Students get in-depth look into graphic design industry during Art and Design Symposium

The symposium featured several workshops, a student showcase and a career fair held the next day.

The symposium featured several workshops, a student showcase and a career fair held the next day.

The inaugural Jerry Johnson Art and Design Symposium held last Wednesday took students on a journey through the industry of graphic design through keynote speakers and a presentation of students’ work. 

The event was hosted by the Department of Art and Design in conjunction with the Hall School of Journalism and Communication. The symposium is named after Jerry Johnson, a “semi-retired” professor of design who has demonstrated a knowledge of the industry and is quoted to have made several contributions to the Art and Design program at Troy University. 

The event consisted of three guest speakers: Travis Carlson, a motion graphic designer for “Brains on Fire,” a full-service creative agency, and a TROY alumnus; Nikhil Godke, a design professor from Auburn University in Montgomery and former art director for the Home Shopping Network; and Tommie Lee Washington III, senior animator for ESPN and the SEC Network.

Godke talked about artificial intelligence and how it needs to be embraced. 

“Don’t fight it,” Godke warned, “this technology is going to be here, so the best thing you can do is embrace it, understand what it does, learn about it and try to adapt.” 

A poster of the event details.
The three speakers featured were a TROY alum, an Auburn University at Montgomery professor and a senior animator with ESPN and the SEC Network.

Despite his position, Washington said he never stops updating his resume reel or actively learning about the new technology graphic designers are embracing. 

“Don’t stop learning,” he said. “Don’t stop because everything keeps changing, right? The software keeps changing. The way people do things keeps changing. Nikhil was talking about augmented reality and AI–it all just keeps changing.”

The symposium concluded with a panel of judges looking at pieces of graphic design work and films that students produced. The first-place winners of the Film In-Motion category were Nathan Hobbs and Reanna Thompson for their Dr. Pepper commercial series.

Other winners include Howard Purvee and Hobbs who won second place for their “Killer Queen” music video. The third-place winner in that same category was also Hobbs for his “Batman Intro Titles.”

The first-place winner for Medium of Graphic Design was David Saner for his “Wallpaper Wednesday for TROY Baseball.” The second-place winner in Medium of Photography was Amelia Nettles for “Lean Shot Put.” The third-place winner in Medium of Poetry was J. Antonio Bass for his work “I Used to Drink Water Straight from A River.”