I recently had the pleasure of meeting the retired chief of oral medicine and surgery for St. Jude Hospital. I found myself wanting to understand the medical field so that I could relate to this gentleman and have meaningful conversation. I must admit I felt a little out of my league. To say the least, he is a very kind and gentle man. He shared stories of his days of working with the children in the hospital that kept me asking more and more questions. As he was looking at my portfolio, I found myself studying the man he is.

As I listened to him talk about his career and how he spent the better part of his life in the walls of a hospital, it was clear he had certain aspects of design that he wanted to achieve. This gentle doctor had spent his lifetime with scenes of joy and series of sadness. Since my first meeting with the chief, I’ve had the opportunity to meet with him on several occasions. This deeply intelligent man has taught me that each blank canvas I am given is the canvas of life. We, as designers are allowed the privilege to build a platform. We are given plans and we bring life to the plans that are shared with us. We put our talent and our passion to this canvas and create color and joy.

I know now that this man and I are not that different after all. We each have a canvas. We each are given the responsibility to study and listen to what this canvas calls for. In this picture, I see a rainbow.