— by Jasmine Johnson, Development Associate
Christa Faas portrait

As a Moore Graphic Design major, Faas created a concept-based book for her thesis. Room 232: Hotels & Escapism conceptualizes the significance of hotels being a brief escape from the troubles of the real world and their provision for rest and adventure separate from one’s past and current identity. Due to campus COVID-19 restrictions during her senior year, Faas lived in a hotel for a full semester and absorbed the isolating feeling of being alone in a new place for an extended period of time, in a room that’s typically intended for temporary use. This inspired her to examine the role hotels play in today’s culture. The end result was 70 fascinating pages filled with imagery and text that relay the mindsets of typical hotel guests.

Photo of Christina Faas '21's thesis project. An open publication in an old suitcase on a side table. A lamp, bowl, and business cards are also on the table.

“Being in a hotel room for this extended period of time, I felt like I was stuck in a world of its own,” Faas said. “The hallways, rooms and everything looked the same but they each seemed to open up to a different dimension. I tried to visualize the spaces in a way that was very conceptual, to correlate them to the various ways our minds are built: physically, mentally and emotionally.”

Throughout Faas’ studies at Moore, professors encouraged her and fellow students to enter their artwork into contests, both locally and around the country. Entering contests takes courage and patience, however, and sometimes there is the barrier of an entry fee. As part of the completion of her thesis project, submitting her publication to a contest or show was a requirement—and while Faas felt those real and perceived barriers, she realized that a contest would help get her name into new spaces and begin to boost her confidence.

Faas loosely searched around on Google until she found a contest that seemed to be the best fit for her thesis project. On a whim, she completed all the necessary steps and submitted her piece to the UCDA Design Awards of Denver, Colorado. A few months later, she was notified that out of 600 submissions, her work is one of only 200 selected to receive an Excellence Award. Faas will receive a certificate of achievement, and images from Room 232: Hotels & Escapism will be displayed during the UCDA Design Conference, granting Faas exciting exposure with a more national audience.

Detail photo of Christa Faas '21's thesis project publication

A few months after her graduation, Faas attributes her confidence and the high quality of her work to her professors and the support that Moore gave her throughout her undergraduate career. Faas is now inspired and more confident about what she creates, and will submit more work to other contests and shows. She encouraged other young artists to do the same.

“It’s a good way to get one’s name out there,” Faas said. “I know it’s really hard to feel like your work is ready. For a long time I felt my work wasn’t good enough to put out there. But it’s good to get other people to look at your work because they are able to point out new ideas that you may not have been able to conspire on your own.”

You can view Faas’ thesis project, Room 232: Hotels & Escapism, at her website. You can also see Faas name listed with the other winners of the UCDA Design Awards of Denver, Colorado at the UCDA website.

Photo of a spread from Christina Faas '21's thesis publication