After returning home from listening to a speaker at Ball State, Travis Abels, I felt like I needed to share his story because it provided me with comfort and reminded me of why I’m here at college and what my passions are, as well as the importance of storytelling.
Travis is a Ball State alum, creative advertising professional, artist, editor and storyteller who has created various high-profile film trailers, such as La La Land and I, Tonya. Tonight he shared his story of how he got to where he is today. It was such an eye opening and inspiring story to hear because he worked so hard for so long, and went through numerous trials and errors to get to his current place as a freelance trailer maker. He started off right here, where I am right now, at Ball State, which made this so personable because he has literally been in my shoes in the Journalism department as an Advertising major. When he started making film trailers it was just for fun, spending so much time playing around with film cuts. Soon after graduation he packed his bags and moved to LA to follow his dreams and started from the bottom, working his way up over many years and spending many late nights working extra hard, and finally made his big break after almost a decade of being in the industry. His perseverance is what’s inspiring about his story of continuing to pursue his dreams despite his setbacks, and being able to create such moving and unique trailers that tell stories. Makes me want to share more stories.
3 takeaways from Travis Abels: Tell Your Story
Play: Everyone starts somewhere. And things don’t just come naturally. Trial and error is everything. I often times start something and when it doesn’t go as planned I just give up because its too frustrating. Giving up isn’t helping anything. Getting better takes time. Many times we are going to fail because in order to get better you must do this several times, or hundreds of times. Now, I feel like I have more confidence taking on new challenges, and can accept that things aren’t going to be perfect, but overtime they will develop and lead to good things. Being a freshman in college has thrown many new things in my path that I am learning, and the only thing I can do to improve and make myself stand out is by continuing to learn and experimenting with new ways of creating. It never hurts to try new things.
Nobody Knows What They’re Doing: Creativity is endless. Everyone can seem like they have it together and know exactly what they are doing, but in a creative world it comes down to yourself and what you think is unique and special. There is never just one solution in the creative business. At this point in college I always feel like I need to have everything figured out or I’ll never be successful, but there isn’t just one answer within creativity, it is vast, and only I can decide what I find to be creative. It’s encouraging to hear from professionals that they don’t have things figured out either. I often stress about not being perfect at what I do, or not having all of the answers, but it turns out nobody really does, despite how it many seem. We are all figuring things out as we go.
Tell Stories: Storytelling is a beautiful way to connect. The way we share stories shapes how we perceive them. With the movie trailers Travis has worked on, they tell stories in unique ways that make you want to watch the film fully. They provoke emotions that are personal and connectable. All we want as humans is to connect. It makes us feel safe and like we aren’t alone and I appreciate the idea that this field I am going into has given me a platform where I can hopefully create things that connect us as a world. Before, I kind of had a negative view of advertising for its deceitfulness among other things, but there is a place in this day and age now for advertising to create change through provoking emotions and branding with products at the same time. It gets me excited that I could someday work for a brand or company and create a strong message that people can get behind to help bring people together. Attaching stories to anything creates an overall more a powerful and relatable message. I want to tell my story, and share other peoples stories in creative ways!
Thank you, Travis Abels!
Check out some of his amazing works here- https://www.travisabels.com