Student Profile: Jack Feltes

This is one of a series of profiles featuring the DAC Capstone cohort of Spring 2020.

My name is Jack Feltes and I am from Brookfield, Wisconsin. I am currently a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee pursuing a BA in Digital Arts and Culture with a minor in Studio Art. The DAC major has been an eye-opening dive into a variety of mediums and disciplines. In my free time I try and devote my time to things that add value in my life, it is rare for me to lay around and binge Netflix. I try to run and read every day, I find that these habits free my mind and encourage growth. Additionally, I love camping and being outdoors. When I was younger the only type of vacation my parents took us on was camping in northern Wisconsin. Growing up with an emphasis on the outdoors, I have grown to appreciate the serenity and power that comes from being outside.

I arrived on the DAC major almost by accident. I came to school undecided and after a few years I decided I wanted to go into the arts, specifically printmaking. I quickly learned that was not the path for me, it had far too much structure and I did not enjoy the environment. This is when I had to figure my life out: I knew I loved the arts, but I have too many interests to focus on one medium. Additionally, I enjoy writing, advertising, and communication – things that I would never be able to focus on in the fine arts world. This is when I looked into Digital Arts and Culture. The name is what interested me at first but, as I started taking classes, I realized that DAC was a great fit for me. I think it comes down to the fact that I get bored doing the same thing over and over. DAC gives me the ability to build a variety of skills. I’ve taken courses on social media writing, publication layout, social media graphics, digital communication, and advertising strategies. DAC molded me into a multidisciplinary creative expert, with a diverse arsenal of skills and an endless desire to keep learning.

I am drawn to the tangible;
I find so much power in a physical product.

The central direction of my creative work comes from a desire to combine different forms. Because of this, I would say that I am especially drawn to general graphic design. I look at design as a problem that I need to solve. When solving this problem, I can use my arsenal of skills to create something totally original. There is something special about using type, color, graphics, and photos to solve a creative problem. With this in mind, it would only make sense that I take a great deal of influence from magazines. I look at a magazine as the pinnacle of design, creators are required to combine text, color, photos, and illustrations. The world of magazine layout is interesting, regardless of audience or subject matter, the creativity and design expertise is astounding. When I need inspiration I’ll page through Vice, National Geographic, and Life magazines. My creative direction is constantly evolving, but I know I will always love solving the problem of design.

I am currently working on a magazine style resume that showcases a variety of my creative works. The idea of the personal magazine is to create a hybrid resume, one that showcases my work but also highlights professional work and education. Once the publication is printed, I could use it during job interviews, showcasing my design skills as well as my creativity. Additionally, I was inspired to improve my publication layout skills. I hope someday to be in a role where I will be involved with publication layout as a profession. I am drawn to the tangible; I find so much power in a physical product. This magazine is the pinnacle of my creative work so far, pushing my digital and analog skills to their limits.

I would tell someone who is a beginner in the DAC program to value every class they take. The amazing part of DAC is the diversity, this is what allows you to figure out what you enjoy and how you want to use it. I would tell a DAC beginner to try and take a broad range of classes, you never know what will resonate with you. DAC is truly the ideal program for someone who wants to learn a lot and diversify their skillset. DAC is a major that gives you an immense amount of opportunity, you need to use that opportunity to your advantage. What makes DAC different is your ability to learn so much, on so many different subjects, this is something that you won’t get with any other major. I believe that DAC is for the people who have limitless creative energy, this is energy that goes beyond a particular discipline, energy that pushes you to work and learn a variety of tangible skills. If you are the kind of person that thrives in an environment that allows you to push your limits and learn, then DAC is for you.

All images are the works of Jack Feltes.