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Visual flair

An R.B. Russell Vocational High School student earned $800 towards post-secondary tuition after selling her graphic design work to a local business.

Kayla Creeley answered a call for artwork from BUILD (Building Urban Industries for Local Development), a non-profit contractor and training program for people who face barriers to employment.

The organization requested visuals for each of the Seven Teachings to hang in its main classroom. Kayla came up with a visual concept that fit the bill perfectly, as well as providing a poster outlining how to smudge.

“I wanted the visuals for each teaching to represent somewhere in Manitoba because I knew the students that would see them everyday would be from Manitoba and would hopefully feel a sense of place and identity when looking at them,” Kayla said. “I also wanted to connect the location depicted to the teaching if possible. For example, for respect I decided to show the human rights museum because their mandate is to cultivate respect for the suffering that people have experienced in Manitoba and worldwide.”


Spokesperson Art Ladd said Kayla’s creations were a welcome addition to the BUILD class space.

“BUILD been blessed to work with such a talented young artist through R.B. Russell. Kayla has created an exceptional series of visually engaging pieces for the Seven Sacred Teachings. Not only does her work jump out, but it provides us with a reminder of how we strive to live and work together. Kayla's visual smudging guide demystifies the practice in an accessible way, while honouring the traditional teachings behind smudging.”

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For any artist, graphic designers or otherwise, it is an important step to showcase one’s work in the public eye.

“It feels nice to know that something I created is somewhere for a lot of people to see. I still feel a bit bashful about having many people seeing my work on display, but receiving compliments, encouragement, and knowing my work is valued and appreciated is flattering and boosts my confidence as an aspiring Graphic Designer,” Kayla said.

Marcus Fowler, Kayla’s Graphic Design teacher at R.B. Russell, said students can benefit greatly from engaging in these types of “real world” community projects.

"I try to jump at opportunities for students to do real-world work for clients because it gives them a taste of what it would be like to do professional graphic design,” he said. “It's also motivating and encouraging for them to see a client express appreciation and gratitude. In this case, Kayla also received a scholarship in return for her work, which will help greatly when paying for tuition and supplies, hopefully for the graphic design program at Red River College. Kayla did an excellent job on this project and I have no doubt that she has a bright future as a graphic designer should she choose that for her career."

Kayla has already indicated that is the career-field she is leaning towards.

“It was inspiring to get a taste of what it will be like to get paid for what I love to do. However, I don't believe that being paid for your work validates you as an artist. I believe that if you have the passion to create art and if you push yourself to work hard and improve, that makes you an artist. In the end, the money is just a bonus.”

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