Mixing Passion with Practical



Shannon Slack is a senior at Colorado State University earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and Graphic Design with a LEAP Minor


I say it all the time folks, LEAP adds practical skills to the creative industries — and it’s very necessary. Talking to our students is my absolute favorite. This week, I was able to chat with undergraduate student Shannon Slack. Shannon is a senior pursuing her degree painting and graphic design with a studio minor. She explained that while painting is her passion, the realm of graphic design is most likely where she’ll land a job. Shannon knows all about being practical, which is why she also decided to bulk up her business of the arts skills by obtaining a LEAP minor. Painting will feed her soul but graphic design will pay the pills, and with a LEAP degree, she feels she has the creative edge she needs to land a job straightaway.

Shannon decided to add a LEAP minor when she noticed that her art studio classes didn’t focus much on the business side of the arts, which she explained “is pretty much as important as making the art itself: how to market yourself or apply for shows, all the nitty-gritty it takes to be a working artist.” She went on to explain that “Graphic Design is a completely different job market than studio but for studio practice there was no education on how to do that as a studio artist – LEAP is perfect, filling a gap that there was in my education.”

We chatted about how there is a “Professional Practices” but she expressed how she felt that course alone could be extended into a four year degree. But thanks to LEAP Shannon stressed that everything she’s learned has made her feel ahead of the game.

Some of the biggest takeaways for Shannon include:

After LEAP Shannon will be weighing her options, but really wants to crack her way into packaging design for cosmetic or natural food companies. Best of luck to you Shannon and we’re happy to have you in the LEAP family!

Check out some of Shannon’s work below: