Creating a Better Way

Clifton Alexander’s path from an arts high school to the profession he loves is less surprising than Dobrina’s or Teissia’s. A native Californian and 1995 Idyllwild graduate who majored in Visual Art and went on to the Kansas City Art Institute to study graphic design, Clifton built a design business that has become a permanent fixture in Kansas City.

He complained when his parents enrolled him in Idyllwild Arts twenty-five years ago.

“I was into sports, so the kids running around with purple hair took time to get used to.”

Some of the banks, law firms, and other corporate clients that his business re-brands and markets may not appreciate purple hair, either. But they certainly value the “way of thinking you learn in an environment centered on creativity,” Clifton says.

“You’re trained to think differently: to think there’s always a better way. What can we do next? What is nobody else doing?”

Clifton is a living demonstration of what arts education is good for.


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