The 116 Life Episode 50: Design and Calling with Kevin Hackett

In this episode of Reach Records, The 116 Life, SVP of A&R Ace Harris and Marketing Operations Director Joe Malone sat down with Kevin Hackett, the creative director of design at the label. Their discussion was not only a deep dive into Kevin’s personal and professional journey but also a reflection on the broader themes of faith, family, and the creative process.

From Fan Art to Professional Design: Kevin Hackett’s Story

Kevin’s story is a testament to the power of passion and perseverance. Growing up in a Christian family in Vancouver, his upbringing was steeped in faith, which played a significant role in shaping his identity. He recounted the transformative experience of attending summer camp, which not only strengthened his faith but also helped him carve out his own identity within his beliefs.

Kevin’s foray into design began with creating fan art for artists like Lecrae and Social Club. His love for the visual world of music ignited a passion for design, leading him to create cover artwork and designs for his own music and for others. It was fascinating to hear how social media, particularly Twitter, served as a catalyst for his career. His work caught the attention of artists who reposted it, leading to his first commission and marking the beginning of his professional journey as a designer.

The Role of Social Media and Community in a Designer’s Growth

Throughout the conversation, Kevin emphasized the importance of social media in connecting with opportunities and the creative community. He shared how the support and encouragement he received through these platforms were instrumental in navigating his faith journey, especially during times when he felt lonely in high school.

As Kevin transitioned to college, he balanced his studies with his burgeoning career as a designer. He spoke passionately about the need to give designers the credit they deserve, a cause he championed through his thesis project, which aimed to create a system for properly crediting designers. His advocacy for this cause continues, as he pushes for change in the music industry’s approach to recognizing creative contributions.

The Emotional and Practical Aspects of Design

Kevin’s insights into the practical aspects of finding and hiring designers were invaluable. He stressed the importance of giving credit and recognition to artists, which not only validates their work but also supports their livelihood. He shared personal anecdotes about receiving feedback on his artwork and how it bolstered his confidence, despite the imposter syndrome that many artists, including himself, often face.

Creativity as a Reflection of Divine Creation

Perhaps one of the most profound aspects of their discussion was the exploration of creativity in the context of faith. Kevin expressed his gratitude for the ability to reflect God’s creation through his art and the importance of directing creativity back to the Creator. He encouraged listeners to pursue their love for creating as a means of glorifying God, highlighting the spiritual significance of our creative endeavors.

Conclusion: A Journey Marked by Faith, Community, and Advocacy

Kevin Hackett’s journey is a powerful narrative that intertwines faith, family, and creativity. His story is a reminder of the impact that community, recognition, and a commitment to one’s values can have on a person’s life and career. As they wrapped up the conversation, it was clear that Kevin’s character, his positive and joyful personality, and his dedication to advocating for the rights of designers have left an indelible mark on those around him and the industry at large.

Reflecting on this enriching conversation, it’s a reminder of the countless lessons and insights that can be gleaned from Kevin’s experiences. His journey is a beacon for aspiring designers and creatives, illuminating the path of integrating one’s faith and values into their work. It’s these stories that make this show a truly rewarding experience. Thank you for watching and God bless.

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Introduction (00:00:00) Host introduces the show and guests, Joe Malone and Kevin Hackett.

Joe Malone’s Role (00:00:24) Joe Malone discusses his role as the marketing operations director at Reach Records.

Introduction of Kevin Hackett (00:01:47) The host introduces Kevin Hackett and praises his work on social media.

Kevin’s Daily Schedule (00:02:29) Kevin discusses his work schedule and time zone differences.

Kevin’s Role at Reach Records (00:04:05) Kevin explains his role as the creative director of design at Reach Records.

Kevin’s Inspiration (00:05:20) Kevin shares his inspiration and his passion for creating fan art for artists.

Kevin’s Early Work (00:08:16) Kevin discusses his early work and the influence of music on his designs.

Recognition of Kevin’s Talent (00:09:22) Kevin describes how his talent was recognized through social media and his first commission.

Kevin’s Art Journey (00:11:57) Kevin discusses his journey into art and learning from tutorials.

Passion for Design (00:13:36) Kevin’s passion for design and the joy of creating art.

Impact of Upbringing (00:17:49) Kevin reflects on his upbringing in a Christian family and the impact it had on his faith and personality.

Joe Malone’s Appreciation for Kevin (00:17:40) Joe Malone expresses his appreciation for Kevin’s personality and impact beyond his design work.

Lonely High School Years (00:19:06) Kevin discusses feeling lonely and disconnected from his faith during high school, leading to a realization about the importance of a personal relationship with God.

Finding Faith and Community (00:20:04) Kevin shares his experience of finding faith and community during a month-long summer camp, which helped establish a strong foundation for his faith.

Navigating Faith in College (00:21:27) Kevin talks about the challenges of navigating his faith during college and how music from Christian artists helped him feel confident in his faith.

Community and Encouragement (00:22:31) The conversation explores how the creative sectors of faith, such as music and art, provide encouragement and a sense of hope outside of the local church context.

Connecting Through Art and Music (00:23:53) Kevin discusses how he connected with like-minded individuals and artists through social media platforms, fostering friendships and creative collaborations.

Influence of Music and Community (00:24:45) The discussion delves into the influence of music and community, particularly in the Christian hip-hop space, on Kevin and Joe’s faith journeys.

Transition to Professional Design (00:29:09) Kevin reflects on his transition to professional design, including his initial projects with Reach Records and other Christian hip-hop artists.

Balancing Work and College (00:33:06) Kevin shares his experience of balancing work at Reach Records with college, discussing the challenges and his impending graduation.

Advocating for Designer Credits (00:34:26) Kevin emphasizes the importance of giving proper credit to designers in the music industry and shares his efforts to advocate for this cause.

Thesis on Designer Credits (00:36:39) Kevin discusses his college thesis project, which focused on proposing a system for properly crediting designers, particularly in the context of music streaming platforms.

Challenges of Implementing Designer Credits (00:38:27) The conversation addresses the challenges of implementing designer credits in digital music platforms and the importance of artist and label responsibility in crediting designers.

The Heart Behind Proper Crediting (00:39:47) Kevin emphasizes the responsibility of artists and labels to properly credit designers, highlighting the impact of social media tagging and the potential for clout-seeking behavior.

The importance of practical job opportunities (00:40:40) Discussion about practical ways to find and hire designers for Reach Records through social media tagging.

Supporting designers to live off their work (00:41:13) Emphasis on the desire to see designers live off their work and the value of highlighting and crediting creatives on social media.

Imposter syndrome and seeking validation (00:43:12) Kevin’s experience with imposter syndrome and seeking validation from audience feedback on his artwork.

Unexpected positive feedback on artwork (00:44:25) Kevin’s surprise at the positive response to his artwork, particularly the “Neverland” cover and the “No Church in a While” album cover.

Reflecting God’s creativity in art (00:46:35) Discussion on the importance of reflecting God’s creativity in art and serving the kingdom through creativity.

Related Radio Show: 116 Life