APRIL 11 – 12, 2024
Life In Deep Ellum
Dallas, TX

We’ve all been dealt a certain hand.

But where you start doesn’t have to define where you end up. Your creative career is in your control and we want to help you stack the deck in your favor. Come get inspired by world class keynote speakers, professional portfolio reviews, and cutting edge student work from your peers around the country. You’ll return home with a whole new passion and a plan for your future.


Cimone Key

Founder, CK Creative

Cimone Key founded CK Creative Agency at the age of 24. With 8 years as a CEO and 11 years in the industry, Cimone Key continues to grow her company internationally. Due to her knowledge, volunteerism, and work, she has been marked ‘legendary’ by the Fortune 500 company Intuit®.


Building Confidence to Leap Into the Unknown

Conquering obstacles along the way from college to corporate, to owning your own business, and the lessons learned that would easily make or break you from embarking into the unknown.

Juan Carlos Pagan

Designer, Co-Founder & Creative Director

Juan Carlos Pagan is an artist, designer, and typographer. He is the Co-founder and Creative Director at Sunday Afternoon, a design studio and artists management agency.


Areas of Interest

Over the years I have experimented and introduced many of my interests into my work. This talk attempts to break down the body of work I have created, and how these areas of Interest have affected the way I see the world and make my work.

Jonathan Schubert

Graphic Designer & Illustrator

Jonathan Schubert is a graphic designer, illustrator, and branding consultant living and working in Dallas. He has been working for himself full time since he launched his own "Schubert Studio" 7 years ago. He is a graduate of UNT Comm Design, class of 2010.

Brandi Sea

Marketing Director & Creative Director/Design Strategist

Brandi Sea Heft-Kniffin is an award-winning Creative Director, Designer, Strategist, and Educator. She is also the Chief Inspiration Officer of her own company, executive producer of Design Speaks Podcast, and Creator of The Strategic Process™ ideating framework.


Your Inspiration Is In The Process

It isn't enough to feel inspired. I'd like to show you a better way to think about inspiration that leads with the process. How to recognize inspiration, what to do with it once you've found it, and how to use it in your design work to bring life and personality to your design concepts.

Alex Anderson

Graphic Designer, Illustrator, & Educator

Alex Anderson is a designer, illustrator & teacher based in Kansas City, Missouri. He grew up in the midwest and attended the University of Kansas in Lawrence. Alex cut his teeth working for Willoughby Design designing brand identities for the Kansas City Streetcar, The Kansas City Transit Authority and The Stockyards District. He has also worked at Carpenter Collective and Contrabrand.


Building a Portfolio that shows you the work you want to do!

How do you go about constructing a portfolio that reflects your personality and aligns with the kind of work you aspire to pursue? Alex will share insights on how developing a portfolio of personal projects facilitated his growth as a designer and enabled him to attract the projects he desired. The discussion will include tangible examples of personal initiatives, guidance on structuring them effectively, and practical advice on dos and don'ts. Additionally, Alex will outline how these personal projects and work directly translated into opportunities to work on projects that resonate with his individual style and interests.

Kevin Marple


Kevin Marple began his career as a photographer back in the days of film. He received a bachelor's degree in photography with a minor in Radio, TV, Film; then went on to assist several photographers, before becoming a full-time assistant to one of the most talented and respected food photographers in the South. Kevin assisted for three years before he ventured out solo.


Do you really want to do this?

So you have a camera. Someone told you that they like your photos. So now what? Do you think you have what it takes? Let's take a deep dive into this. Let's explore the life and business of a working commercial photographer.

Bekah Schouten

Conference Emcee | Creative Writer & Content Coordinator

Bekah Schouten is a storyteller at heart with a passion for words and communication. Her two full-time jobs are being a Creative Writer and Content Coordinator at e3 Partners Ministry and being a mom to a toddler.


Thursday, April 11


9:00 am . Studio Tours


1:00 pm . Conference Check-In

2:00 pm . Conference Kick-Off

2:15 pm . Keynote: Alex Anderson

3:15 pm . Break

3:30 pm . Emerging Creatives Panel

4:30 pm . Break

4:45 pm . Keynote: Cimone Key


5:45 pm . Dinner

7:15 pm . Student Social

Friday, April 12


8:30 am . Portfolio Review

11:00 am . Round Table

12:00 pm . Lunch


1:30 pm . Keynote: BrandiSea

2:30 pm . Break

2:45 pm . Keynote: Juan Carlos Pagan

3:45 pm . Break

4:00 pm . Keynote: Jonathan Schubert

5:00 pm . Break


5:15 pm . Keynote: Kevin Marple


Visiting a working design studio is like peeking into Santa’s workshop. Find out how the magic is made and you’ll never want to leave. With any luck this is where your design career is headed. Join us for tours of some of the best award-winning design agencies in Dallas.


Picture this: you and a few friends sit down with a seasoned professional in the creative industry. You spend a little time listening to their life and career, then fire away some astute questions. As you marinate in the sage advice you receive, you begin to see yourself 25 years in the future with a long and glorious career of your own. Not a bad way to spend an hour.


Good news and bad news. Once you graduate it’s unlikely a design agency will care about your GPA. If you have great work and, almost equally important, you’re willing to work hard and be teachable, you’re hired. Here’s the good news. You don’t have to wait to find out. Hear it first-hand from industry leaders. Tighten up your best work and get ready to show it off. Listen to the feedback and let it fuel your creative fire. You got this!


The Emerging Creatives Panel is designed to offer valuable advice and insight to students from professionals just a few steps ahead of them. It’s a time for professionals to give back to the next generation and offer these students all the things you wish someone had mentioned before graduating.

Mark Baker-Sanchez

Creative & Art Director / Editor-in-Chief, DONE The Magazine

See My Work

Mark Baker-Sanchez is an art director focused on providing visual research and intentional creative in the luxury space. He is passionate about bringing soulfulness into design, photography and motion across fashion, beauty, culture and lifestyle. His experience in both digital and print landscapes allows him to create holistic, captivating experiences that delight and inspire.

He is the Editor-in-Chief & Creative Director of his own media brand called DONE The Magazine that annually publishes underrepresented stories in a bespoke newsprint magazine.

Isaiah Adeoye

Videographer | Co-Owner of Ade House Studio

See My Work

Isaiah Adeoye (24), is a Director / Cinematographer who specializes in commercial videography and documentaries. One of his main goals in his work is to evoke deep emotion through his films. He's had the pleasure of crafting compelling visual narratives in global social campaigns while working at Fossil (Watch company) and other global brands like Zodiac, Michael Kors, Michelle, Diesel, and Skagen.

Prior to his work with global brands, Isaiah played a pivotal role at Mallard Agency, creating powerful documentaries that celebrated the stories of family-owned businesses. Currently, as a freelance videographer and Co-Owner of Ade House Studio, Isaiah continues to push the boundaries of visual storytelling, bringing his unique perspective to each project.

Hannah Adeoye

Design & Digital Engagement Coordinator | Traffick911

See My Work

Hannah Adeoye is a graphic designer and curator, with the “why” as her driving factor. Unsatisfied at the thought of designing to sell a product, she set out to steward stories instead. Hannah’s ultimate desire is for her creativity to bring about life change. Her work can be described as practical yet impactful.

She currently serves as the Design and Digital Engagement Coordinator at Traffick911, an anti-trafficking organization that serves survivors of child sex trafficking across North Texas.

Jill Darrow

Art Director, Cheil Dallas

See My Work

Jill Darrow is an Art Director at Cheil Dallas where she conceptualizes campaigns, creates marketing materials, and collaborates with the creative team on product launches for Samsung Electronics. No matter the task, she approaches everything with a can-do attitude and a positive disposition. Jill has been recognized by the ADDYs, Graphis, DSVC, and was recently nominated for the Ad 2 Dallas 32 Under 32 class of 2023.

Outside of work, Jill enjoys spending time with her husband and their cats, illustrating her next piece of art, or searching for the closest Whataburger.

Trevor Scott

Graphic Design & Typographer | Caliber Creative

See My Work

Trevor Scott is a Texas-born designer with a keen eye for the finest detail. He has a love for branding and typography, where he finds ways to experiment with new challenges and opportunities. Trevor has experience designing, formatting, and marketing his very own typefaces for sale. As a conceptual thinker, Trevor strives to visualize ideas that connect viewers and encourage creativity. When not designing, he is probably on the way to the Fort Worth Stockyards or a TCU football game. Trevor has an affinity for Western culture – represented in his attire, music taste, and design influence. In design and in life, Trevor enjoys a challenge and looks forward to any chance to tackle a creative opportunity.

Emil Miralda

Motion Graphic Artist | WFAA

See My Work

Emil Miralda is a Motion Graphic Artist at WFAA in Dallas. He graduated from Texas A&M University-Commerce at Dallas in the Visual Communications program with an emphasis in New Media. Emil loves watching movies, going to concerts, and trying new foods. He often says food is the best form of diplomacy. Emil also believes that whatever you do in life, you should put your heart into it 100%.

Amber Andersson

Panel Host | Art Director | e3 Partners & I Am Second

See My Work

Amber Andersson is a graphic designer, illustrator, and typographer. She currently is the Lead Graphic Designer at e3 Partners & I Am Second, and teaches graphic design and typography classes at Dallas Baptist University. Amber would call herself an energetic introvert; she loves the color black; and she is very passionate about graphic design and its impact on society and culture. When not creating, Amber enjoys hiking and rock climbing outdoors with her husband.


Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about the show and conference.

The NSSC is a national creative competition awarding over $20,000 in scholarships and cash prizes. Helping undergraduates become successful creative professionals, The National Student Show & Conference is a professionally judged creative competition and conference built for students and their educators.

Regular Ticket Price: $299

Early access tickets are offered at a discounted rate from January 16, 2024 to February 19, 2024. Additionally, educators with students attending the conference receive a free ticket (must be marked at checkout). NSSC does not offer discounts on bulk orders.

As of this time, keynotes will not be recorded for NSSC19 and therefore would not be available to watch after the event.