J David Deal | Pixel to Paper, School to Career
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Pixel to Paper, School to Career

Pixel to Paper, School to Career

So the conversation starts like this:

“A Design Conference? In Portales?”

“Where’s Portales?”

“Just south of Clovis.”


“115 miles west of Lubbock.”

(silence with a wince)

“265 miles east of Albuquerque.”

(silence with a scratch)

“85 miles northeast of Roswell.”

“Oh! I’ve heard of Roswell!”

(silence with a nod)

This is how most every conversation starts when I talk to someone about presenting at the Pixel to Paper Design Conference at ENMU in Portales, NM. And THAT my friends is the reason we have a design conference in Portales. It’s in the middle of nowhere. The only reasonable way to get my students contact with design professionals is to bring the designers to them. This year’s conference will be our 3rd. I am into my 5th year of teaching. Do you see the math? All I can say is…I wish I had started it earlier.

What follows is a letter that, with the help of the fabulous Bryan Hahn, we sent out to all of our Art Majors and Minors:

Hi Dudes! (we didn’t really say dudes)(or did we?)(anyway…proceed)

I would like to personally invite you to the 3rd Annual Pixel to Paper Design Conference hosted by the Department of Art and AIGA-ENMU on Friday, Oct. 21, 9-4 p.m., in the Art and Anthropology’s lecture hall 110. The purpose of this conference is to bring design professionals to campus so that you can hear their life stories, see their work, ask questions and to make professional networking connections.

For graphic design majors and minors attendance at the conference is imperative. Our guest speakers are design professionals doing what you want to do in the future. Be inspired by their work; learn about their path from school to vibrant career and equally important, network with them. Attending the conference provides an opportunity to make a professional connection, one that may prove to be beneficial once you graduate. You will have someone you can seek advice from or obtain an interview with.

Although this is a design conference, visual art majors are highly encouraged to attend. Meet creative visionaries who are shaping the visual culture that surrounds you each and every day. Listen to them talk about the creative process and be inspired by their work. Visuals and ideas form one area of art can help to inform you about your own work; you never know what will inspire you next.

Admission into the Pixel to Paper Design Conference is free and attendees are welcome to come and go as needed. If you have a class on Friday but want to attend please contact me directly and I will gladly provide a letter to your professor asking for permission for you to miss class so you can attend the conference. This year’s conference includes the following guest speakers:

Steven Brower (stevenbrowerdesign.com)

Brower is an award winning graphic designer, author and currently a faculty member at Marywood University. He has been art director for The Nation, Print Magazine and The New York Times and has been honored by AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts), Art Directors Club, The American Center for Design and has work in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institution.

Kristin Carlson (thinkallday.com)

Carlson is the founder of Think All Day, a graphic and web design studio located in Santa Fe.  She began her career in arts marketing at W Architecture and Alvin Ailey in New York City, and holds a dual Bachelor of Arts in art history and visual arts from Columbia University. She is also the recipient of a study grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for study in London.  As a founding member of The Design Corps in Santa Fe, Carlson also serves on the organization’s Advisory Committee. She is an AIGA New Mexico board member, CreateAthon team lead and Inspire Santa Fe mentor.

Bryan Ellison (funneldesigngroup.com)

Ellison is Chief Visionary Officer and co-founder of Funnel Design in Oklahoma City. He has worked in all areas of design including branding, advertising, and interactive and app, but his primary role is the research and expansion of new technologies and programs to ensure his firm and clients are consistently ahead. Ellison’s firm was been recognized in numerous publications including Print and Communication Arts and received an Emmy® award for creation direction.

Brandon Murphy (calibercreative.com)

Murphy is principal and creative director for Caliber Creative in Dallas. He attended the University of North Texas, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in communication design. Murphy has focused his work within the corporate and retail sectors having opened his own firm in 2008 with partners Bret Sano and Erin Fletcher. His body of work has been recognized in award shows and periodicals including Communication Arts, Graphic Design USA, Graphis, HOW, Print and The AR100. Murphy has taught at the University of North Texas since 1999.

Please make plans to attend this exciting design conference by marking your calendar for Friday, Oct 21. I look forward to seeing you there.