Kristen Parham does not like being a copycat. Her instinctive predisposition to create new and unique pieces of art unlike anyone other artist's work is reflected in her senior art show, "Orange Marmalade," displayed in the OBU art building gallery from March 16-29.
"Orange Marmalade," the name of Parham's show, is also an obscure reference to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol. Carrol is one of Parham's favorite authors, and his books about Alice have inspired much of her work.
"The jar of orange marmalade only shows up once and then is never mentioned again," Parham said. "I think this reflects my inclination to steer away from ideas and designs that I have seen done before in any way."
Primarily, Parham derives motivation for her personal artwork from her interest in the subject matter of her work. She has also been inspired by OBU professors Corey Fuller, assistant professor of graphic design, and Jennifer Allen-Ayers, former assistant professor of English. She commended her family and fiance Kashuan Hopkins for their encouragement as well.
"I was raised to understand that making money takes a backseat to actually enjoying the work you do," Parham said.
Parham's favorite pieces in her show are a book cover design for American Empathy and another piece titled "Client's Field Guide to Graphic Design." She said the book cover was one of her favorites simply because she was pleased with her work, and she chose the second piece because she loved the idea of handing clients a how-to guide for "a field that is so often misunderstood."
Other than teaching her skills to succeed in her field, Parham said her college experience in general helped her become less naïve about what the 'real world' is going to be like, and how to remain "in God's light" as she lives in the 'real world.'
Parham is a graphic design major from Lawton, Okla. Upon graduating, she plans to find a job as a designer, expressing a desire to "do work that makes me happy, and design makes me happy."