When Andrew Smith (05) traveled from Ashland to display his art at a regional high school competition at Morehead State, he left with a scholarship but was more influenced by MSU faculty’s contagious enthusiasm for the arts.

“I just came here knowing I wanted to do art,” Smith said. “It was neat to meet professors and see genuine interest in this.”

Smith found a passion for graphic design at MSU, “nerding out on fonts and type layouts” in the late Deeno Golding’s design principles class his freshman year. He also was an intern in the Office of Communications and Marketing and earned a bachelor’s degree in art, focusing on illustration, photography and advertising.

“Deeno’s ability to present the work and make it fun, his strictness in making sure edges are cut at 45-degree angles and the sidewall marker boards are all blacked out with a Sharpie marker,” Smith recalled. “He had a particular requirement that was always needed and presentation that was really fun to be subjected to.”

After graduation, he held various positions at small design firms in Ohio and Michigan before eventually landing a job in Detroit, as a senior art director for nine years with Ford Motor Company’s advertising agency, Global Team Blue.

At Ford, he worked on award-winning digital campaigns like the Mustang Customizer, winner of a gold Effie Award. He also oversaw commercial campaigns featuring celebrities, including the Lincoln ads featuring Academy Award-winning actor Matthew McConaughey.

As an art director, designer and self-described “creative problem solver” Smith works independently and lives with his wife and three kids in Austin. He found a purpose in his artistic talents, which he said may not have been possible if he hadn’t become an Eagle.

“I think my mindset is from Deeno’s class, of learning the ‘why’ and starting with why,” he said. “I think that was one of the biggest things I gleaned from here.”