From a young age, senior interactive digital media major Brett Jackson knew he was artistic, but he didn’t know that his high school hobby would one day become his career, his identity and his passion. On campus, Jackson is recognized for his knack as a photographer, but his long history with art has included drawing, painting, woodwork, sculpting, digital design and, of course, photography.
“Art used to be my hobby I guess, but it’s in who I am now,” said Jackson. “Everything I do and everything I have done is based off an artistic principle, like when I switched my major my sophomore year from political science to interactive media. The art dictated my life because I found that I was happier when I created things.”
Art has been an aspect in all of Jackson’s involvement at William Jewell College. Jackson has contributed to “The Hilltop Monitor” and been featured in “Inscape,” and he usually makes posters for his fraternity, Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI). Jackson has since retired from his four-year long run on the soccer team, but he found art in his sport as well.
Jackson realized his love for photography during his sophomore year when he took his phone and a few friends to five National Parks in Utah and Arizona. Jackson used the camera on his phone to see the beauty he found in a different way.
Before the trip out west, Jackson hadn’t taken a photography class, but he used his artist’s eye to find the right lighting and angles. Lately, he has been intrigued by cinemagraphs. Cinemagraphs are pictures that have one moving aspect, like a picture of a waterfall with moving water.
“With photography I got to see the world with a more artistic view,” said Jackson. “Even more than I had before. I guess I realized that while painting and drawing are really fun, I’m stuck inside with those. I’m stuck sitting somewhere. I’d rather be creating art in the moment, which is photography.”
After Jewell, Jackson is planning to pursue a career centered on creating.
“When I switched my major to media I wondered what I was going to do,” said Jackson. “There are more jobs to find with political science, and I wondered how I was going to make money. Then I realized it’s not really about the money, it’s about what makes me happy.”
Jackson and fellow senior and fraternity brother Aaron Lawrence have started a company called Intrepid Creative, a storytelling company that creates videos and photographs for marketing.
The two have started the process of talking to companies to be hired, and have already done a project for Eastern Spruce Outfitters, a clothing brand started by Jewell student Nick Hamilton. Jackson says the company is still in the experimental stage, but they are excited to start the process of creating for clients.
“It won’t be our main jobs, more like a side thing, unless it really starts taking off,” said Jackson. “By doing this I’ll still be doing what I love to do, which is create. This is my path of using art to create monetary value.”
Each project that Intrepid Creative gets hired to do will allow Jackson and Lawrence to have ownership over their ideas and give them opportunities to travel.
Last summer, Jackson did a digital design internship for a corporate company that placed him in a cubicle. The lack of creative freedom that he experienced made him realize that he would like to try the path of entrepreneurship.
Jackson is hoping to keep working on personal projects among the professional ones.
“Art has moved me towards happiness,” said Jackson.