Ashley Smith graduates this April with her BFA in illustration and will speak in the Department of Design convocation.
During her time at BYU, Smith set herself apart by taking initiative to be involved. Recently she completed an internship in Salt Lake City with sculptor, Ryan Peterson. Peterson specializes in sculpting life-size Marvel characters, and has worked on numerous other projects in the entertainment industry.
As part of this internship, Smith received a generous donation through the Mary Lois Wheatley Scholarship. This money funded her internship and allowed her to pursue sculpture as she otherwise would not have been able to do.
After her internship, Smith was able to join professor Bethanne Andersen’s class for a character maquette assignment. She was able to share basic sculpting techniques that she learned during her internship.
“After completing my internship, I was able to return to BYU and help other students, which I will always remember as a highlight of my university experience,” Smith said.
Aside from her internship, while at BYU, Smith also won several local art contests including one held at The Wall, and another held by BYU Women’s Services.
Smith is a native of Germany and lived in japan so she is currently applying for jobs in Japan and Europe. Her current dream job is to design book covers or work in children’s publishing.
“For my BFA show I focused on children’s book illustrations,” Smith said. “They were all based on my life experiences, so the project was especially personal to me.”
Smith’s convocation message centers on the concept of endings as a type of beginning and the importance of lifelong learning.
“When you graduate college, you may feel like it’s the end of something and you could feel the urge to throw away any big dreams you had for yourself that you didn’t accomplish,” Smith said. “We can still accomplish those things. You don’t have to abandon your dreams just because they don’t fit right now.”
Smith wishes to thank the many community members who frequently came out to support BYU students. She will miss spending time with her classmates and professors.
Click here to the view the graduation live stream.