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How I Turned my Childhood Passions into my Career.

I’m a creative person. I always have been. Whether it’s been making movies in my backyard with my sisters and the camera of my blue iPod touch or writing for a college magazine. Creation has been something that has become second nature in my life. Just ask my mom. When she asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up it was first, Popstar. Once I got over my Hannah Montana phase, it was just singer, no double-life needed.

A lot of kids around my age always replied something like “doctor”, “astronaut” or “teacher” when asked the same question. Honestly, I couldn’t ever see myself doing those things. Like I said… Hannah Montana’s level of fame and singing prowess was the goal. After I reached middle school and still hadn’t been scouted by the Disney Channel record label, I realized something a bit more practical was perfect.

Actor.

Yes. Seriously.

In the 6th grade, I signed up for the theatre elective offered at my school. The class was full every year and I was lucky enough to secure my spot. From my first horrifying monologue to my last interpretive dance (that was painful), middle school flew by and high school wasn’t a barrier to my budding passion. I joined Theatre 1 and worked my way up to an audition-only musical theatre troupe. Let’s be honest, straight acting and monologues weren’t really where I thrived… everyone could see I was a much better singer. And I embraced it. Until senior year, I was in love. Every song, every show I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if I applied to study Theatre in college. Alas, the admission season came and went and I was too scared to try out. Not even one art school on my list, and at the end of the day, I had accepted that it couldn’t and wouldn’t be my future.

In my free time, I wrote and directed short films with my friends. This was a school project gone rogue type of passion. For every assignment, my friends and I decided we would very much be going about and beyond on the task. And we loved it. After an ABBA music video parody, making jokes on the school announcements, and a 14-minute-long film about two teenage girls swapping bodies, we were ready to graduate.

I had been accepted into college after applying for the school of advertising. It seemed like a happy medium between all my years of writing and my discovered passion for graphic design found during my short-film directing stint. I was excited yet skeptical. I felt like I sabotaged myself by not pursuing what had made me so satisfied and happy during high school.

All summer, I fantasied about actually pursuing my love of music. No, I can’t play the guitar, or the piano, or read sheet music and my former years of learning songs were purely by ear. I wanted to write. Not even perform just write songs for me. I was looking for the perfect song… chorus…anything. It never came. I blamed my head for not letting me write down what I truly wanted to. In reality, I was out of ideas, inspiration, and college was fast approaching.

Entering my freshman year of college, I really felt like I had messed up. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my degree (but who does) and sincerely wished my songwriter’s block hadn’t lasted the entire summer. If it hadn’t maybe I would have made it big by now, at least that’s what I told myself.

By sophomore year, I had endured two excruciating COVID semesters and creation seemed further than ever. After one final push of creative bliss, I was accepted into my dream portfolio program. Now I’m able to make the kind of projects I know 16 year old me would be proud of (probably 6 year old me as well, but she doesn’t know what Adobe Photoshop is). I am pursuing both copywriting and art direction, hoping one day my heart can decide that as well. Advertising has been my outlet, my escape, and ultimately my dream profession.

Long story short, creative burnout is real & finding inspiration is hard. That doesn’t make any of this less worth it. I have been passionate about creation since childhood and have found methods to do it my entire life. One month of bad ideas doesn’t define your talent, worth, and certainly not your creativity. As a current writer and designer, hopeful to one day get paid for my passions, it gets better.

Hi! I'm Kristin, an Advertising Sophomore at UT Austin with a passion for film, beauty, and writing. To be honest, the peak of my writing career was in 4th grade as the head editor of the school newspaper (lost in time unfortunately). When I'm not writing, you'll find me on Spotify curating my perfect Taylor Swift crying playlist.
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