So. Close.

I was recently selected as one of the top five finalists for Behr’s incredible Color Explorer role. If you didn’t hear about it already, Behr was searching for one colorful individual to travel the US and Canada this summer to gather inspiration for naming a new color. Dream job? Uh, yeah! Since I have gotten a lot of questions about this process, I thought I would share some insights to the application, my answers, and what color means to me.

 
Image credit: Lauryn Kay Photography

Image credit: Lauryn Kay Photography

 

When Behr first announced this amazing opportunity, it was all over social media. The initial application just wanted to know what your favorite color was in 150 words or less. Conveying a meaningful explanation in 150 words was challenging. Picking only one color to write about was challenging. But the decision to throw my hat in the ring, well that was easy.

Here is what I wrote:

The vibrant violet-blue of a Texas Bluebonnet is one of my earliest memories. Driving across the countryside as my family traveled from the bayous of Houston to the lush Hill Country, I knew we were getting close by the fields of Bluebonnets that would start to appear. Beyond the excitement of finally reaching our destination, I knew the Bluebonnets meant that soon I would see my grandparents who had traveled from the oil fields of West Texas to meet us. These experiences taught me early on how color can invoke the story of a people, the history of a land, and the love of a family. I will forever be inspired by the first sighting of those fields, and my heart still skips a beat when I spot a glimpse of that unforgettable shade of blue.

Much to my surprise, a little while later I received an email letting me know that I made it to the next round. Exciting! This time, the process involved a screening questionnaire and some exercises, including our most memorable colorful experience. This is what I shared:

When I was 19, I took my first international trip. I saw incredible places full of breathtaking art, mouth watering food, and ancient cultures. But one moment changed everything for me. I was walking across a bridge in Rome and stopped to watch the sunset over St. Peter’s cathedral. The sky was glowing, vibrant shades of red and pink. The white stone and marble of the city were glowing too, reflecting the color above. I can still remember what it felt like to watch that magic unfold. I felt my heart grow, my understanding of the world expand, and I made a decision right then and there that I would live in that city someday all because of how I experienced that color in the sky. I kept my promise, and a year later I returned to the city that stole my heart.

 
This is the photo I took in that moment. Rome holds such a special place in my heart.

This is the photo I took in that moment. Rome holds such a special place in my heart.

 

We were also asked to share why we would be the ideal candidate. I wanted to convey that while this was obviously such an exciting opportunity for myself (I love to travel and I love color - check and check!), I understood that it was about much more than that. This was an opportunity to connect with people, to bring people together through color. Here’s what I shared:

The most impactful compliment I have ever received was being told I brought color into someone’s life. I choose to live colorfully because I understand the power of color and strive to share that with as many people as I can. I have been lucky enough to receive an arts driven education that opened my eyes to viewing the world in a different way - one that looks past the surface and sees the color, shapes, and lines that work together to create the world we live in. It is my joy and driving force to share my experiences and help others look past the dust of everyday life and see the beauty that is all around us. Being chosen as the Behr Color Explorer is about more than just my own personal journey. It’s about sharing the experience of living colorfully with others, and that is a truly incredible opportunity.

The next and final stage was a Skype interview with Behr’s PR team and a member of their Color team. While I ultimately was not chosen as the Color Explorer, this was such a thrilling and eye opening experience. I am so incredibly honored to have been chosen among the top five finalists out of over 12,000 applicants. It re-inspired my passion for color, travel, and sharing my experiences with the world. It reminded me that anything is possible, and to keep sharing your gifts. So next time you see an opportunity that excites you, don’t hold back! Get out there and grab your dreams! I’ll be here cheering you on!

If you'd like to read more about the Color Explorer and finalists, click here. I can’t wait to follow David’s adventures!

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