Alumni Spotlight Reed Knauth
Senior Web Designer at The Home Depot
#AlumniSpotlight The Creative Circus graduates the most sought after creatives in the industry. Take a moment to read about the lives, careers & personal stories of some of our fantastic alumni.
Advice to the Graduating Class:
You don’t have to follow the pack.
There are a lot of different paths you can take after you graduate, you don’t have to stay confined within the ad world to be successful and showcase your talent. What I mean by that is when I graduated I started immediately working at an ad agency, and although I was good at it, it wasn’t me. Shortly after I started working client side at The Home Depot. The work life balance was amazing and I thrived with all the tools I had learned at the Circus without actually working at an agency. I may go back to the ad world some day, but it’s not a must just because I was trained in ad school. Figure out what your strengths are and focus on that!
Advice to the Incoming Class:
Make your peers your family. My favorite thing about the Circus was the bond I formed with my classmates. Every class is different but you WILL want to have a strong base of circus friends to work late nights with, get feedback from, vent to and recover with haha. My circus friends are still some of my closest friends today and the memories we had are irreplaceable. (BIG hugs you guys!!)
Also, work hard, ask a million questions and remember ALWAYS double the amount of time you think it’s going to take you to complete something, you will thank me later.
What does the Circus mean to you?:
Everything. Seriously the list is endless. I can’t imagine where I would be if someone hadn’t told me about this wonderful school. I was skeptical at first but going to the Circus has opened so many doors for me, not to mention it has taught me an insane work ethic I can use anywhere the rest of my life.
Describe a monumental, light bulb moment for yourself while you were at The Circus:
Towards my last year I was taking Capital Campaigns class and Magazine class with Ron – both essentially layout focused. By the end of the quarter based on my project success and passion I realized the key strengths that would ultimately define me as a designer – color and layout. It’s important to know how you stand out from other people in your field, especially when it’s so easy to compare yourself, it will drive you crazy. Find out what sets you apart!
Best Advice You’ve Been Given:
“It’s ok to fail. In fact, you should fail.” The older I get the more I hear this and the more I value it’s truth.
We are so scared of failure, but it is the very thing that teaches us growth and helps us define who we are – in career, in love, in everything.
Every time I fail at something I sit down and figure out why, what I learned and move on – it is invaluable.
What are you working on/doing now?:
Currently I’m working client side at The Home Depot – somewhere I never thought in a million years I would be working. I wear a lot of hats at this job, which I wouldn’t have any other way. Some days I’m art directing and concepting photo shoots with my team, other days I’m just designing and some days I’m sketching and gathering inspiration for future ideas we want to put into motion on the site. Apart from that, I’m also transitioning into freelancing my pattern work, a fusion of my love of art and design. I’m hoping to one day be able to license my artwork and collaborate with other artists, companies and creatives locally and globally in the future.