I’m an Art Director without an Art degree (pt.7)

Fortunately, God has blessed me with some really great people in my life. My friend Monicia paid for a 1-way plane ticket for me to get back to NYC for my interview and I would somehow figure out a way to fly back to LA.  I prayed about it for a while and  packed a few items in a small carry on bag. Then all of a sudden something hit me. I went in my room and packed all of my belongings. I was trusting in God that I was defineitly going to get this job! I had only been in LA for 2 months but I thought God had another plan for me. I spoke to Emily Henderson and she suggested that I go back to NYC and if things didn’t work out, I could always come back to intern on her show. With Emily’s blessings, I got on that plane and headed back to NYC (and my friend sofa, yet again!). My interview went well and I landed a job as a the Art Coordinator for Glam Fairy on The Style Network. There was a small catch..they wanted to hire someone who had a car. I knew this job would change my life because I would be in charge of the Art Direction on the show. I had only really worked as an assistant up until this point and this would be my chance to shine. I couldn’t sketch/draw and didn’t know photoshop but I was determined to make it happen. I decided to rent a car for $200 a week in order to take on this job and let me say for the record that I was back to eating $1 pizza slices again (if you know what I mean). I was partnered with Dejon Gee (Jerseylicious- Art Director) who gave me a quick crash course on set design as well as how to draw rooms on  Google sketch up. I must have set in her apt learning this program for about 6 hours until I got it right! The two of us hit it off and became known as the Dynamic Duo. After Glam Fairy completed taping in  August 2011, I was ask to come back and join Dejon on Jerseylicious as a Co Art Director begining October 2011. I was excited to have a small 3 month break before the new show because this would give me the opportunity to fly back to LA and make more networking connection.

Dejon and Mikel on the set of the Jerseylicious Season 4 Reunion Show.

When I arrived in LA, I went back to working at CB2 West Hollywood. That week, I received a call from a former co-worker who saw an ad on Craigslist for a HGTV Design Star Casting Call and suggested that I take a look. I loved the show and had sent an audition tape in 3 years ago but never heard back. I thought about it some more and decided to give Design Star another shot! Oddly enough, I spoke to Dionna Vaughn about the casting and she suggested that I take a hosting class to help me get ready for being in front of the camera. So, I signed up for a 2 month hosting class with Marki Costello that changed my life. She covered everything from teller prompter reading to basic host script reading. She is brutally honest but will whip your @ss into shape. But I do have to say that Hosting came a little natural for me because my mother, Kathy Young Welch worked as a TV host in my hometown of Detroit for several years(click to watch). After completing my class, I headed back to NYC to get ready for my new position on Jerseylicious Season 4 as well as my HGTV Design Star audition.

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