Samantha Hoey Nelson '96

Samantha Hoey Nelson ’96 just released her book “Artist in B-School,” to inspire creative people be more savvy in business. “It is part memoir and book of encouragement for creative people to understand business.  It tells of my past as a creative person and my journey to receiving my Bachelors of Fine Arts at Radford University.  I also reflect on my decision to get my MBA and the realization of the importance of those lessons to art students,” says Nelson. 

Today, Nelson is the Associate Creative Director for Lunchbox, a shopper engagement agency that focuses on digital advertising.  “Our biggest client is Unilever. They own multiple brands such as Dove, Lipton, Axe and Vaseline.  Our job is to create interactive engagements for them that focus on their relationship with retailers, specifically for retailers such as Walmart.  My team and I do their interactive websites, banner and social campaigns, and online and in-store videos,” says Nelson. 

When Nelson first graduated from Radford University, web design was just getting started.  “Upon graduation, I knew I needed to jump on the web design bandwagon,” says Nelson.

Nelson has worked for numerous companies, immersing herself in the different aspects of web design.  She has worked for, LifeScript and The Walt Disney Company.  “I was the Art Director for Disney, where I was a part of the interactive advertising team.  Basically, if anyone wanted to advertise on, they had to go through our team,” says Nelson. 

Nelson says that her experience at Radford University has helped to shape the person that she is today.  “I paid my own way through college.  I worked multiple jobs, but I never allowed that to stop me from building relationships with my professors and logging hours in the studio.  One of my biggest inspirations was my art professor Dr. Noel Lawson, who taught me the process of critiquing.  He always said you could not just like something or dislike something.  You had to be specific and talk about the structure of the work.  I laugh because looking back on my career, I should have been fired many times for demanding a proper critique from all my bosses,” says Nelson.  

Nelson hopes that her book inspires art students to gain an understanding of business, take those lessons, and apply them to their professional lives.  “I was going to write a blog that kept track of my life as an art student in business school.  But, with my unique story, a dear friend encouraged me to write a book. So I did.  During my time in school, I took notes.  When it was all over, I put them all together. Two months later I had my story,” says Nelson. 

More information on Nelson’s book is available on her website