Words & Photos by Sean Michael Davis - @seanmichaeldavis
Our Team at Sceen'ry has a desire to inspire people along their journey of discovering the passions within themselves and making them a reality in life. We want to share the stories of successful people who have pursued the passions in their own lives and turned them into a career. Sean is a graphic designer based in Atlanta, Georgia and has developed his skills in an unexpected way. Sean has shared his journey of success with us, along with some enlightening advice and inspiration.
I kind of unexpectedly fell into graphic design as a career. I’ve always been rather creatively inclined, but was much more focused on music when I was younger. During my senior year of high school, I was a close friend with a girl who was the yearbook editor for the school I attended. I swung by the yearbook office one afternoon while she was working on a layout and started to redesign a page. The teacher that managed the yearbook staff asked me to do another and by the end of the year I’d essentially redesigned the entire yearbook. That experience encouraged me to look at pursuing design as a career. Eventually I ended up in college pursuing Graphic Design and Advertising.
I think early on in any creative pursuit, you definitely have your own ideas, but everyone tends to emulate what you see and like. Which is totally fine. It may sound cheap and unoriginal, but it’s where we all start, no matter the medium. The Clash started out as a Ramones cover band and found their own, unique sound along the way. No matter what your creative pursuit, the most important thing is just getting reps in. Try more, do more and stay active. It takes a certain amount of fearlessness to try and put it out there for the world to react to, but the things you did wrong you won’t do again and the things that went right you know how to do better and more efficiently the next time.
Each design agency I’ve worked for to this point in my career has been made possible by the internet, through various design outlets or portfolio sites. If I were looking back to the first couple years in my pursuit and could guide myself some advice it’d be to realize that and make more for myself just to get it out there. I think when I was just starting out I assumed most clients or employers want to be wowed with big company names attached to them or high-level projects, which isn’t necessarily untrue, but at the end of the day most people with a solid eye and reliable gut really just want to see what you can do and the truest form of that. Find your perspective and own it.
I’ve lived in Atlanta, Georgia for the past couple years now. I moved down here to join the Atlanta chapter of an international design agency. Being in Atlanta has enabled and inspired me to travel more. Having the largest airport in the U.S., it’s fairly cheap and easy to travel out of Atlanta. Also, the Atlanta chapter of the agency I work for does Delta Airline’s digital design and being around work aimed at traveling day in and day out has really placed an emphasis on it for me personally. There are a handful of new perspectives and appreciations I’ve gained just from seeing new places and meeting different people over the past couple years.
New York and Paris will always been my two favorite cities. There’s just an energy in NY that I don’t know quite exists in the same way anywhere else in the world. Conversely, Paris is just packed with so much grandiose and beauty.
I had the opportunity this past fall to go to Munich, Berlin, Prague and Milan. I was able to attend Oktoberfest, which was a crazy endeavor, as well as see some of the beautiful countryside through more rural parts of Germany and Italy. Milan was probably the most exciting and inspiring city, however. There’s such a love for life and just stopping and enjoying the moment in Northern Italy.
At the end of the day for me people are what make an experience truly worthwhile. There’s plenty of creative inspiration out there whether it’s through traveling and seeing things first hand, or using the Internet as a portal to get a glimpse of everything. I’d strongly encourage anyone to see and experience as much as they can. But there’s also so much to be gained from being involved in your community. Whether that’s through going to events, shooting stuff with people, taking on projects as an excuse to collaborate, or just grabbing coffee and hearing about what inspires, excites and scares someone else. There’s beauty in stillness and inspiration all around us, sometimes you just have to open your mind and seek it.
For the dreamer - For the adventurer