Katie Mackey

My name is Katie Mackey, a senior here at Stetson from Denver, Colorado. I am majoring in Digital Art, with a minor in Entrepreneurship. While my focus is digital, I started at Stetson as a Studio Art major which has prompted me toward more of a multi-media approach. For my senior show, DRIFTWOOD, in the Digital Arts “Unity of the Arts” Senior Show, I used natural found materials as well as digitally manipulated photography. My work focuses on real life issues–I use real people’s stories as inspirations and use my work to highlight areas in the world that need change.

What are your plans after graduation?

When I first started at Stetson, there was no way I wanted to continue on toward higher education. As I started exploring the world outside of the arts, I realized that I could do more than simply depict the problems in the world: I want to effect change. I will be pursuing a degree in International Human Rights in order to use my art in the business world to combat human trafficking. While I am unsure exactly what this will look like, I know that my coursework at Stetson has prepared me to come up with creative solutions to this massive problem–my further education will teach me more specifically about these issues and how to solve them.

Did you ever see yourself doing what you’re doing now when you first started at Stetson?

When I first started at Stetson, my main goal was to get a degree and join the Peace Corps. Now, through exploring the world of business and entrepreneurship, I believe I can start a business using the creative skills I’ve learned here at Stetson. When I first started, there was no way that I would have thought that I could do what I’m doing. Beyond classes, I’ve learned so much about myself and my passions from my life here at Stetson, my experience here has shaped and molded me in so many ways.

What advice do you have for someone taking their first course right now?

Don’t get stuck inside the school you’ve started in, or even in your primary medium. I started as an Art Major, took classes in Politics and Business and ended with a minor I didn’t expect. Just be willing to experiment! Take classes that seem outside your comfort zone, take things you think that you aren’t good at: you’ll be surprised what you can accomplish if you’re open to learning.

What’s the best thing you’ve learned at Stetson?

The best thing I learned at Stetson was what I was capable of. Through taking different classes, collaborating with professors, and experiencing so many different people I grew and experimented with so many different things. I succeeded and even excelled at some things that I didn’t even know existed before college. With this self-confidence and understanding of my real passions, I now know that I can pursue my ultimate goals and use art to change the world, something I never would have believed I could do before.

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