Jessi Donahoo submitted a design for a class project. After creating pages on pages of digital sketches, her professor looked at her and asked, “Why don’t you just hand draw it?”
Now, her simple and bold hand-drawn design is a top three finalist in the 2020 Be A Bear T-shirt contest.
The winner of the contest will have their design on the Be a Bear T-shirt and sold at the bookstore. Proceeds from the T-shirt sales support students facing emergencies.
An art and a science
Donahoo left the Kansas City area to pursue a dual major in computer science and graphic design in Springfield.
Soon after joining the art department, she fell in love with graphic design.
“Graphic design includes everything I like about computer science, but there’s more creative freedom,” she said. “I don’t want to just fix problems, I want to create new solutions.”
Donahoo speaks of graphic design as a companion.
“It’s the only art that’s also a science,” she said. “It’s a different way of thinking and seeing.”
Her design work: Dynamite comes in small packages
Donahoo’s design is a simple, yet bold creation that mimics the fabric of Missouri State.
“My design looks like a collection,” she said. “Missouri State is a place for collecting memories, knowledge, and friendships that extend far beyond the time spent as a student.”
Her bold design work not only mimics Missouri State, but it also reveals her personality. “Dynamite comes in small packages,” she laughed describing her height. “My design work is bold, but so am I.”
“Much like the boxes in this design, every student is unique and brings their own identity, talents, and spirit to the bear spirit of Missouri State as a whole.”
Donahoo’s inspiration comes from many places, but none more than her Uncle Kelly. She fondly remembers a childhood memory of them tinkering with a computer.
“He’s the person who got me interested in computers,” she said. “We were incredibly close.”
Uncle Kelly passed away in 2019. Even when he was sick, he supported Donahoo’s artistic endeavors.
“He always asked to see my work,” she said. “ He loved it. When he was in the hospital, I brought it to him.”
Uncle Kelly’s lifelong support spurs Donahoo’s love of graphic design forward.
“My family calls me Mini Kelly,” she said. “I love doing this because it’s a part of him I have in me.”
About the Be A Bear Contest
The Be a Bear T-Shirt contest is a way MSU students can engage with the university and help their fellow students. Each year students submit their designs for consideration, and a committee of professionals and students chooses one as the final design. Proceeds from the T-shirt help support the Emergency Scholarship Fund.
This year three designs were chosen and now, it’s up to you, the student body to decide which one you want.