, I had no idea what field I was going to go into. I had known for some time that I wanted to be in the commercial art industry. All of the fields at Nossi are very impressive, and at the time, I was confused on what would be the best for me. I chose the graphic design department because it was the alternative that allowed me to use my drawing techniques and photography editing skills in various ways. Although it wasn't what I thought it would be; I couldn't be happier with the outcome. Not only have I been able to use both fields within my field, but every semester I learned more than my tiny brain could have imagined. I can now use the software I wasn't aware existed.
Why did you want to become a graphic designer?
The beauty of art has always attracted me and I have always loved being able to create it myself. I knew I wanted to use my artistic eye throughout my career and I was determined that I wasn't going to become "a starving artist." I wanted to be able to do what I loved and still make an honest living from it. Graphic Design is all about problem-solving just by using your artistic individuality and I love every angle of it.
What is it about graphic design that you love?
What is not to love? A previous professor of mine once told me that "Graphic Designers rule the world," and in some small aspect, I've found it to be true. Graphic design, as opposed to most art-based careers, is more on the technical side. It combines both computer knowledge and an artistic eye to create pleasing visuals, websites, books, magazines, packages; literally everything that you own, wear, read or use has some graphic design element attached to it. Design has always been important, but today its influence is impossible to overstate.
What does it mean to you?
Overtime, I think I've discovered that it means pride and happiness to me. Throughout my life, I have always been a very modest person. My uncle actually used to refer to me as Modest Landon instead of Honest Abe, mostly because of my Lincoln-like beard. I'm outgoing and I enjoy time spent with others, I'm just not normally a bragger or one who can handle someone else's bragging. Graphic Design and my work makes me feel like I have something worth bragging about and I love that. I'm good at what I do. It's my livelihood.
How did you become so passionate about it and why?
As courses passed, I was truly able to grasp the meaning of Graphic Design, and what it means to reach a target audience or construct a well-balanced layout. The passion came from myself and following every step of the creative process to execute something both myself and my client can feel good about. When you see your client happy and your work being used effectively, it makes all the work feel well paid off.