Oftentimes, struggles may overwhelm someone, but in the case of senior Liz Naatz, she was able to overcome them.
Naatz is a graphic design art major originally from Chicago, Illinois. She is someone that has always been interested in art and finding unique ways to express herself.
“I always considered myself a visual person,” Naatz said.
This included even something as simple as painting the walls of her house when she was younger. “I am someone who gets bored a lot,” said Naatz. “Therefore, I am always looking for something to do, and find some way to express myself, even if it is something simple.”
For Naatz, the pull of being an art major was born out of her lifelong enjoyment and talent in various mediums of art. However, she struggled to find her footing right away.
She started out her college career at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. She transferred to Taylor during the second semester of her freshman year.
“I just did not feel as though this school was right for me,” Naatz said.
Despite majoring in art, she simply felt lost at Furman and decided to transfer to Taylor to regain her footing. Immediately, she fell in love with the art department here.
“Despite our small size, we are incredibly close, and committed to helping each other grow as artists, and as people,” says Naatz.
In particular, she developed a close relationship with professor of art, Jonathan Bouw.
“He inspires me a lot with both his humility and his talent,” said Naatz.
The community that she developed here at Taylor, has pushed her to go past what she thinks is possible. This occurs both in her work, personal and spiritual life. However, sometimes this comes in ways that can be hard to explore.
“Being an artist is a difficult thing,” said Naatz. “It requires a lot of perseverance and hard work.”
However, through her relationships with her peers in the art department, she has learned to have thick skin, especially when it comes to critique of her art.
“Sometimes you will spend twenty hours on a project, and then someone in your class will walk by and critique it, sometimes ripping it to shreds,” said Naatz.
While this might sound intense to someone outside Naatz’s world, it ultimately creates a great source of improvement, especially for an inspiring and dedicated artist such as Naatz. “What I love about our small group (of art majors), is that we are not afraid to push each other out of our comfort zones,” says Naatz.
In other words, they are not afraid to take feedback and criticism from each other in order to help each other out as artists.
As an artist, Naatz has worked for several companies and non-profit organizations. First, she has worked for a nonprofit organization called The Boaz Project, which serves orphans and vulnerable children in Indianapolis. There, she helped mainly with their graphic design.
Currently, she is doing freelance work, where she is hired by clients, and then asked to help with the campaigns. Their campaigns usually consist of some sort of social media, illustrations and logos.
However, with all of this experience behind her, she is still exploring what her true artistic passion is.
“My ultimate goal is to find something that I love to do, and when I wake up, I am excited about doing,” said Naatz
Through her art and the people around her, she has been able to have a clearer vision of who God has called her to be. The art of Naatz and her fellow graphic arts majors will be displayed during their senior exhibition, “Right Side Up.” The exhibition will happen on April 29 from 7-9 p.m. in Metcalf. Follow their Instagram page, @rightsideupshow for more information.