Survival Competition: Week 1 winner! | Teen Life Christian Youth Articles, Daily Devotions

Survival Competition: Week 1 winner!

Check out the winning shirt and read the interview with designer, jkey


1. Jkey, congratulations on being the first week winner of survival competition - love your work. Tell us your real name, and what you do during the week.

Hey, I’m Jonathan Sing Key (I prefer jkey), my life at the moment currently consists of high school, God, an unhealthy obsession with design, music and frequent facebook-ing; occasionally I’ll hit the books and study.

2. When did you first get interested in design, and what attracted you to it?

I’ve always liked art and design; school for as long as I can remember consisted of regular doodles in the margins of all my books, still does. From messily drawn comics in primary to playing with whatever graphics program was available, I’ve always wanted to do something creative. I guess the idea of expressing something visually was always appealing to me and just made sense. Visual communication is something that goes beyond the barriers of language and when used effectively can say more than an essay could ever attempt.

3. Where did you get the idea for your t-shirt design?

My design is design based on the verse Acts 20:24 (NIV):


“However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace.”

I knew I wanted it to go straight to the point, thus I wanted the shirt have a phrase that would stand out whilst being pleasing visually and legible. I also strive to have my designs understood and become accessible to everyone and that meant the shirt could not instantly reveal itself to be a Christian shirt, rather I see it as a conversation starter, a shirt you could wear anywhere with an underlying meaning. Some would argue that Christian shirts should be loud and proud, I think both approaches work, but there is something special about design that encourages conversation.

4. What do you hope to do with your design work in the future?

I seek to work and collaborate with other artists and bands while I start my own t-shirt label ‘jayki’. I’m also quite ambitious with my career as a designer. I’ve heard that money and success are the wrong things in life to seek which is very true. However, money and success aren’t bad things, they become bad and sinful when you let it control you and it becomes what you seek in life.

No matter what we do and where we go, remember all our gifts came from God and God is above all.

5. Do you think Christians should approach design differently to non-Christians? Why or why not?

Some would say no, some would say yes, I say design should be accessible to all, which is basically yes but some confuse this approach by making it so accessible it has no meaning. I’ll say it now, no matter how good the design is, it won’t communicate or send a message to everyone in the world. It’s just the way humans are, we’re subjective – if I go into an art gallery I can appreciate all of the art but it’s usually only two or three that have any lasting impact.

I think Christian designers should get out of their comfort zone and find new ways to communicate to the world. There’s a horrible convention that to be a Christian design it needs a cross or a dove, I’ve tried countless times to try new ideas but I’ve been shut down more than once – I say keep at it. The event ‘Rice Revolution’ was an excellent opportunity for me to serve God and stretch my creative ideas and they let me do many ideas that would’ve otherwise been denied. I made many mistakes and some designs plain sucked, but the experience gained from this will help push my abilities to serve God.

6. If you were given the opportunity to ask God one question, what would it be?

Meeting God? I imagine I’d just be speechless.

I think asking God any question no matter how smart would be ridiculous, but I guess if I had the chance now at this very moment it would be how can you use me for your glory.

But I think I’d just smile because I think he’s given an answer already.


For more information on survival competition (you could win $1000 for you and your school - T&C apply) and to submit your entry, go to