I was sitting in an ice cream shop in Woodstock, NY having a milkshake for my birthday with my family when a Facebook message from Carissa popped up on my phone. I had the privilege of living in the same unit with Carissa my freshman year and am honored to call her a sweet friend of mine. I thought it was just a quick “happy birthday!” and didn’t think much of it. As I opened the message, half paying attention, my jaw dropped - first at the length of the message, second at the content as my eyes quickly skimmed to see what she was saying. I read it over a few times and just sat there wondering why in the world Dead Last Collective was approaching me. (Apologies for sounding like I’m copying Dom’s post word for word but this is the honest truth!) So anyways…I then read the message to my family and started to low-key freak out that I had been asked to join with them!
Humor me by letting me introduce myself. My name is Kasey and I love to create. I like to think I’m confident in my work but when it really boils down to it, I have a lot of insecurities. Please let me explain…
Ever since I started finger painting back in Kindergarten I’ve struggled with feelings of inadequacy in all things creative. Although I’ve always loved to create and even am pursuing a major in graphic design right now I’ve always had this feeling that I’m not good enough. I remember telling my mom as I packed up to go off to college that I wasn’t sure I was creative enough to pursue a design major - maybe I should just do business… (not that there’s anything wrong with business - I’m actually minoring in marketing - but you get the picture). Because design has always been something near and dear to my heart and I really felt the Lord drawing me to it, I decided to stick with design. As I’ve sat through numerous drawing classes, Illustrator tutorials, and workshop tours, I’ve learned a few things that I hope and pray might speak to some other person struggling with something like this.
So here goes: first, I’ve learned that there will always be someone better than you. For three years now, I’ve looked up to Hayley, Carissa, and Jesse as creative superiors. I’ve always viewed them as the best of the best and something that I should try to be. While this is absolutely true, I have let this get me down at times. I’ve worked myself into a tizzy convincing myself that I can never reach their level of creativity, confidence, and professionalism. Sitting in my classes, I always seem to find the person who is already an expert in whatever we’re learning and then compare myself to them. Comparison sometimes is the biggest enemy of creativity. I think that’s what Dead Last Collective is all about - being who you are and not being what is considered “right” by society. Lesson One: There will always be someone better - don’t compare.
The second big thing that I have learned is: sometimes you have to take a leap of faith and put yourself out there. I’m an introvert through and through therefore, I hate putting myself out there. I hate being the one to make the first move, say the first word, take the first step. Unfortunately, the world does not wait for those who hide in the shadows. As I finished up last semester and was looking for an internship, I found a company called Felt that had a note on the bottom of their website, “email us at *generic business email* if you’d like to design for us”. I knew nothing about the company but bit the bullet and made the contact. Through a series of nerve-racking FaceTime interviews and emails sent, I landed an internship at FeltApp (a company that got to be on Shark Tank while I was working for them !!!! ). They needed work done, I had basic training but really no clue what I was doing, and they hired me. I have learned SO much through my internship this summer it is unbelievable! Lesson Two: Be bold and put yourself out there!
Okay this is getting wicked long, let me wrap this up with a quick summary (cause that’s what my profs have taught me to do for an A+ essay apparently). I love to create. I am so honored and humbled to be asked to be a part of Dead Last Collective. Don’t compare yourself to other people - you do you! Putting yourself out there is scary but it can really pay off! I promise that although not everyone may like your work, there are definitely people out there who do and Dead Last is doing a PHENOM job of finding said people.
Follow Kasey and her creative life on Instagram @jokingnotjoking
"I think that’s what Dead Last Collective is all about
- being who you are…"