Like many new college students, Kaitlyn Campbell Wright (19) went in not knowing what she wanted to do with her life.
The Prestonsburg native was on her way to earning an associate degree from Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC) when she was shown a video of a watercolor demonstration from one of her professors.
"I thought it was the coolest thing ever and I wanted to try it," she said. "So, I went and bought the worst paint and paper ever and sat down to follow a YouTube tutorial. That's how I taught myself to paint."
Eventually, Wright went from teaching herself to earning an associate degree in art from BSCTC. Still, she knew both her passion and education in the arts had further to go, so she transferred to Morehead State University.
On her way to earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2019, Wright said she felt a sense of community and a spark in her creativity. Her preferred medium of watercolors soon took a backseat to photography. She said her MSU photography professor, Dr. Robyn Moore, helped mold her into the adaptable photographer she is today. She loves how her work can "change someone's perspective for the better."
"There are little worlds all around us filled with texture and color. Think of it as the view from a worm's perspective. Think of how different the world looks from down there. Suddenly, something like a fallen log that we don't even notice turns into a place filled with amazing textures, colors, shadows, and so much more," Wright said. "It's so exciting for me to really stop and take in the little things."
In addition to earning her degree and growing as an artist at MSU, she also met her future husband, Nathan, during her undergraduate years. The two married in the spring of 2019. Before marrying, they lived in Lexington, where Nathan was working as a mechanical engineer. When Wright expressed a desire to move closer to her family, Nathan quit his job and the two moved to Prestonsburg in August 2018 to start a small business. After a year of mulling ideas, the two settled on inKindEarrings, a home-based business specializing in designing and crafting earrings.
Wright said everything from product photography and website design for inKindEarrings wouldn't have been possible without her MSU education.
"I really felt like MSU prepared me for what working in the art industry would really be like. From managing deadlines to the design of my website, I felt like I have a thorough understanding of the entire process," Wright said. "This is something I hadn't realized until I graduated."
When it comes to her interests in art, business or a combination of the two, she said her MSU experience and the faculty who became mentors and inspirations helped her come into her own.
"I loved how much I was pushed out of my comfort zone with the media I worked with. That's actually what pushed me to find my love for photography," Wright said. "My professors really took a direct interest in me and pushed me to be the best I could be. I felt like they really cared about me as a person, and they wanted me to succeed."
To learn more about inKindEarrings, visit http://www.inkindearrings.com
For more information on MSU's Department of Art and Design, visit http://www.moreheadstate.edu/art or email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 606-783-2766.