Olina Einarsdottir started with a sketch book, a pencil and photos of bears from Google.
She drew lines that varied in thickness that could represent the movement of the bear’s fur. A few small adjustments later, she had what she wanted: A design in which little parts make a whole. But it took another person’s perspective to discover what turned out to be a beautiful accident.
“One of my classmates was like, ‘Oh, it looks like a fingerprint. The identity of being a Bear,’” she said.
A senior graphic design major, Einarsdottir hopes her design wins the 2020 Be a Bear T-shirt design contest.
A Bear 3,559 miles from home
Einarsdottir, a native of Iceland, came to Missouri State in 2016 on scholarship to play for Head Coach Rob Brewer and the Soccer Bears. In fact, she never set foot in Springfield before she enrolled. A few looks at missouristate.edu, views of photos and videos, and she was in.
“It all just looked really nice,” Einarsdottir said. “I tried to not get my hopes up because I thought campus may not look as nice as it does in the picture, but once I got here, it was just great.”
Also attractive was Missouri State’s graphic design program. Einarsdottir said she’s always been into drawing and creating things but didn’t have an opportunity to pursue it in high school at home, where students in Iceland choose an academic “path” similar to a college major.
Fine arts wasn’t a good fit, she thought. So graphic design became her destiny.
“It combines art into this medium where you can be creative, but also make something practical and useful,” she said. “You can help other people. You can be the person to get an idea out of someone’s head and make it a reality.”
A design that reflects its purpose
Proceeds from the Be a Bear T-shirt benefit Missouri State’s Emergency Scholarship Fund, which provides financial help to students who face an unplanned and life-altering situation at no fault of their own.
The design looks like a fingerprint, but in Einarsdottir’s eyes, it also features pieces that work together to form a bigger picture, much like how small individual contributions to the scholarship can make a huge difference for students in need.
Einarsdottir wanted feedback on her design, so she enlisted help from some of her closest friends: Teammates from the women’s soccer team.
“I couldn’t choose colors, and they helped me decide on comfort colors and using heathered fabric shirts,” she said. “They were like, ‘Oh yeah, I would wear that. But maybe not that.’”
Einarsdottir said she’d love to win the contest because, well, wouldn’t it be cool if people wore something you designed? But she also understands the public affairs mission and the importance of helping her fellow students.
“Just knowing it’s for a good cause. So every time I see it, I know it’s contributing to that foundation. It’s a really cool concept.”