Artist of the week: Camille Hayes’ journey to become a professional designer | Arts & Culture


From an outsider’s perspective, the creative world can be easily divided into successful professionals and everyone. But that does not scratch the surface of the wide variety of commitments one pursues in his journey to becoming a full-time artist. No one’s journey to success embodies this more than Camille Hayes, the director of public relations at the Hugh Hodgson School of Music at the University of Georgia.

Hayes was not at all aware of her artistic potential until her freshman year of college, despite the hundreds of creative pointers that resurfaced throughout her childhood. While at the time she herself was unaware, in retrospect, the art was the obvious result from day one.

Art from the start

Since she could grab a pencil, Hayes was drawing constantly. As a child, Hayes scribbled in his spare time or when dinner engagements became uninteresting.

“I would sit there and watch what it was and start drawing it over and over again until I could narrow it down to what it looked like,” Hayes said. “Illustration was rooted in me from an early age. “

Raised in Athens, Hayes was friends with the daughters of Jack Davis, the unanimously adored UGA cartoon artist. She developed a correspondence with him, becoming “pen pals,” as Hayes described it. Hayes didn’t realize the extent of the relationship until he signed up for the Lamar Dodd School art years later

Hayes remained indifferent to his creative talent for much of his early education. While she possessed a constant appreciation for art, her two main goals were theater and soccer.

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Sharpen your skills

Even then, Hayes remembers being voted to create all of the game day posters and homecoming banners. Outside of school, the majority of his friends were band members and were in constant need of concert logos and posters, which Hayes made entirely by hand. Despite such a heavy investment in the arts, turning his hobby into a lasting career never really crossed his mind.

“I had this weird disconnect… yes I can do all of these creative things and draw that way and design that way, but it’s not what I would have thought was the path of my life,” said said Hayes.

Hayes entered the University of Georgia, intending to major in public relations. She quickly changed her major to advertising that changed the trajectory of his life.

During one of her classes, Hayes was tasked with creating a layout for a music-focused magazine, which ultimately combined two of her long-standing passions.

“My junior year, it occurred to me, like ‘oh that makes sense… why I’m not doing art or design or whatever’,” Hayes noted. “I think I was the last person to realize this is what I should be doing.”

Much of Hayes’ work came from his participation in live paintings, where artists would go to concerts and gigs with their materials and create works based on how music moves them. While the majority of artists came up with half-finished pieces or initial concept work, Hayes always preferred to start with an entirely blank canvas, letting the raw essence of the music inspire the entire piece.

These instant works of art were compiled in Hayes’ graduation exhibition in 2015, after two and a half semesters of graphic design before moving on to studio art. While her peers exhibited pieces from their previous art classes, Hayes’ live paintings were the predominant feature of hers, distinguishing her as an artist.

The life of a professional designer

After graduating, she was hired by Uber impressions and has worked in his arts department, both to polish his clients’ ideas and to hone his skills as a designer. She then moved to Atlanta where she held a professional graphic design position before returning to Athens as director of public relations at Hugh Hodgson School of Music.

“I like to take a concept, take that conceptual mark and put it on whatever is necessary … environmental signage and by-products” Hayes noted. “It’s kind of my focal point that I feel. “

Hayes was able to express its full potential in brand design during its partnership with the Athens Orthopedic Clinic Twilight Criterium Bike Race, where she designed all aspects of the event, from Jumbotron to T-shirts and hats. She was also hired to design her 40 years of gears anniversary, a package that impressed them so much that she was commissioned to redo it for the 2020 event.

“She is extremely talented and has a clear idea of ​​who she is as an artist”, Ashley Travieso, said the event director of the Athens Orthopedic Clinic’s Twilight Criterium. “I love that she can marry what her clients want and not lose her point of view.”

Travieso was impressed with Hayes living paintings and its ability to put the environment on a canvas. As such, the bicycle race was “a means to [Hayes] to show his love for Athens, for what makes Athens unique and for an event that is truly defined by the city in which it is located ”, Travieso noted.

As a professional artist and designer, Hayes is currently located in the Small ATH gallery, an exhibition and office space that she created to accommodate her own clients as well as the work of artists in and around the community of Athens.

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