Students in the Professional Schools Program School of Fine Arts welcomed their first symposium speaker, Jim Hutchinson, to Legacy Christian Academy.

Jim is on faculty at Dallas Baptist University as the Chair of the Visual Art Department and oversees graphic design, commercial and studio art, and digital photography. He has enjoyed a prolific and successful career as a commercial artist for over twenty-nine years. His core message to the students at Legacy was that if you set out to be an artist, you can make it happen. Jim was candid with the students and admitted that there are a myriad of challenges when it comes to building a career as a successful commercial artist. It is, however, not only incredibly rewarding personally, but, more importantly, entirely possible.

Jim shared his extensive educational and work history. He put particular stress on the importance of getting good training and also the importance of networking and getting yourself in front of the right people as often as possible. An unmistakably influential figure in his career was his mentor Brian Jekel. Jekel is a master illustrator and has painted over 1,000 biblical illustrations for publication. Jekel invested in Jim day after day and truly instilled a dedication to the fundamentals of art and a love for the study and development of classic illustration.

Finding and building a solid relationship with a mentor is imperative, but it is important to have a purpose and a love for your work. This brings up another critical component to being a successful artist, having a can-do attitude. Many times when one looks at a piece of art their thoughts are filled with self-doubt, thinking “I could never do something like that.” Jim has always been intentional with his attitude and adopted the mentality early in his life that he can tackle anything. Having the right attitude is essential to one's success.

Over the course of both his educational and professional careers, Jim has been blessed to work with influential and positive mentors who have guided him along the path. Ultimately, however, it has been Jim's path to navigate. He invested a lot of hard work and time making art he was less than enthused about to demonstrate his skills and his willingness to work hard. With time, however, people began to recognize Jim's talent and initiative, which positioned him to be able to produce the kind of art he has always aspired to do.

His final point to the students was, once again, to stress the importance of networking. He encouraged them to get themselves out there, market themselves, and allow themselves to be vulnerable. Though at first it may seem intimidating, getting in front of the right people can position one for great success and afford invaluable opportunities,

Legacy Christian Academy offers students a college preparatory education; central to that education is fine arts. 100% of students in Pre-K through grade 10 participate in a fine arts course, and many upperclassmen continue with their fine art study. For the latest information on Legacy fine arts, subscribe today. For more information on Legacy, visit our admissions page.